16 May 2012

The Otter Trail - Day One

Dear Coco
Monday dawned bright and warm - despite all the dire warnings of rain and cold. This is Alice in her little Forest Hut getting ready for the start of the Otter Trail. We had quite a long time to pack and re-pack our bags as we were told to come to reception "some time between 10 am and 2 pm". We arrived at 10 am on the dot.
Here is the map of our first day - a short hike of 4.8 kms.
All of us at the start.
We hung around the Otter Room - having been told we needed to see a DVD - but they obviously thought we looked a tough bunch because no DVD materialized, so we just set off on the path.
It was quite difficult terrain, lots of slippery boulder hopping and I thought that you and Dougal would not really have enjoyed it.
The coast is rather spectacular, with huge waves crashing on the rocks all the time - Dougal would have been a bit alarmed by the noise.
We had a chilly lunch at a deep, dark and very cold waterfall.
Alice and Paul were intrigued by the many Candlewood trees and shrubs, in many shapes and sizes, almost the most dominant plant along the path (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus).
We were all pleased to suddenly come across the two Ngubu huts in a delightful sunny grove of Ribbon Bushes (Hypoestes aristata) in full flower. The huts are named after a game ranger sergeant who helped developed the Otter Trail.
Ribbon Bush flowers.
Paul arriving at the huts.
For some of our friends who read the blog, and who remember the Otter Trail in the early days, this is for you. A FLUSH loo ... with a view. (The glass, even though it was cracked, has a one way film of plastic on it so one need not be inhibited while enjoying the view from one's throne!)
Tea time!
Katta supervising the fire in the boma.
More tomorrow. Exhausted now!
Please send our love to Dougal and Simon,
love from the Food Lady

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