Beach Trekking for the Sole

So I was invited to join a group of hikers to hike the stretch between Wilderness and Sedgefield in the Garden Route. A nineteen km trek which takes you along one of the most beautiful untouched beaches of Southern Africa.  It is hard to imagine that there is hardly a soul on these beaches, but due to the access you have to work a little harder to experience its glory.

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Starting in Kleinkrantz we worked our way down the dune which is a about a 10 m drop to the edge of the ocean.  Ensure that it is around spring low tide when you attempt this trek for easy walking. An added extra is the fact that if you walk it with a guide like Mark Dixon from Garden Route Trails, a qualified marine biologist, you get all the inside information of the inter coastal activities.

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Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it is 19km long, as my fellow hikers were all over the age of 60 and what a crowd . The first thing that is extremely noticeable is the fossilised dunes, ancient as the are, they are not immune to wind and weather and looks much like  they have been carved into by knives.
Funny enough the most interesting facts and interactions are the things you take most for granted. A simple plough shell on the beach is of great importance to the interrogate eco systems of inter coastal activity, then to come across a moon shell egg casing just to discover how it got there in the first place. Nothing is …as simple as it seems….

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Due to the up welling of the ocean and other current activities you tend to find a few “lost” ocean creatures on the beach. One of these is the discovery of a tiny loggerhead turtle hatchling, far from home so to speak.

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On the arrival at Gericke’s point we had to calculate the crossing of the point, a quick dash around a rock to avoid the incoming water but others choose to take the fisherman’s path over the rocks. Less wet than the rock dash and with a prettier view.  We had lunch at this point and just enjoyed the view with a bit of rest.

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The last stretch is along Swartvlei beach and a water crossing at the Swartvlei mouth. This turns out to be the most exciting part of the hike.  Four people clambering into a small rowing boat in a current is rather hair raising at the best of times, but everyone’s good spirits and sense of adventure got them safely to the other side

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With sandy wet feet we climbed out the stairs to the parking lot in Sedgefield and amble our way to Myoli beach.   And although tired it is a rather happy way to end the day, with a good cup of coffee in hand and great company.
With sand in my soul and wind in my hair I drove home smiling, a hot bath awaits and once I can accumulated a few adventures to my memory bin

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Power Van into the Outeniqua mountains

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A 3 hour outing into the Outeniqua Mountains in a small Power Van with undescribable amount of power and a magnificent view! Hard to imagine that this railway track was build only by a labour force in the early 1900’s.  The click a di click and the soft rocking of the carriages takes me back to childhood days while we constantly climb up into the soft folds of this mountain range. 

Crossing over the old ox wagon path that the traders use to use, a gruelling trip of 10 days back then, I could not even imagine what it was like to be a trader in those days.  As we travel along we catch a glimpse of the Montague pass far below us,  still in use today, although only more of a scenic touristic route now.  And then we reach the end of our upward journey for a quick turn around, we have time to enjoy the view and have a hop off, hop on experience.

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Part of the fun is the tunnels we have to go through

, 7 of them, the kids squeal with pleasure as we pass through them and the van blows his train whistle..

The Erika’s are in full bloom and we skim the edges of colour while heading back down.  Arriving at our pit stop for lunch we clamber out of the van and up the hill, what a view of George and the Indian ocean.  An hour later Anabelle our guide scoots us back into the Power Van for our final stretch home.  The excitement and anticipation of a train trip was fulfilled 3 times over.  A well recommended outing ! 

Gotravelbug on the move.