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That was not the beginning of the hike, this was the day we, Frans and me, arrived in Port Elizabeth after an overnight bus-ride from Vanderbijlpark. Ruth came to collect us at the bus station and took us straight to Trevor's house, where we could sort out our rucksacks before departing to the hike venue. A drive of about one hour following the coast to the east. The overnight hut is a converted house, very comfortable and pleasant to stay at. It contained all the crockery, cutlery and utensils one needs for a stay there. Supper in the form of a stew was provided by Ruth.
The start of the hike, the weather was not the greatest, but bearable, slight rain and drizzle. Initially through forest with some large trees and it was up-down-up up-down down...down to the dunes. On the way we passed some lovely meadows and I was wishing to be a cow with such lush grass. Our lunch at the beach was interrupted by rather heavy rain, so much so that we followed Trev's lead and went to the backpackers nearby called 'Woody Cape'. It was possibly 100 meters from where we had been sitting, it was a pleasant place and we were made feel welcome and could have our sandwiches out of the rain sitting in their dining room. And we even had complimentary coffee, Trev had a beer, which made him happy.
This backpacker gave me the idea that one could do the hike split into three days, making day one much easier, only about 10km instead of the 19. Their telephone number is 086 111 4646.
From the lunch spot it was down to the beach to walk along it for 8km. Initially very pleasant, the tide was still out and we could walk on the hard sand. I still struggled a bit because I had pulled a calf muscle and had to limp along. For the last km we had to walk on rocks, the tide had come in and we were walking up against the dune face. Not easy walking,
And than came THE ROPE, that is a rope we had to pull ourselves up, hand over hand, to get to the top of the dune. Not easy going because the sand , especially at the bottom, was very soft.
The top of the rope was not the end of the up, we had to get over the top of the dune to pick up the easy path to the hut, another 2 km.
Ruth prepared supper, enjoyed by everyone. There wasn't much activity after that, we were sneaking off to bed one by one. Only Trev stayed up to enjoy his card game.
A few words about the hut. It's situated high up on the dunes overlooking the sea, with a fully equipped kitchen, gas stove, proper flush toilet, but no shower. The only water supply is rain into a tank, we were supposed to use the water only for drinking and cooking. Still, I give this hut an A.
First excitement of the morning, a school of dolphins passing down the coast and me showing off the zoom power of my camera.
It was a lovely morning, the sun was coming out and the sand of the dunes was hard from the recent rain. For me this was the best part of the hike, but alas I pulled the other muscle, now in the left leg. Limping along I kept going, what else could I do?
Lunch was on the meadow, we were nearly on top andf the remainder of the walk was not very taxing. Distance for this day was 13 km. Eventually we arrived back at the office and the car. That was the end of a lovely and exciting hike.
I have made a youtube video of the hike, to be viewed by clicking video
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