In October 5-7th, Bantu Hikers had a date with the Eastern Cape wilderness. Tsitsikamma the place of “still waters” is a wonder to the eye and a friend to the soul. Tsitsikamma, the garden of the Garden Route is exactly that, green with a mosaic of afromontane forest and pine plantations separated by streams, rivers and crystal pools framed by dramatic rock formations of Table Mountain sandstone.
A memorable trip includes a solid classics and sing-along playlist, great company, sharing travel stories, reminiscing on childhoods, and getting lost. This trip was no different. With the anticipation to get to the destination and a healthy appetite for the planned braai, day 1 set the tone for a fantastic weekend getaway.
Day 2, a fourteen member strong crew (from Nelspruit to Cape Town) set out on a trail at the Tsitsikamma Lodge that none of us knew, this is a recipe for adventure you see.
Equipped with a map outlining a trail aptly named “striptease”, we began the journey with the iconic group image followed by song and dance and picture taking. The trail began with a detour in the vast hypnotic cape pine plantation. After two hours of walking we realised that we had incorrectly identified certain features in the plantation as the rock pools. Even though we had expended some energy in an alternative area intended for the hike, it was not a complete loss, the images taken, conversations had, singing enjoyed and team work involved to keep the morale up was incredible.
Once the intended route was found the GARDEN emerged before us. The striptease trail bared all its pools. It also proved to vary in difficulty, signalling that a wrong turn earlier may have spared us the trouble of traversing the whole route unprepared. It was slippery, muddy, wet and also sorts of fun. We did not go the full length except for one of our adventurous hikers Sandile, most of the members of the group opted for some relaxation in one of the first pools along the trail.
The trail features several rock pools along the way, some of which are deep enough for an adult to swim in hence the name given to the trail.
Day 3, we prepared to leave the Garden of Eden, but none of us were in a rush for the city life, instead a breakfast fit for Queens and Kings was enjoyed with whales breaking the surface of the water in the background, much to our entertainment. The sight seeing commenced on our way back home and the music playlist gave us no choice but to pull up on the side of the road and dance into the sunset.
The KZN and Western Cape BH family came together in the Eastern Cape. We hope to have more of these hikes, exploring our beautiful country and majestic continent.
2019 Out of Town Hike loading… #OccupyingSpaces
Note: The striptease trail is slippery and muddy so water resistant shoes are favourable but it won’t matter if you will eventually strip down and swim in the pools. 😉