Published: April 26th 2010April 23rd 2010
With the rain beating down, we'd retired to the tents at about 20h30 last night and battened down the hatches. With everything secure and away from the sides of the tent, I climbed into the sleeping bag and snuggled down. The wind battered the tent and the rain came from the south, then from the west and then vertically down! All the time, the waves smashed into the rocks just yards away.
I slept well, waking at 06h00 in preparation to go back to the suspension bridge before breakfast and take some photographs. However, it was still raining, so I just went back to sleep. At 07h00, the weather had changed; the rain had gone and sunshine was beginning to reach the ground.
Grabbing some clean clothes, a donned a waterproof and headed off for an early shower, which I shared with a frog! Clean and dressed, I managed almost an hour of photography before anyone else peered from their tents and breakfast was on the go. With the change in light, the views in comparison with yesterday were so different with the sea now a deep blue rather than a murky grey.
With breakfast over, we left
everything sealed in the the tents whilst we set off for a 12km hike along the Otter Trail. It recommends that one is fit before taking this walk so, as we had a doctor on the trip, we all stripped naked, stood in a line and he pronounced each of us fit.
Initially, the walk was straightforward - simply along the road - for 30 feet or so! After that, it became more difficult. Walking through drifts of wild camphor, we slowly headed down towards the sea, following the little yellow otter footprints painted every so often. Finally, we came out on the beach and began clambering over boulders, slippery with sea spray. All the time, the sea was crashing into the rocks to our left.
Eventually, we reached our destination - a spectacular waterfall crashing down from the forest above into the sea. Stripping off again, some swam whilst the rest of us just enjoyed the early autumn sun.
Back at camp, there was a little time before lunch, so that was spent washing a couple of shirts and, lifting the bus' windscreen wipers to form coat hangers, hanging them up to dry and air in
the warm breeze.
With the weather being so spectacular, I decided to go back to the suspension bridge after lunch, this time, taking my camera. Along the road, I spotted a little family group of Mousebirds sunning themselves in a low bush and several Dassies grazing along the side of the road.
It was warm when I reached the start of the trail so I took the opportunity to grab an ice-cream before the serious photography would start. Reaching the suspension bridge, I was lucky enough to find that the sun was still shining into the Storms River mouth so managed a couple of shots before crossing the bridge.
On the far side was a sign to Uitkykpunt
. Common sense should have told me that the lookout point was not going to be at sea-level but after climbing a ridiculous number of steps, I eventually arrived at the top of the cliff - only to find that the single bench was already occupied! The views from the top were out-of-this-world and the journey back down far, far easier.
And now - I'm sitting in my tent, watching the sun set across the Indian Ocean, looking forward
to a night with no rain.
There are more photos below