Oystercatcher Trail South Africa - 2014
Where do I start with the Oystercatcher Trail? Firstly I’m ashamed to say I’d never heard of it. Apparently National Geographic rated it as one of the top trips of a lifetime in 2007 AND in 2008. BBC classed it as one of the 30 unforgettable walks to do before you die. And good old Getaway (local South African travel magazine) called it one of the top South African hikes. Just goes to show how little I
|Ana's Place Mossel Bay|
|Ana's Place views|
We were invited by some friends to make up a party for a three day hike. Organisers tailor the walk to suit your available time and budget. Our party went for that particular organiser’s Silver option. The package included a full time guide, all meals plus snacks and comfortable accommodation. Our friends who arranged it opted for slack-packing, so we didn't have to carry anything other than a small back-pack with water, a swimming costume, our snacks and sunscreen.
It's actually a four day hike (day one doesn't count as it's arrival day) but it was trimmed down to three days to fit into a long weekend. The other big bonus was we were with a few other vegans. The
organisers usually focus on South African cuisine but agreed to 50% vegan catering for us. More on that later.
|St Blaize Cave|
We all drove down individually to Mossel Bay which is at the start of the Garden Route and met at a plush guest house called Ana's Place. My other half and I got there last. We found the others enjoying complementary drinks and snacks on a wide balcony overlooking the bay. Serious views.
They made a booking at a local restaurant for our evening meal. After a quick freshen up, we walked down to the main town and found our eatery. The food wasn't bad. I don't expect to enjoy eating out with my meat free diet.
And I don’t ever expect vegan food at a restaurant. They actually had a few vegan meals on the menu.
|St Blaize Cave|
So every year there's a massive motor bike rally in South Africa called the Buffalo Rally. Which happened to be the very weekend we were in town. Let's just say the "Buff" as it's known, is not exactly a high brow affair. Bikers from all over South Africa come to get drunk and shred tyres or
make a noise. Those that don't - watch those that do. Some folks get hot under the collar about the goings on. I find it a bit of a laugh. I will say the sound of engines revving permeated the
|Cliffs on Day One|
night but my other half and I got some sleep.
|Looking down to ocean Day One|
Next morning the organisers collected our luggage and moved it to our new accommodation at Sandpiper Cottages in Boggomsbaai. We walked to the local hotel and had breakfast in the restaurant which is right on the rocks next to the sea. Vegans don't do dairy or eggs and our guide soon discovered we weren't properly catered for. Much frantic conferring with the organisers happened and profuse apologies ensued. Luckily the person who made our snack-packs was clued up.
We kicked off our walk at St Blaize Cave. Day One was moderately up and down. We walked along a cliff which had breath-taking views of the coast and ocean. Day One was 15
kilometres. We could have included a talk by archaeologist Dr Peter Nilssen at Pinnacle Point but decided against it. Can’t remember why, and with hindsight, I wish we had included the extra walk/talk. We finished our first day at Dana Bay where we were collected and taken to our cottages.
|One of the Sandpiper Cottages|
This holiday continues - here.
Go to - My Holidays and Trips - at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on - this link.
Labels: Ana's Place, Dana Bay, Mossel Bay, Oystercatcher Trail, Sandpiper Cottages, St Blaize Cave