I thought I’d start today’s post with a couple of pictures of the view we woke up to this morning from The Pink Lodge on the Beach in Wilderness…
Check-out was at 10am this morning and after a hearty and very good breakfast with plenty of coffee we got going on our way to Storms River Rest Camp, our next overnight stop. As we had a fair bit of time before being able to check in we drove to Knysna Heads, another place I’ve read about but never been to see. We’ve stayed over in Knysna on a previous trip a few years ago but somehow missed Knysna Heads, and weren’t impressed overly much by Knysna itself. Finding Knysna Heads changed my opinion of the town though! We went up to the viewing point and experienced the amazing views and took loads of pictures, before going down to the beach area for even more pictures and a little wander about.
After a quick stop for food shopping in Plettenberg Bay we pushed on and drove down the R102 to Nature’s Valley, another beautiful and unspoiled beach and town – also the finish of the Otter Hiking Trail apparently, not that I am ever going to attempt that! Unfortunately the road via the Bloukrans Pass on the R102 was closed for motor vehicles so we had to go back the way we came rather than up the pass that I’d been hoping to do – mostly because Brian hates heights and driving mountain passes! Nature’s Valley is beautiful but I ended up not taking enough pictures to do it justice due to the strong winds on the beach.
I’ve been monitoring the weather forecast more obsessively than even a proper Brit does, and wasn’t expecting too much from the weather at Storms River from what was predicted. The weather forecast was right for a change and as we approached the turn-off for Storms River Mouth it started raining and misting over. We decided to go and check out Storms River town as there was no way we’d do any hiking in this sort of weather. Storms River is a tiny little town but quite quaint and we stopped for a beer at Marilyn’s Diner, where I had one of the locally brewed ales, which was very good. Oh, and there was a nice fire going in the diner so I had to drag Brian away from the fire and another beer to rather go and check in at our accommodation for the night. Storms River Mouth Rest Camp is part of the Garden Route National Park and absolutely stunning, even though we couldn’t appreciate it properly due to the dismal weather.
We found our forest hut, deep under tree cover and Brian unpacked while I went to make a booking at the Cattle Baron Restaurant on site. The forest hut has shared cooking facilities (though fortunately not shared ablution!) and we didn’t feel like traipsing around the cold and dark to make ourselves something to eat. The hut was COLD COLD COLD and we spent a few hours wrapped up in our duvets and blankets before going out to dinner. The hut is fairly basic but at just over R500 for the night pretty good value for money and also the cheapest place we’ll stay during the trip – a heater of some sort would have been handy at this point though! Dinner was very good and we stretched our time in the warm restaurant out as much as possible by having dessert after our meal, but eventually we had to face out cold hut again. Brian wrapped himself up in multiple layers of clothing as well as gloves and we were fast asleep by about 9pm – what a rock n roll lifestyle we lead! I’d say the forest huts are fine for a night or two, but if you’re looking something a bit more relaxing and luxurious you’d be better of with one of the multitude of other options on offer – but make sure you book well in advance!