We finally left, as ready as we would ever be, on May the 23rd with only two weeks to get to Lesotho and renew our visas! Following the infamous Route 62, we stayed in quirky Montagu, had a drink at the incongruous Ronnie’s Sex Shop, attempted to ride an ostrich and squeezed through a labyrinth of tiny gaps deep underground at the Cango Caves.
We were fortunate enough to join Hamish Currie, the director of Back to Africa (and a German film crew!), in the capture and relocation of two Quaggas, a zebra-like animal that was hunted to extinction. They were distinguishable by their stripes which were on the front half of their bodies only and they had a basic brownish colour at the rear. These incredible creatures are being brought back from extinction through a careful re-breeding programme.
Lachlan came up with this surprisingly delicious concoction one cold night while we were on the Otter Trail. As you carry everything that you need for five days (your sleeping bag, clothes, cooking paraphernalia and food) you have to pack light and this means living off a schoolboys dream diet of powdered food stuffs and noodles! I am not sure if we will indulge in Lachlan’s Biltong Broth in the near future, but I can tell you that after a challenging day, wading waist deep through fast flowing rivers and hiking up and down the Tsitsikamma Forest’s coastal valleys, this well and truly hits the spot!
The Otter Trail is a five day, 42km hike in the indigenous Tsitsikamma Forest by a breathtaking untouched coastline. You sleep in wooden huts with no electricity or mobile phone reception and for five days all you hear is the sound of the ocean and the incessant insect hum of the bush. Hailed as one of the World’s most beautiful hikes, this was the opportunity of a lifetime.