Report courtesy Alistair Nixon, photos courtesy of: Sven Jager, Clive Rossam, Sue Rowley, Cathy and Alistair Nixon
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]
Some things worth knowing about the Whale Trail
Bookings must be made a year in advance.Each hiking group must have 12. You can book for 6 but you will share with 6 unknown people. September seems to be prime time. Flowers and whales in abundance. 60 litre containers are supplied to each hiker. A member of our group made a 60 litre cardboard replica to see what he could fit in. Two extra containers can be hired. It is recommended that you substitute their container with a cooler box of the same volume. Frozen food can remain cold until the third night. Get used to bunks. Take clothes pegs. A sheet is welcome if you want to cover your matress.
Day 1Potberg to Cupidoskraal Day one starts the night before the first day of hiking at Potberg Cottage. The 60 litre containers are brought to you that evening and the group is briefed on the requirements and rules of the hike. The cottage has a freezer and fridge so frozen items only have to be packed in the morning. First day of hiking is long and quite demanding. Our group took 8.5 hours allowing for plenty of stop and look time . The climb is a 600m elevation.
DAY 1 PHOTOS
Day 2Cupidoskraal to Noetsie A fairly long day of 8 hours lies ahead of you. Elevation of 400m. The sea gets closer and the prospect of whale spotting spurs one on. Noetsie is in a beautiful setting of a bay. Very well designed accommodation and a perfect braai boma. Frozen food is thawed by now.
DAY 2 PHOTOS
Day 3Noetsie to Hammerkop On the way out, take a deviation and see the huge cave where excavations are taking place. Shorter walk than the two previous days, but with the whales in such close proximity you ll be tempted to spend time watching. Hamerkop Cottage is exceptional, very spacious. Set back from the beach, double storey with a deck for perfect views out to sea. trya nd get the honeymoon suite upstairs.
DAY 3 PHOTOS
Day 4Hamerkop to Vaalkrans Beach walking is challenging but the rockpools, nature s sculptures and sealife will reward your struggles. Vaalkrans, your destination is the best setting of all the cottages. A more perfect place to enjoy a sundowner one will not find! A perfect grand finale.
DAY 4 PHOTOS
Day 5For the really brave a swim in the Hippo Pools after some beach hiking. It comes as a huge shock to come across people again. You ll feel they infringing upon your turf! The bus awaits you and half an hour you re back to the cars.
DAY 5 PHOTOS