Monday, February 23, 2009

Storms River Mouth Trail

The Tsitsikamma National Park is truly one of the moulds that God used to create Eden for Adam and Eve. Magnificent forests with mountains as a backdrop and vertical cliffs in the foreground stretching down to the Atlantic Ocean smashing itself to foamy bits on pitch black rocks. All in all one of my favourite places in this beautiful country of ours.

The park is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Garden Route with both local and international visitors basking in its awesomeness. Most visitors to the park, being day visitors or overnight guests, would venture onto the Mouth Trail at some stage or another. The trail stretches over a distance of about 1 kilometer (and 460 odd steps) from the main rest camp to the mouth of the Storms River. Those embarking on this outing has to keep in mind though that there is no other way back than retrieving your own steps. Kind of a "what goes up must come down" idea.
The trail starts off with a walk across the beach just below the restaurant before encountering a small waterfall. It's at this stage where the unfit amongst us take a brief break after the first brisk climb. To take some picture of cause.

From here the trail ventures deeper into the forest along the boardwalk. All along the way you can hear birds somewhere in the thicket with the ocean never being very far behind. If you get lucky you may just get a glimpse of the elusive Knysna Loerie in the forest canopy. Name plaques point out some of the indigenous trees while steep paths swing away from the main walkway and lead down to secluded coves.

Towards the end (or actually the halfway mark keeping in mind that you still need to go back) you get magnificent vistas out to sea and before the grand prize of the trail shows itself. A steep climb down to river level will take you to the Storms River Mouth Suspension Bridge. From here cliffs stretch up about a hundred meters and with the gorge on the left and the open sea on the right, those who don't mind a bit of a swing will step onto the bridge to make their way to the other side. Most people take a couple of minutes to take in the beauty of the area before heading back. Because "what goes up, must come down".

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tour of an area I've never been to and I come from South African....shocking hey!!
    Photo's are stunning once again..

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  2. Sounds and looks amazing - and a 'must do' when there. And yes - like Marcelle - am ashamed to say have never been there.

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  3. That part of the country is one of my favourites as well! And I must say that you captured it brilliantly, really stunning shots!

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  4. Oh that is beautiful and brings back so many memories. Walking across that bridge was VERY scary for me! But I would do it again ... slowly!!

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  5. What a great place to visit the bridge in the last shot is amazing, no way I could cross that ....way to high and wobbly, fantstic shots as always.

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