Day 5 – Otter Trail, Tsitsikamma, South Africa

September 18, 2016

Otter Trail Day 5

Woke up just before 6 and rushed to get dressed and down to the beach to watch the changing light on the coast. The moon is still up and the sky begins to turn pink.

Otter Trail Day 5-2

The waves are as impressive as the evening before although the sea has calmed.

Otter Trail Day 5-3Otter Trail Day 5-4

Clear and cold, the coldest morning on the trail, it’s cold sitting on the rocks, but what a view.

Otter Trail Day 5-5Otter Trail Day 5-6

After hot coffee and porridge we pack up, say good bye and leave about 8:45. Low tide today is at 10:52.

Otter Trail Day 5-7

 

We have to cross the river on the far end of the camp before the climbing up to the ridge.

Otter Trail Day 5-8

Even though it is close to low tide the water is still too high cross with boots on. We throw stones in the water to walk on.

Otter Trail Day 5-9

The Germans are just behind us and help. Soon we have a decent stone path across.

Otter Trail Day 5-11

 

The 6.8K today is supposed to be easier with a stiff climb up followed by a scenic walk along the cliff. It’s almost that good.

Otter Trail Day 5-13

Just a couple of dips down into the forest to cross a stream with a short uphill to remind you that you are still on the Otter Trail.

Otter Trail Day 5-12Otter Trail Day 5-14

The amazing views continue to the very end, with a variety of spring flowers mixed among the fynbos and a beautiful blue sky. The temperature quickly warms to comfortable for walking but not too hot.

Otter Trail Day 5-15

We reach Nature Valley beach around 11 after one last steep descent. Not far from where you hit the beach is a sign to the right saying that trekkers need to take this route to the reception office to check out. If you want to have a beer and burger at the Nature Valley Pub and Restaurant don’t take this route. It’s another 3-4k up the hill. The restaurant is 2k down at the other end of the beach.

Otter Trail Day 5-17

 

One last stream crosses the beach with mid-thigh water even at low tide.

Otter Trail Day 5-19

We finally reach the restaurant at nearly 12PM. Carol and Simon are already washed up. 30 minutes later the whole crew has arrived. One couple actually climbed to the reception office and got a ride back down.

Otter Trail Day 5-18

The trail ends with the Otter’s arsehole, a horrible drink that curdles in your mouth, but something you must do.

Otter Trail Day 5-20

Michael picked us up at 1PM as scheduled. A little more time at the Pub would have been nice.

Otter Trail Day 5-21

Without a doubt if you like rugged seascapes this is one of the most scenic hikes in the world.

 

 

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