Bestie roadtrip, day 2: the forest

Tree beard

We called this ‘tree beard’. Caroline draped some over her head for a selfie.

This is what prompted the roadtrip – exploring the forests of Nature’s Valley (not selfies). Every time I go there I look down into the forest from the road and wonder what it’s like. I drive in and out of the valley with clients so I asked Heather and Caroline to come and explore with me.

But, before the forest, we went to look at the beach. Empty and spotlessly clean but the sky was grey so the photos look very moody. Caroline fell in love with a huge piece of driftwood which even she realised would not be coming home with her. We climbed the razorsharp rocks, watched oyster-catchers and gulls hurry along the shore, and even a few surfers catching some excellent waves.

Back to our cottage for a big breakfast and then we were off to the forest. First we did a little walk on a boardwalk and then we entered the semi-darkness of a natural, thick and very old forest. We had a map, of sorts, but it didn’t indicate how long the walk was or how steep it would get. We walked, slowly, click click click all the time. Every now and then I consulted the map which had so little info I was unlikely to glean anything new but at some point I started wondering why we were not walking around towards a ‘view point’ as marked on the map. We began to suspect that some steep climbing might soon be required and this was not an option. After a snack, some swinging on monkey-ropes, and a discussion, we decided to play it safe and just go back the way we came.

Just as we arrived at the car it began to rain so our timing was perfect. We ended our adventure with a drink at the pub. Someone ran in and shouted something along the lines of “Oh my god you should see the sea, it’s gone crazy!” We downed our drinks and shot off to the beach, just a few metres away.

Indeed, the ocean had gone mad. What we had strolled along that morning, tranquil and empty, was now high tide and very violent. We stood for a while on the path as the waves came crashing right to where we stood. Caroline’s log had been washed away more than 50 metres down the beach, the rocks were invisible, and the mood was not so calm!

The bloke who had given me the forest map was also there and I told him about our walk. Apparently it becomes very steep and is quite long and we did the very best thing in turning back!

Back to the cottage where we braaied, layered on clothing, drank wine, had a few good laughs and went to bed very early – tired and pleasantly satisfied with ourselves.

Natures Valley pristine beach

The beach in the morning, that’s Heather.

Natures Valley strandlopers delight

The strandlopers were in 7th heaven here.

Walking in the forest

The forest.

hiking boots

My favourite type of selfie.

Snake branch

The snake branch. I’d love to say we thought it was a snake and ran away screaming but we’re much tougher than that.

Tree named

I like how they’ve used the tree for a handy label holder.

 

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Caroline’s log.

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The churning sea

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No wonder the end of this wooden path is rotting.

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And it rushes out again ..

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Leaving behind bits of treasure for us to pick up the next morning.

Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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