From the dark lands of The Whale Trail Adventure to…
This Whale Trail Adventure was my 5th whale trail and its beauty still takes my breath away!
Whale Trail Adventure
Whale Trail Adventure – there had been an extensive burn in the De Hoop Reserve in mid September and only as we walked out of the lush valley of the Potberg Hut and started our ascent of the Potberg mountain did we notice its effect. On this Whale Trail Adventure the landscape had a “Lord of the Rings” feel because of the fire. The burnt out protea bushes rattled in the breeze and the naked pathway was highlighted as far as the eye could see. My heart was a little heavy as I recalled the lush green and protea-rich slopes of a previous Whale Trail Adventure, but on closer examination the bareness opened to us a view of miniature fynbos flowers and succulents rarely seen. The variety of shrublets, perennial and annual herbs and flowers was spectacular. On the December Whale Trail Adventure we were treated to an excellent sighting of the Cape Vultures soaring in the Potberg thermals.
One of the highlights of the day on the Whale Trail Adventure was lunch break and cool-off at the Melkhout River crossing. We descended into a forested area leaving the ‘dark lands’ after a fairly strenuous 15km and then walked 800m from the original Cupidoskraal’s burnt-out shell to the overnight accommodation.
Cupidoskraal to Noetsie.
part of the Whale Trail Adventure is also a moderately strenuous hike along the crest of the Potberg with fantastic views of the Breede River and the valley. Once more the burnt seemingly barren slopes opened a window to interesting flower discoveries .
This dwarf woolly moss-like shrublet –Bryomorphe aretioides for example, is found on sandstone rocks and crevices above 1000 m in the area. Noetsie on the Whale Trail Adventure has been revamped and the huts are beautiful,the dining area has glass panels allowing for excellent views of the seashore.We cooled off in the sea, explored caves and chilled out after deciding to skip lunch on the trail in favour of getting to the sea. It’s certainly the best overnight hut on the trail and one always wishes one had another day there.
Noetsie to Hamerkop
The Whale Trail Adventure walk from Noetsie to Hamerkop is mostly along the cliff, a moderate 10 km with so many magic inter tidal pools to explore. Its definitely one of my most favourite stretches. We stopped off for lunch & snorkeling at Stilgat which has a couple of caves to explore as well. The last stretch of the Whale Trail Adventure from Noetsie is along a pristine white beach which is quite a work-out and we were happy to reach the Hamerkop hut. I was particularly happy after hobbling the entire day. I had broken a cardinal hiking rule and sprained my ankle hopping around on rocks without my boots. Stupido !!!! Bridget & I had trained as nurses together at the Johannesburg Hospital in the early eighties and had only just reconnected after 30 yrs. Such a special time catching up and it felt as though we just picked up our friendship where we left off.
Highlight of the evening was a visit from a genet to our braai area.
Hamerkop to Vaalkrans
is the second last day of the Whale Trail Adventure a distance 10.5 km of beach and coastal pathways, another stunning part of the whale trail.We spotted a lot of oyster catchers & the beach ‘rock art’ is beautiful. The beaches are white with so many fascinating rock pools to investigate and little coves to explore. The Whale Trail Adventure is an adventure, a scenic feast and a delight to the soul. The stone house Vaalkrans is built on the cavernous clifftop and the view is stunning.
Whale Trail Dates
Whale Trail Price. R10 500.00 includes 3 meals, 1 X cold beverage at the end of each day and one glass of wine. Professionally guided by FGASA qualified field, marine and Cape tourism guides with the experience of 15 Whale Trails. At R1750 per person per day – including accommodation, fully catered and guided, its a steal.