Exploring (the) Wilderness

I arrived in Wilderness on Monday afternoon, officially 8 weeks into my trip. Somehow that time has flown by, but I guess I’ve really only been backpacking for the past two weeks given my work commitments beforehand. Treating myself to 2 minute noodles for dinner and a movie I actually relished in the bad weather, taking the time to actually chill out and do nothing for once. I knew I would be doing more the next day when Emily would arrive having stayed in Mossel Bay one more night than me.

On Tuesday the sun came back out and showed me the beautiful hostel I was staying in. The rain had hidden its charm and I was pleasantly surprised to wake up and eat my breakfast with a stunning view outside the house of dorm rooms and walk down to the common areas which had been placed in the middle of, well, the wilderness. Aptly named Fairy Knowe I wandered around its grounds, providing me with wifi only in the common areas but giving me some respite from waking up to messages each morning, something I try not to get caught up in while traveling but inevitably do. The place felt like a secret, hidden away from the busyness of the town and giving everyone who stayed a nice break from reality.

When Emily arrived we decided to walk into town to have an explore with our other room mate, stopping for lunch along the way. The town didn’t have much to offer, acting as a small holiday destination for anyone to retreat to for the weekend or people like us passing through along the garden route. Nonetheless it was enough for us and we loved it, spending the afternoon at the beach getting my pasty white legs out for the first time in weeks and watching the water, too windy to brave the cold of it.

Picking up yet another friend from our dorm we drove up to the Map of Africa viewpoint, putting us above the bush area surrounding the river streaming down the middle. Stopping to watch a paraglider take off over the beach I vowed not to commit myself to that or any other adrenaline based activities, panicking enough for my liking from the safety of the ground.

Making more of an effort to socialise that night than the night before, we took our home cooked meals down to the bar area and had a chat with those around us, enjoying a few games of pool and darts, feeling as though I was back in an Australian bar only with more mosquitoes and more accents.

Waking up on Wednesday we got ready and jumped into some kayaks for the day, taking an hour up the river until we arrived at the trail for the waterfall. The girls went for a swim while I soaked up some more sun, preparing myself for the walk and kayak back, already feeling quite exhausted. Sharing a kayak we had to synchronise our rowing which we mastered only halfway through, moving in more of a zigzag pattern up until that point and wasting more of what little energy remained in us. Laughing through our mistakes we made the best of the situation, only feeling the affects later when none of us could make coherent conversation and falling asleep before 10.

Packing our bags yet again it was our time to leave on Thursday, spending the morning at the hostel before driving off after our lunch of leftovers.

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