We rocked up at Wild Spirit in Nature’s Valley, a hostel on a large block of land looking out onto the mountains in the distance, providing us with beautiful views from the outdoor common areas and fire pit. There were houses near the deck area containing the dorm beds and we were led into a 10-bed room, lucky enough to score single beds and not bunks again. It felt quite like a camping area and I liked the feel of it, although there was a big hippie vibe about the place which we felt we didn’t fit in to.
We headed out for one of the walks surrounding the hostel, an hour round trip through the ‘magic forest’, going deep into the woods and testing our balance as the area got wetter and the rocks got more slippery. It got exciting when we saw a couple of monkeys in the trees who took a liking to us, pushing us to speed up our pace just in case they climbed down to check us out for food.
We headed back to make our own dinner again, this time upping our game, getting a little creative and making fajitas. Sitting in the main dining area with everyone else eating the hostel dinner we made a few friends at the table including the first Australian I’ve met since leaving Malawi. Having not experienced home sickness yet it didn’t excite me as much as I expected, bringing me a little part of home that I’m not sure I was too happy about, although emphasising my desire to stay away.
Sitting on the deck the next morning at 6:15am I enjoyed the sunrise. I had the hour to myself with the rest of the site still sleeping and I appreciated the alone time, especially with the view. The sky changed so rapidly, starting off as just a yellow outline of the mountains and moving into a pink, orange and blue canvas as it affected each cloud differently, looking as though someone had simply splashed the warm colours across the sky to create something stunning.
When the sun had risen I went and sat by the deceased fire to admire the mountainous view from a different standpoint and read my book, something I had only just started to have time for and grateful that I did. Having met up with Sophie from Wilderness again there were three of us now, packing up our stuff and heading to Storms River where some different activities awaited us instead of more hikes and lounging about with good views.