27 June 2009

Kranshoek Forest

Date: 19 June 2009

Location: Kranshoek, Harkverville forest, near Plett

Walkers: Helen and Michele

**** Route plotted here ****

We set off from the Kranshoek picnic site, situated a little way inland, and followed the path signposted Kranshoek Coastal Walk.

The path circled round through the pine plantation, and then began to descend through the indigenous forest. Steep log steps all the way down.

Mid-way we got a view across to the opposite site of the valley. The trees mark the picnic site from where we started out. The light was hazy as coastal mist was moving up from the sea.

Here and there we got snippets of the view ahead, through the trees.

Mostly, though, our eyes were down as we negotiated the stairs downhill...

... until, at last, we reached the bottom.

We then followed the steam, crossing across the rocks several times. The forest was simply gorgeous, with the gurgling stream, gentle dappled light and sound of birds twittering away.

So incredibly peaceful!

Then, suddenly, were were out the forest, into some reeds, and onto the beach. As we walked out we disturbed a troop of baboons who were enjoying the sunshine on the rocks. I'm not sure who got the bigger fright! Fortunately they moved off quickly, though we could hear them barking and see them watching us from the cliffs for a while afterwards. I'm terrified of baboons, so didn't enjoy this encounter at all, although I was very grateful baboons in this area are shy and not nearly as cheeky and aggressive as their cousins in the Cape Peninsula.

I loved the beach... so wild and dramatic!

We sat on the rocks, ate our snack and watched the waves pound the rocks.

We walked on a little, following the path over rocks, until we came to a signboard. Instead of continuing along the coastal path we elected to head straight up. This shorter route went up the cliff, to the view site on top.

Into the forest we went again, the path zig-zagging steeply uphill. At every opportunity we turned round for views back to the coast.

We watched the shifts as we changed elevation.

At the top we headed out on the path back to the picnic spot.

There was quite a lot of familiar fynbos along this cliff-top track, with a few things in flower.

The mist had moved right up into the valley. There wasn't much water flowing over the waterfall at the top.

The beach where we'd sat earlier looked so far away!

After a rest at the picnic site we then strolled along the Forest Flora Trail, a kilometre-long circular route through the forest. There's a wide variety of trees here, and many are labelled or numbered. Info sheets are available at the start, so this is a great place to learn your trees, if that's your thing.

(Photos by Michele and Helen)

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