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Whale Trail 25 - 30 August 2015

Twelve intrepid members of the Jobug Hiking Club gathered at Potberg the afternoon of Tuesday 25 August to begin the hike....our leader, Ron White, had taken care to arrive in the morning to see that all was in good order. The first challenge was a troop of rather aggressive baboons who had the disagreeable habit of sticking their large heads into open windows and, to steal Clive’s prize packet of kudu boerewors!.

All well organized, briefed and re-packed we set out on a misty morning for the long first day. We were treated to a large number of Cape vultures soaring thru the mist and views of the Breede river valley from the highest point of the hike. This portion of the trail had some of the best displays of fynbos flowers and the August/September period is surely the best for the flowers. And, the flowers bring out a whole series of sunbirds and sugar birds for those interested....the Orange Breasted Sunbird and the Western Olive Sunbird are the two endemic specials which were in evidence.

The second day was a continuation of the hike thru the back country of the Reserve and we were blessed with moderate temperatures and partly cloudy skies to speed us on our way. At the end of day two one reaches the coast at Noetsie for an overnight stay in a newly constructed hut to replace the one washed away in the floods keeping the stopover at Noetsie closed for some time.

Day three follows the coastline from the top of the coastal cliffs and views of any number of Southern Right Whales, many of whom were accompanied by newly born calves. This is surely the high point of the hike and we were fortunate to be on the hike during the prime whale viewing period.

Day four takes one down onto the beach for a chance to investigate the tidal pools and also for close up views of the pairs of African Black Oystercatchers feeding on the beds of mussels on the rocks.

Unfortunately day 5 was cold, windy and, heads down and a brisk 2 ½ hour walk to the end of the trail at Koppie Alleen and the shuttle back to our cars.

A highly recommended experience for all levels of hikers. And many thanks to Ron for his leadership.

Photos By: Clive Gullifer