What a lovely hike we all had although our sympathies were with Brigitte Broich who broke her wrist whilst ice skating two days before the start of the hike. Three people arrived from the UK specially to do the hike, namely Gaynor McTurk, Sue Emmett and Dave Emmett. The rest of the team was as follows: Yours truly Neil Ransome, Hanneke Stoathamer, Francois van Jaarsveld, Penny Allen, Bruce Rodrigues, Anni Marusich and daughter, Lorraine Handel and Richard Perrelli.
Situated in the Outeniqua Mountains between George and Plettenberg Bay, the trail offers options ranging from two to 11 days, a maximum of 106km for the longest option, and a choice of eight overnight huts. The key features are the famous Knysna forests, and the waterfalls and steams that cross through fern, protea and fynbos terrain along the mountain ridges. The scenery, particularly during full moon, is stunning.
The first night the 12th December those who drove down from Gauteng stayed at the Harkerville Hut which boasts electricity and hot water. The overseas hikers stayed in Knysna and had to be picked up next morning. Bennie Tours collected the group and we were transported to the start of the hike at Goudveld Hut (S33 55.726 E22 57.338). From there we had to walk 7.5km to Millwood Hut for the first night stop. Over the next four days we slept in the following huts: Rondebosse, Diepwalle, Fisantehoek, and then returned to Harkerville Hut.
Millwood to Rondebosse Hut was about 17km and quite hilly; Rondebosse to Diepwalle was about 13km; Diepwalle to Fisantehoek Hut was about 16 km with two river crossings on the route and Fisantehoek to our start point at Harkerville Hut was a relatively short 12km and easy going.
The weather was very good to us, with lots of sunshine and the hike was fantastic. Our days comprised hiking through forests, crossing steams, listening to Knysna Loeries, and wonderful social evenings. What more does one want when you hike on one of the top trails in the country?