Wilderness 6-7 Dec 2013

Arrived at Wilderness after a great morning at Addo.  The two male lions at Ndlovu Lookout gave us the perfect sendoff after the perfect vacation. We’re tough customers and we like everything just so.  This trip went really well.  Wilderness has a wide range of accommodation from riverside campsites to log cabins and family-size chalets.  We stayed in a large log cabin close to the water’s edge and were very grateful to be checking in at 5pm.  Teamwork meant the man started the fire and the woman prepped the braai veg. And since Heather is vegetarian there was a lot of veg and a lot of foil. Shortly after 6pm we were hungrily stuffing down delicious hot food, hopefully without swallowing too much foil. Only the pork chops and lamb strips remained free of foil and was consumed by the last non-vegetarians standing. Quickly.

A glass of good wine and a hot shower later all participants were asleep almost before actually climbing into bed.

The adults regained consciousness to a cold and crisp Wilderness morning. A sleeping 4-year old meant some quality quiet-time for the big people to review photos, chat about the awesome Addo experience and sketch a loose plan for a garden route day.  The day started at Timberlake where Erica enjoyed her first zipline. Wasn’t too sure about the age rating but I figured she’s strong enough to hold on therefore strong enough to zipline.  I lost count of how many times Erica zipped, she absolutely loves it.  A great breakfast at the same little restaurant we visited at the start of our trip and then we were in search of the next fun spot.

We spent some time walking around on the beach and estuary at Sedgefield. One of the beauts.  Set off for lunch somewhere and that somewhere turned out to be a quick left opposite the turn for Buffalo Bay.  We found a little golfer’s mecca with boutique golf course and a lovely little restaurant called Fire and Earth inside the complex.  They have a great chef, friendly staff and unbelievably good prices. The menu at first glance is simple and contains what appears to be basic items available on any pub lunch or small restaurant menu anywhere in South Africa. BUT . . . when the food comes it has clearly been doctored by a master. A simple sandwich and pizza order looked like a work of art. Fresh ingredients, tasty food.  We will definitely return.

Got back to Wilderness and decided to go see the big tree. The hiking trail starts at the far side of the Ebb and Flow campsite just across the old railway bridge (converted for vehicle traffic). The map we had was misleading in scale and distance and we soon found that the full trip would take far too long for 4-year old legs. So we forgot the tree idea and instead had an awesome time in this beautiful Afro-Montane forest playground. Erica loved the pont ride when we pulled ourselves across at the crossing point. We re-crossed the river further upstream at the stepping-stones, trying hard not to wet our feet and failing miserably.  We were very amused by the canoeists battling against the strong wind in the river valley. Erica was a champ, walking further than we ever expected her to.  It was great fun in the forest and when we return we’ll make another attempt at the big tree and possibly a canoe ride and a picnic.

Wrapped up the day with an obscene amount of delicious, hot braai food washed down by Perdeberg Zebra Hills. Ahhhhhhh.  Quick blog and then early bed.