This is Wilderness on the Garden Route just about half-way between George and Knysna where we had the good fortune to be invited by our friends Karin and Michaela to stay with them in a cottage they had hired on the Touw River lagoon.

Wilderness. View from the paragliding launching site.
Opposite the launching site but looking inland: the Kaaimans River and the sweet water Silver River, reputed to be the clearest and cleanest in South Africa, meeting below in the middle. Both rivers appear to delineate an area referred to as "Map of Africa".

We explored Knysna and went on a ferry trip to the “Heads” where the sea pushes into the lagoon and many ships in earlier times, hoping for a safe place to anchor and load timber harvested from the dense indigenous forest wilderness had foundered.

The Heads.
Knysna lagoon.
Victoria Bay near George.
The Touw River.

Hiking up to the waterfall of the Touw River and Colleen launching into one of the pools below.

A patch of edible "waterblommetjies".
Hiking through indigenous forest on boardwalks, virtually at tree top level.

The Big Tree – an 800 year old giant that survived the continuous felling of trees to procure timber for ship and house building. Colleen is listening to its heart beat deep within its core – ever so slow, a beat every other hour.

One day we followed Colleen’s suggestion and explored the Dias Museum where a replica of one of Bartolomeu Dias’s ships is on display in which he and his men sailed around the tip of Africa in 1488 and set foot on land in what now is called Mossel Bay. The replica of one of these caravelles was built in Portugal and was actually sailed to where it is now housed in a museum.

A replica of one of the caravelles Bartolomeu Dias sailed round the tip of Africa which he called "Cape of Storms" - justifiably so because it was here, sailing from Brazil to the East, that he and his men lost their lives in a storm.
The "Post Tree", a milkwood tree - where messages were left and picked up by ships revictualing on their journeys to and from the East.
Statue of Bartolomeu Dias, 1451-1500 in Mossel Bay.
Of the slipper lobster family, found in this area.

Thank you, Michaela and Karin, for so generously inviting and sharing your time with us!

With love from
Colleen and Walter
Betty’s Bay, Monday 16 April 2012

One thought on “Wilderness”

  1. I love your blogs – lovely! Happy, happy birthday to Colleen and many more. Lots of love, Liz

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