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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:02 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Vanderbijlpark
Well, I've only done the Otter once and had a very easy Bloukrans crossing, so I haven't experienced the disappointment of having to bail out, but to me the idea of building a bridge across goes against the spirit of the hike ?
It's like wanting Sanparks to level the trail and pave it !!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:09 am 
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Bloukrans crossing is very dangerous at the moment. Scrambling up the rocks on the side of the river is not safe as well with a heavy back pack. All I'm asking is for the Parks Board to make it safer for one to cross and enjoy the 4km walk on the other side of the river.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:43 pm 
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Location: Swaziland. The smallest country of the S. Hemisphere
Zelda I am sure the Parks Board are aware of this and something will be done - there is a tremendous amount of fixing of things that they are doing too.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:57 am 
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Hi Zelda,

Your enquiry has been sent on. I hope you receive response soon.


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 Post subject: Walking through rivers
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:42 pm
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I am leaving for the Otter Trail on Friday. Having never done this sort of thing before - can you recommend footwear for walking through the rivers? Is footwear required or can you walk through barefoot?
I don't have anything suitable, and am unlikely to ever use rubber sandals/booties again, so if not necessary, I would rather do without.

Many Thanks
Gabby


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 Post subject: Otter questions
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:04 pm
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Location: Secunda
:D Good day

We are doing the Otter in January 2009. We have the following questions.

1)The trail was booked for 12 persons. a total of 7 hikers have since withdrawn. What happens with our reservation? The 5 hikers that paid their deposit, are they going to lose it as they realy would like to hike the Otter.

2)Where can we obtain the correct information regarding the river crossings. Low tide at Bloukrans? etc...

3)If there is an emergency, what is the cellphone reception like?

Thank you very much for a forum like this.

Regards
Kosmos Hiking Club
Secunda

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Well get back to you with info as soon as I can. Please just be a little patient.

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 Post subject: Re: Otter questions
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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prinslft wrote:
:D Good day

We are doing the Otter in January 2009. We have the following questions.

1)The trail was booked for 12 persons. a total of 7 hikers have since withdrawn. What happens with our reservation? The 5 hikers that paid their deposit, are they going to lose it as they realy would like to hike the Otter.

2)Where can we obtain the correct information regarding the river crossings. Low tide at Bloukrans? etc...

3)If there is an emergency, what is the cellphone reception like?

Thank you very much for a forum like this.

Regards
Kosmos Hiking Club
Secunda



I don't know if anybody has perhaps sent you a private answer, but regarding your questions
1. The 5 of you can still go I think, but rather phone/e-mail the reservations people to make sure about your booking if the whole deposit wasn't paid !
2.You'll be supplied with a tide table at the starting point
3.You get cell reception only on parts where the trail goes far out on the rocks or high up onto cliffs. As far as I can remember only the first hut had reception, but along the route you'll be able to connect on more than one point on every day


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 Post subject: Queries invited
Unread postPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
Hi guys

I finished the Otter two days ago, and willing to comment or answer questions - so please feel free.

Kind Regards
Marike


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:15 pm 
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Two questions- Did you have good weather ? How was the Bloukrans crossing ? and I won't ask the third one - did you enjoy it ?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:31 pm 
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Welcome to the forums Marike!!

We'd love it if you'd write a trip report on the trail? :D

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 Post subject: Weather and general conditions
Unread postPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:39 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
Hi :D

We had such brilliant weather - maybe five drops of rain the first night, while already safely in camp. The rest of the time was brilliant - clear skies, temperate climate - only the last day was very sunny, and therefore warm, but not even so hot as to be difficult.

The Bloukrans? Hmm - myself and my partner were the agterosse on all the days - we justs didnt want to and couldnt keep up with the "runners" (our group included the age groups 24 to 50), but we made it to the Bloukrans 20 minutes after low tide, 4 days after full moon. And you know, they are absolutely right when they say you have to have time to prepare for the crossing - it takes time to change and get your packs ready. Were it not for the use of some flotation bags, we would have been screwed - black bags are really not good enough!! Take time to check for holes in the bag - our group had more than one incident of a brand new bag (out of its packaging) with holes in it.

Our easiest crossing in the group was 20 minutes before the published low tide for Knysna (closest info you can get), and they waded through waist deep. Our crossing was "easy" - nobody died :dance: . We went through at shoulder depth - but had to swim towards the end and fight the breakers a bit...

Did we enjoy it? Pain is always pain - it is a rough hike, and you need to know it. But it was awesome, amazing, fantastic, wonderful - and we will be doing it again!!

We will, though, as a group, put together an article - "What they don't tell you about The Otter" :) .

Regards
M


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 8:57 pm 
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Thanks M - looking forward to that article :dance:

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:32 pm
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Hi
I am hiking the Otter in a less than a month.
The Bloukrans low tide is 30 minutes after dark.
Should I:
Take the risk and plan to cross the river
or
Plan to take the escape route.
Also how tough is the escape?
Thanks


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 Post subject: whether to cross
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:06 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
Hi!!!

Ok, couple of things before giving you my opinion: Are you hiking at full or dark moon? Dark moon, you can give it a shot. Full moon, give it a skip.

If dark moon-ish, try to cross an hour before dark - but remember you still have a very tough 2 hours after dark to do (3 hours in total after crossing the river). You will be exhausted and cold so have enough easy to eat food and lots of warm, dry clothing to wear. The down-hill to Andre camp is not fun at all - make sure you have excellent headlamps, and ignore the sign that says to take your own firewood down - the is a lot of driftwood down there.

My opinion - rather take the escape route if you are not sure.... The crossing can be very tough. It IS horribly cold, probably the biggest danger. From what i hear you can take the escape out, and back in - maybe find out about this...?

Hope I answered the question - feel free to ask again!
Marike


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