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Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

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Son godin
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Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:01 pm

In December we are usually heading for Kgalagadi or Kruger but this year decided to head south visiting three parks in the Eastern Cape.

The first decision was the order of the trip. First mountains or sea? Final decision was starting south at the sea and then working our way back home from Addo Elephant NP and lastly Mountain Zebra NP where we stayed over the Christmas week.

Choosing a route down south also ended up in a toss between PE or Knysna. In the end we decided or shall I rather say I decided to travel south along the N9 after Colesberg until Unionsdale and thereafter driving the Prince Alfred pass towards Knysna.

A quick stop late afternoon near Graaff-Reinet at a painted rock that looks like a tortoise (S32° 12' 18.0" E24° 33' 01.8"):

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Scenery after Willowmore towards Baviaanskloof:

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Our first over night stop was near Willowmore and the next morning we took the Prince Alfred pass first stopping at the old watermill in Unionsdale.

The old watermill in Uniondale was built some time between 1852 and 1854 by a James Stewart. This mill has an unusually large wheel, in fact the largest known in South Africa. The mill continued in operation until the 1950's where after it deteriorated until it was carefully restored and now serves as a restaurant and art gallery. The milling machinery is intact but the wheel is now static.

Waterwheel at Unionsdale (S33° 39' 21.3" E23° 08' 13.9")

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The trip down Prince Alfred's Pass was quite nerve wrecking with lots of windy bends and blind corners along the narrow road and at some spots just wide enough for one vehicle. Total distance is 88 km and definitely not enjoyable when towing an off-road caravan. The idea was to take lots of photos, but the road became very busy with tourist driving up from Knysna and we rather wanted to complete it before a nasty accident happens. Sorry no photos, but at least could get a photo of the water wheel and at Valley of the Ferns at Diepwalle. To enjoy this route it will be best to take a full day with all the walking trails and sighting seeing activities or even overnight at Diepwalle camping decks or tents.

Valley of Ferns Picnic area: (S33° 54' 50.2" E23° 08' 35.6")

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Garden Route National Park Storms River Mouth Rest camp: 11 - 15 December 2016

We arrived at Storms River Mouth rest camp at 2 pm and started setting up camp in very windy conditions at the western section of the camp site. The sites are very small with just enough space for the caravan to fit on and the rest to park the car. Luckily its always nice and cool near the sea and no heat like we experienced in KTP a year back. Only problem was not to take off with the tent becoming like large sails in the strong wind. Even the tent poles bended and we has to make a few changes.

After getting most in place we took a walk to the mouth. About a week before our arrival the restaurant burnt down at Stormsriver mouth, but it did not take to long to get a very nice temporary structure to eat out at right on the small beach at Skietklip. It was quite sad to see the ruins and must have been a shocking experience when the fire started trying to get to safe space and putting the fire out. Luckily it was only the building and no damage to the forest area.

Small beach near the harbour at Storms River Mouth.

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View from campsite:

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Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Sigmund
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Sigmund » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:11 pm

Very cool part of the country that 8)

I've always said since I walked the Outeniqua and Tsitsikama hiking trails in '83 and '86 respectively, that one day when I'm fedup with civilization,
those are the woods I'm gonna disappear into :D

Hasn't been there since 2008. Should make a plan.

Onboard 8)
2017 Golden Gate NP 22-23 Sep - Crocodile Bridge 24-25 Sep - Balule 26-28 Sep - Satara 29-30 Sep - Lower Sabie 1-6 October

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Karin Mitton
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:48 pm

I'm on board! Great photos to start!

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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by manicwalker » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:18 am

Also on board :)
Beautiful photos...
Love the Storms river mouth photo... :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:34 am

How lovely to see you back with another report. :D

Goodness, that does look like a giant tortoise. Quite amazing.

I am finding your report most interesting. It is good to hear your observations and I will watching this as out family is planning a possible Cape December holiday.

These really are quite amazing pictures. The sea looks awe inspiring. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:popcorn:
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isinkwe
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by isinkwe » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:04 am

Travel tales of places I have not been should be banned on the forum.
It really complicates my holiday planning , and this is just putting another spanner in the works Son Godin. :D :D :D :D
For now I will just ride along with you :D :D
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by lion queen » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:19 am

We loved Stormsrivier!! Your photos are supreme!!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Son godin
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:18 pm

Sigmund wrote:Very cool part of the country that 8)

I've always said since I walked the Outeniqua and Tsitsikama hiking trails in '83 and '86 respectively, that one day when I'm fedup with civilization,
those are the woods I'm gonna disappear into :D

Hasn't been there since 2008. Should make a plan.

Onboard 8)


Great to have you on board. Also did the Otter and Tsitsikamma trails in the late eighties but definitely not that fit anymore. At least I made it to the hang bridges. The last visit was when my son was still a toddler and had to go back and to show the Garden route to him before he is out of school. :thumbs_up:
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Son godin
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:32 pm

Karin Mitton wrote:I'm on board! Great photos to start!

Thanks for joining. The trip will take a while before joining up over Xmas in MZNP. :thumbs_up: :wink:
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Son godin
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:37 pm

Meandering Mouse wrote:How lovely to see you back with another report. :D

Goodness, that does look like a giant tortoise. Quite amazing.

I am finding your report most interesting. It is good to hear your observations and I will watching this as out family is planning a possible Cape December holiday.

These really are quite amazing pictures. The sea looks awe inspiring. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:popcorn:


Thanks for the lovely comments. Decembers are always so busy and difficult to get bookings even if you start planning early Jan. Hope you will have a lovely time on your trip to the Cape and fun with the planning. :thumbs_up:
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Son godin
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:40 pm

isinkwe wrote:Travel tales of places I have not been should be banned on the forum.
It really complicates my holiday planning , and this is just putting another spanner in the works Son Godin. :D :D :D :D
For now I will just ride along with you :D :D


I've also been going to the same old places every year and decided to change the normal routine Missed out on a few places along the Garden route, but when I can go out of the holiday season I will book at a few of the other Garden route and Cape parks to experience more of our lovely parks. :thumbs_up:
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Son godin
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:44 pm

lion queen wrote:We loved Stormsrivier!! Your photos are supreme!!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:


Thanks. Also one of my old favourite stops from childhood day to now. Just a bit far to travel and unfortunately not that fit anymore to enjoy all the activities. :wink: :thumbs_up:
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by hilda » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:29 am

Great start to your trip report Son godin! :dance: :dance:

That rock really looks like a huge Tortoise! Beautiful scenery pictures! :clap: :clap:

Beautiful view from your campsite! :clap: :clap:
"It always seems impossible until it is done." - Nelson Mandela.

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Son godin
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:51 pm

Thanks. It was so relaxing sitting at the campsite watching the tides come in and out. Wish it was a bit closer that we can go more often. The tortoise sighting was marked off on Track4Africa that I've entered on the GPS. At first I could not remember the point but luckily my son spotted it and hubby had to make a U-turn. The rock is nearly in view site of the entrance gate to Camdeboo NP. Still need to stop there so this is not my last trip to the Frontier parks. :dance: :dance: :dance: :wink:
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara

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Son godin
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Re: Stormy Seas to Windy Mountains - A Summer Trip to Eastern Cape Dec 2016

Unread post by Son godin » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:16 pm

:bmp:
Jan 2018: Next trip to KNP - Tamboti, Talamati, Maroela and Satara


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