The journey along the east coast of South Africa continues….all in aid of Marine Debris awareness and just because I love hiking and want to see how far up the coast I can go!
To continue the jourent, I have to reach the spot where I ended on the last hike. So, off to Sedgefield I drove with my Toyota Hikux. About 2 km from Sedgefield the Hilux overheated and the head gasket blew! I had Kosie Gericke from Mossel Bay with me, and he quickly called a tow-in and his uncle from Sedgefield to help.
I was not put down by this mishap and after arranging a mechanic etc, we were dropped off at the fisherman’s parking area near Gericke’s Point, Sedgefield to begin our hike.
By now it was 12 noon, so we had to move!. Kosie put up a pace of 5.5km per hour which dropped to 5km after 4 hours of walking. About 9km in from Sedgefield, the same scenery on the beach met us: micro plastics for about 20 km. As we neared Knysna, the first signs of the recent fire became visible. Vegetation on the coast burnt. We arrived at Brenton on Sea at 5pm and climbed up the staircase to the top, exhausted. Our feet were hot – the first sign of blisters developing. We decided to get a taxi to Jembo’s Backpackers in Knysna to rest because we knew: Tomorrow was going to be very tough!
Saturday morning: 7h30am we rushed down some hard boiled eggs and toast with coffee and started the hike towards the Knysna Heads- some 7.2km along the laggoon. On the way we had a quick talk with members of the Knysna Park run about 16 September: International Coastal Cleanup Day and what we were hiking for.
The images herewith tell a gruesome story of the damage done by the fires. All along the cliffs for about 11.55 km – to Knoetzie – the sight of burnt houses (Millions of Rands worth of damage) and forest burnt to a cinder. At some places we had to clamber over and through burnt branches and trees to get ahead, no pathways, just a burnt wasteland. We reached Knoetzie at 3h30 in the afternoon. Putting on double socks, our feet were fine!