Lien's Volunteer Journey Part 5

One of my favorite things to do in South Africa, is hiking. The country is so beautiful with its nature and mountains and the weather is perfect, so nothing better than going on a good hike. I’ve done quite a few so far, but there are three that got a special place in my heart, because I liked them so much! 

The first one was the Groendal Hike, in Groendal Wilderness Area. It was one of the daytrips organized by Khaya for the volunteers and it did not disappoint. The hike was very nice, starting on a very wide path and ending it the forest, which at times looked like a proper jungle. You walk next to a stream most of the time and have to cross it every now and then, which is, at times, a bit tricky. 

The day ended up being so nice! Everyone was in good spirit and ready for a day of hiking. We talked, laughed and had lots of fun. It is always good to do these things with the people from the house, because even though we all get along pretty well in general, these trips bring us together even more. 

Samantha, our volunteer coordinator made sure there was lunch and so we enjoyed some buns and juices by the stream, taking a very long break after a long walk. Afterwards, some of us decided to walk a bit further before returning to the lunch spot from where the whole group started walking back to the car.

 

GROENDAL HIKE 1

 

A short time after we had the Friday off, and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to go on a weekend with a few of the volunteers. Plettenberg Bay became our destination of choice. 

We left on Friday morning, but decided to make a short stop by the Lady Slipper, a mountain a little outside of Port Elizabeth. There’s not really any other mountains around there, so on top you got the most amazing views. 

We started our hike and walked up pretty fast. On top, we took our time to enjoy the views, take about a million of pictures and eat our bread rolls as lunch. After having rested for quite a while, we decided to go down again and continue the road to Plettenberg.

The hike was so pretty, also very hard because it is steep a rocky, but very pretty! The views you get on top are incredible and it is very rewarding to finally be there. 

LADY SLIPPER 1

 

That same weekend, we also went to Robberg Nature Reserve, a nature Reserve on the peninsula of Plettenberg Bay.  We did a walk to the point of the peninsula and walked back another way. Again, the views were amazing.  I cannot repeat this enough: the views in South Africa are some of the best I have seen in my life, and they should be a reason to come here.

Well anyway, we walked for quite a while over a small path next to the cliffs until our path disappeared and we had to crawl over some rocks. It was actually crazy, and I did not expect that at all, but it was so cool to do. All of us felt like children all over again, jumping from rock to rock. Once at the point of the peninsula, we had a longer break, sipped from our water, ate some snacks and enjoyed seeing the seals jump up in the water. (‘Rob’ means ‘seal’ in English, and ‘berg’ means ‘mountain’, so basically the peninsula is called ‘seal mountain’ which makes sense considering the amount of seals we saw).

The walk then went further to a very long beach which was absolute heaven. If the weather would have been a bit warmer, I would 100% have jumped into the water and just laid on the beach for a while. 

Then after that it was only a short walk up, that was absolutely a killer, because we were all quite tired, but at least it brought us back to the cars where we could rest for a while.

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