The Palmiet (= bulrushes) Trail follows the eponymous river through the reserve, and it is a stunning trail.
Wide open spaces
Wide open spaces soothe the soul after the work week, and the walking is very easy – the height gain is probably less than 10m over the +/- 7km length (one way) of the hiking trail. The babbling river is never more than a few metres away.
It’s a photographer’s dream
At every step you want to take a photo – whether it be of the wide valley, the crags, the winding river or the fynbos putting on its colourful display. The whole valley is beautifully green despite being the height of summer (the dry season in the Western Cape, therefore also fire season). We keep an eye on a brush fire which seems to have started down in the valley but it doesn’t head our way.
Here are some of my favourite scenery shots:
Mad dogs and Englishmen
Although the morning had started out a bit overcast, it warms up quickly and towards the end of the river-trail we are sweltering in the heat and humidity. After about 7km the trail joins the wider mountain bike trail which one can follow to Stokoe Bridge, another 8km away. After a brief lunch break and a successful geocache find we decide to follow the Stokoe trail. However, maybe because of the heat and humidity which is by now quite serious, the scenery is not quite what it was next to the river and we decide to turn back after about 2km. Still pretty though:
Take me to the beach
Soon we are back on the trail next to the river, heading back to the start. One of the best things about this trail is the 3 beautiful swimming spots which we passed on our way in, but were definitely not going to miss now that we are heading out. Being forward thinking types we’ve been wearing our cozzies under our clothes in anticipation. The first pool we reach is called “The Beach” due to its strange white sandy shore. Unfortunately for us this pool is already occupied by a bunch of students so we trudge on, by now very dusty and sweaty (although I don’t sweat – I ‘glisten’). Not too long and we arrive at an unoccupied pool, complete with a small waterfall at one end. Totally scenic. The fresh water in the Western Cape has been described as being the colour of cola and it tastes like cold tea. But it’s refreshingly cool and very picturesque. Pure bliss!
That’s it for now
All too soon we are back at the trusty steed and on our way back to Cape Town. So long Kogelberg – we will be back soon to explore this gem further.