The Otter Trail is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s my account and tips of the five days we hiked from Storms River to Nature’s Valley.
After the easiest of hikes on Day 1, we woke up to tackle Day 2.
All the books/blogs that we read before going, and all the people we spoke to who had done it before, said that day two was the toughest day and full of hills. So, as if there wasn’t enough anxiousness in the air, anger was thrown into the air too. Walking from our hut to the other hut that our mates were in, we were greeted with a “Morning, *****”. We assumed the 2.5-3kgs rock we put in our mates rucksack was found. Tension….
We had 7.8kms ahead for us with a climb of 746m in total. It may not seem a load, but damn…. THOSE HILLS!
The hills were relentless and if there was ever a day that you were going to take the escape route and sack it in, this would be the day. Every time you got to the top of a hill, you looked around the bend and there was ANOTHER hill.
The up side to hills is most definitely the views you get. Whenever there’s a gap in the tree’s, you’re blown away with a staggering view.
Every few kilometres, there’s viewing points that have been built. These are obviously a great photo opportunity or a place to grab a bite to eat.
Another thing about day two, is that if you’re going to have arguments in the group – this will probably be the day they will happen. You’re exhausted, your legs are aching and your rucksack is still quite heavy throughout the day. Surprisingly, we didn’t have any apart from the rock in rucksack incident.
Around lunchtime we reached a beautiful river crossing, so crossed it while it was still low-tide and sat on the river-bank and ate our tuna, crackers, 2 minute noodles, biltong or nuts.
After the most gruelling 7kms, you get to your next rest camp, named Scott, and it’s SENSATIONAL. You have a real sense of euphoria knowing that the toughest day is over and you’ve really earned your whiskey or wine.
Once again, having a chef helped. After a brutal hike, you didn’t want 2 Minute Noodles for dinner, and we didn’t. We had a perfectly cooked fillet steak, rice, mushrooms, olive and creamed spinach. Mouth-watering just doesn’t do it any justice.
The hardest day was over, we drank merrily in the evening, ate well and slept like absolute babies.
Day three awaits…