Moving easterly from the wine district, our destination the following day was Mossel Bay, the starting point of the Garden Route. Driving through mountains and heavy fog, there was little view. On the flat lands beneath the mountains sheep and hay fields predominated with an occasional cattle farm.
By arriving in the late afternoon, darkness and fog obscured the beach the area is known for. The following morning an even heavier layer of fog blocked the view. In addition to beautiful beaches, the town is also known for cage shark diving, whale watching (June -Dec), and hiking in the surrounding mountains.
Historically, the Bay showed signs of modern human activity 165,000 years ago. The first European explorers (Portugese) to arrive here were captained by Bartolemeu Dias in 1488. An extensive museum complex located near the waterfront tells the story of the early explorers and also houses a replica of Dias' ship, the Caravel. Despite intermittent stops at the Bay through the years, fueled by the spice trade, the area was not settled until the 1700’s by the Dutch.
With heavy fog continuing to lay over the city at midday, we decided to move on to Knysna. Along the N-2 Hwy., there are various aspects of the Garden Route National Park which offer opportunities to hike and explore. Stopping at the Wilderness portion of the Park just east of the little community of Wilderness, we took advantage this.
|Crossing the Tuow|
The Half-Collared Kingfisher Trail, followed the western bank of the Tuow River. We crossed the river on a 3-person max, rope-pulled pontoon. Parts of the trail were moderately difficult, but most was covered with a well-maintained wooden boardwalk. With an early afternoon fog starting to roll in, we headed back to our vehicle. Birds and monkeys, which are frequently seen on the walk, were missing during our 2-hour hike, but it was a pleasant outing nonetheless and time to move on.
|Fog moving in|