Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Garden Route Holiday (part 1): Wilderness

At the end of January, Paul, Piper and I took our first real South African holiday, just the three of us. We spent nine days exploring the south-eastern coast of South Africa, known as the Garden Route. Our first stop was Wilderness National Park. We stayed in a lovely little B&B called Moontide in the tiny town of Wilderness. Overlooking a lagoon and just a 5 minute walk to the beach, it was a fantastic place to stay.  

 We walked to the beach the first evening to watch the sunset. 

Breakfasts were served on the patio overlooking the lagoon. 

We spent two and a half days in Wilderness. In the mornings we would drive into the park (about 10 minutes away) and hike and bird watch.

The first morning we did the Great Kingfisher trail, a 7km hike up to a waterfall. We did see a good number of forest birds on our hike (that will be another post). At one point on the trail we had to cross the river on a pull pontoon. That was pretty exciting for Piper!

 At the top with the waterfalls

 Pretending to be Tarzan

In the afternoon, after Piper's nap, we went canoeing up the lagoon. It was Piper's first canoe trip and I think she had a fun time. She really wanted to paddle, but the paddles were too big, so instead we distracted her with dragging a rope in the water and pretending to fish. 

The second morning we visited a part of the park with an 800 year old Yellowood Tree. There was a nice 3km loop through the forest that we hiked. Piper did a lot of her own hiking that day!

 She has a cranky face, but she was having a good time!

Overlooking Wilderness 

The second afternoon we walked down to the beach to build some sand castles! It was a great beach, the waves were too big to swim, but the sand was soft and very good for digging.

After playing in the sand for quite a while, we moved to the Lagoon side of the beach to play in the warm, calm water.

Piper had a great time swimming around in the shallow water. Paul and Piper decided to swim back to the B&B in the lagoon, while I walked back with the cameras. When I met up with them a few minutes later near the B&B, Piper had a big story to tell. She was walking in the lagoon with Daddy and "stepped in the deep! and cried!". Turns out they were walking in the shallow water and there was a dip about a foot deeper and Piper stepped right into it and the water was up to her eyes. Paul snatched her up quickly, but Piper was done walking after that. We used that as a teaching moment about not going into water by herself!

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