Oysters and hiking in Knysna

Knysna is a beautiful little town set on a wonderfully scenic lagoon surrounded by forested mountains, and is known as the home of oysters.

Having moved into our room in town, we spent our first afternoon walking around the town, taking in the sights and sounds, and winding up with a glass of sparkly watching sunset over the lagoon. For the first time ever, my FitBit informed me I’d walked more than 20,000 steps that day [achievement!].

Our real plans were for the next day – we had looked up a hike in a nearby nature reserve, so we woke early, worked until early afternoon, then set off to the Goukamma Nature Reserve.

Strolling from the car park to the start of the trail, we were met with an obstacle – the estuary mouth. How were we supposed to cross it? we asked a nearby attendant. “Use the boat”, he said, pointing to a small rowing boat. Inching closer, we realised it was attached to a rope, which was attached to a pole on the far side of the +/- 40 metre river. We had to pull ourselves – and the boat – to the other side.

Falling onto dry land on the other side, we were out of breath without even having started the hike. Nevertheless, we set off up the steep sandy steps to the top of the hill.

From the top we were treated to gorgeous views of the estuary, the surrounding mountains, and the sea on the other side. We walked on, and the trail took us through fynbos covered hills, and through dense forests, before we emerged into the light high above the coast.  The view was so stunning all we could do was sit down and watch the blue waves lapping the beach down below.

Time was getting on, so we needed to keep going. The route took us back into the forest, then we found ourselves climbing higher and higher to the peak of the trail – we felt on top of the world, spying the tiny boat we had to reach to get back, far far below.

The rest of the 8kms flew by, and before long we were hauling ourselves back over the river on the small boat – barely making it to the other side, it was such hard work.

The day had run away with us, and it was already darkening. So we rushed back to our room to shower – VERY necessary -, and dashed out for dinner. We had spied a little fish restaurant on a backstreet when passing, which, despite being mid-week, was completely packed-out with locals. We knew this was the place for dinner.

We weren’t mistaken. That night we feasted on oysters, prawns, calamari and sole, and the whole banquet came in cheap as chips. The staff were brilliantly friendly and down to earth (which is lucky, seeing as we turned up in jeans and trainers), and stayed finishing our wine till we were one of the last three tables. The restaurant, it goes to add, was once again packed out. If you ask me nicely when you’re next in Knysna, I might even tell you which restaurant it is 🙂


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