Risks: Inclines and declines
Highlights: Skilderkrans Koppie (rock), Bloubaai Beach, and swim at hut
River Crossing: Kleinbos River at 3.8km – easy crossing
7.9 km excluding exploring and swimming
Get a good breakfast and an early start. It's a long day ahead.
This is probably one of the more difficult days especially due to the steep up’s and down’s. We soon figured: “What goes down must go back up”. Do not be afraid to use your hiking poles and some energy bars (in moderation). Also keep yourself hydrated and do not over exert yourself earlier in the hike. The hike progresses beautifully but takes a toll on the knees and back.
The day starts with a steep uphill and soon you get to Skilderkrans Koppie (1.5km mark) which is a beautiful rock veering off path on the side of a cliff with unusually beautiful views. Place your bags down (ensure they closed and tied down) and climb up to the rock. There are 360 degree views of unspoiled beaches and graceful mountains from this rock.
After this it's back to the forest path with many ups and downs. Take as many short breaks as you need- this is not a race. We spotted a good few Knysna Loerie on this day. Hear the calling and look for them.
After the Kleinbos River - where you can stock up on some water, there are many side paths to the left which apparently veer towards Bloubaai Beach. Many of these paths have wood or other objects unofficially placed to keep hikers on the official Otter path. We were determined and prepared to explore this beach and have lunch here. All our information recommended that a side path just around the 5km mark leads to Bloubaai Beach. We tried a few side routes which ended in dead ends. Apparently this exit route is just around the 5km mark before the steep climbing begins. We tried in vain to find this beach, but succumbed to our tiredness and began climbing the steepest and highest climb of the entire hike. We had lunch somewhere on this "never ending spiral staircase".
After peaking, there is a wooden lookout point. At this point all we could do is drool at Bloubaai Beach, too exhausted to climb back down. We convinced ourselves that the Bloubaai Beach route was a myth, and getting there was impossible. Few other hikers concurred with our view after the hike, but there are other accounts of people who supposedly found it - good luck!
|Bloubaai Beach "From the top"|
There is a steep climb back down to the hut, where you can enjoy some snorkeling in the tidal pool in front of the hut. Although tired, the cool waters were encouragingly refreshing. The huts have a refreshing outdoor shower.
|Beach at Scott Hut|