Circles in a Forest Trail
After weeks of seascape Friedel decided that today he needed a change of scenery! We packed a picnic lunch and headed off in the direction of Rheenendal. Our aim: to find elephants. Well, not really, although whenever we head into forest area I secretly wish that we would see a Knysna elephant!
The drive took us along the Rheenendal road, past Totties Restaurant to the SanParks entrance kiosk at the Millwood Forest/Goudveld area. Entrance/permit fee is R17.00 per person which is well worth it. Here the road becomes gravel but it is well maintained and even in a “city car” it is a comfortable drive. In fact the road had been graded yesterday so we were lucky. I guess in the rainy season it is advisable to drive in a 4x4 as it can get slippery up there!
We parked the car at Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site. Here is a memorial stone for Dalene Matthee, the South African author who wrote many beautiful stories about the Knysna forest and the interesting woodcutter people who in times gone by inhabited the forest. It was in this area of the forest that she came to gain inspiration and restore her soul when she was busy writing. This is also where the Circles in a Forest Trail starts. There are two options: a 3.1 kilometre and an 8 kilometre trail. We chose the shorter one. The well kept path meanders through the lush forest. Today was quite windy but fairly sheltered in the forest. From time to time one hears the creaking and singing of the tree trunks as they rub together high up in the forest canopy. We saw and heard lots of birds – witoogies, mouse birds, the Knysna Loerie of course, and others that we weren’t able to identify. We didn’t see any animals although we did see diggings and spoor of some sort of bush buck. We crossed a couple of dry streams and one that was trickling with water. I guess in winter there will be the added sound of running streams which adds to the atmosphere of the forest! Next time we will do the 8 kilometre trail!
Five minutes after we arrived home early this afternoon it started raining. Just what Knysna needs to keep all the forest and mountain rivers flowing – and hopefully it will wash the dust off our car!