We like to use the quieter winter weeks constructively, to educate ourselves on Knysna and its surrounds! Today’s educational was to walk the trail to the Drupkelders mountain pools!
This relatively short (3,4 kilometre) but in parts strenuous trail, starts close to the Goudveld SANParks kiosk along the Bibbies Hoek road. The trail takes you down, down, down to a dark river running through the mountain gorge! We saw Knysna Loeries, woodpeckers, tracks of a porcupine, tall trees and beautiful mushrooms along the way. From halfway down you will suddenly hear the sound of the river somewhere in the forest. And then before you know it you have reached the bottom of the gorge and are surrounded by dark flowing pools of water. The water is a dark colour due to the tannins and humic acids from the leaves on the forest floor but it is pure and cool and very drinkable! At any time of the year only 12 permits are issued per day for entry to Drupkelders. I guess any more people than that and it would feel too commercial! We were lucky today in that we were the only ones down at the pools and I must say that I would not have liked it any other way. The only downside to walking the trail in winter is that the pool and river water is obviously very, very cold and even though when you reach the pools you have built up quite a sweat, within a few minutes of sitting quietly and taking in the beauty of the surroundings, you cool down quite quickly again! We took brunch of “jausen” in our backpack. “Jausen” is traditional Austrian fare consisting of a variety of meat specialities such as spek (cured,smoked pork cuts), salami, cheese (all home-made by Austrian farmers) and rye bread. The walk back to the starting point proved more strenous as one clambers back up the gorge! But so well worth it.
Permits cost R24 per person (for South Africans) and remember to book in advance in high seasons as only 12 permits are issued per day.