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Postberg 2013

This hike from a weather point of view had it all. Sun and torrential rain! But what a nice hike. We hiked in separate groups as one of our scouts was doing his FIrst Class hike. The start point is at the entrance gate to Postberg itself and you start off across the flat plain, leading towards the large hill on the left. The path actually diverges to cross the plain here and if you are not alive to the markers, it is easy to miss them and go off track. We passed some buck while tracking across the plain and then there is short sharp ascent. From the top you get a fantastic view towards the sea and a few minutes brings you past some ruins and then you have fantastic view of the Lagoon. The path gets a little indistinct at this point and there is a certain amount of just heading in a direction. Where you are really going it downhill to behind the houses cuddled up against the side of the hill, where you will meet a road.

The trail follows this road for a long way and this is maybe the most boring part of the hike, postberg038despite the scenery being wonderful. The lagoon is just below you and in summer a swim would be inviting. Since Postberg is only open in spring, a swim is not likely unless you are a polar bear. After an hour or two the road swings inland and starts to climb up. On the peninsula can clearly be seen the old whaling station, now a military base. Quite why the military need a base that is in one of the most beautiful locations in SA is beyond understanding. The road climbs towards the top of the hill and we could see a ship coming into Saldhana Bay, quite a sight.

Near the top the path leaves the road and slides right, through dense vegetation and heading towards an old boundary fence. Once through this the path descends the side of the hill and heads towards the fence which separates the military base from the reserve. You have view over the plain towards the stop for the night although it is still quite a distance to go. The path crosses a road and heads across a wide plain with bushes and grasslands. We saw quite a few buck here but they were clear that humans were dubious beings to be avoided! Eventually you reach the overnight campsite in the corner of Plankiesbaai where we set up tents and were joined by Nick and Bruna who had come down the road after arriving later. A campfire, supper and a game of werewolves put everyone in the mood for sleep.

The weather in the morning looked ominous with a strong wind and heavy clouds. We packed up and headed off down the road. After rounding headlands (with some awesome waves crashing onto the rocks) postberg060we followed the path up a gentle slope and down the other side into a valley with some houses on the right. Following the path we eventually arrived back at the beach, went through a gate in a fence and walked along the beach, littered with seal corpses from the nearby island. After an hour or two of beach walking we reached the point at which we should turn inland and head back along the trail to the cars. A few of us however made the decision to go and have a closer look at the wreck lying fairly close by. Interesting as it was, by the time we got back to our packs, the rain had started, driven by some serious wind.

So we shouldered packs and headed for the cars, hoping to get there before getting really wet. The path picks up an old sandy road which runs parallel to the beach. Sadly, the weather gods decided that since Nick, Bruna and I were there it should rain on us as it did on the Highlands Trail. The end result was not quite as bad (water was not quite pouring out of my boots) but there were some seriously wet hikers at the end. Of course it stopped raining when we reached the cars! A quick change (more or less, anyway) and a long drive back to CT with another hike done and some great memories. We’ll be back!

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