day 3 – Otter Trail, South Africa

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | info page

Day 3 = 7.7km (± 4 hours) – Scott huts – Lottering crossing – Oakhurst huts

Crossing the Lottering River at low tide, or close to low tide, decides your day. Time of departure from camp depends on the time of low tide. It’s almost at the end of your hiking day.

Here’s where you need the tide tables handed out at Storms River reception.

Since low tide was 8:46am this day, everyone was up and departed early.

family departing

Aside from me, that was. I took time for 2 more cups of coffee.

coffee

The weather was gorgeous. No wind.

I was further delayed, enjoying the beach, at the easy Elandsbos River crossing.

Rick at Eladsbos River

There are at least 2 ways up the other side. An old eroded scramble. And a newer, safer route more upriver.

What a gorgeous day. My favourite of the 5.

beach rocks

balancing stone

I was much late for low tide by the time I got to Lottering.

Oakhurst

That’s Oakhurst, my destination, just the other side of the river.

If you are going to miss the tide, at least arrive when the tide is going out. … Not coming in, as it was when I got there.

Lottering

Happily, I made it across only just barely getting my shorts wet. 🙂

Rod and Jess were late, too. But super organized.

water crossing

They had individual dry bags for each pack. And a second gigantic (red) dry bag that swallowed both packs.

red dry bag

dry bags

Those are the individual bags airing out after the crossing.

My own system was simpler. Every item in my pack was in waterproof or water resistant bags.

Don’t underestimate the Lottering. You could drown crossing this river in bad weather. The current is stronger than it looks.

The waves bigger at Oakhurst camp than anywhere else on the Otter.

waves

In 2012 wardens offered to hike in meat and drinks for your last night. A menu with prices and a telephone was available in Day 3’s hut. A small service fee was charged.

By 2013 that service had been cancelled. We heard there was some abuse of the customers. Not all the beer ordered was making it to the last huts.

I had another very early night. No beer.

early night

more of my photos from day 3

on to day 4

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