Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Day 4 = 13.8km (± 6 hours) – Oakhurst huts – Bloukrans crossing – Andre huts
Crossing the Bloukrans River is the crux of the trip. It’s extremely important to arrive there before low tide.
At low tide in good weather, you might barely get your shorts wet. But people have drowned here. 😦
Low tide was 9:19am on our day. It takes 4-6 hours to get there.
Therefore, Rod and Jess left at 03am.
The Marques family at 05:30am.
It was 6:45am, in day light, as I walked away from camp.
A mad rush to get to the river crossing in time, I didn’t take many photos that morning. But had to stop for this picture.
We all managed our time well, arriving at the infamous Bloukrans river crossing right at low tide, 09:19am.
From above, I saw Scott checking route A, by far the BEST way to cross the river.
Conditions were perfect.
Low tide. Low river. No wind. 🙂
This family had crossed the Bloukrans the year before in far worse conditions.
They found it EASY this time.
Route A has you wade out via this sandy surge channel.
By contrast, the swim and exit via Route B (mid-tide) looked horrorshow.
You are supposed to haul yourself up out of the freezing Indian Ocean on one of two ropes.
This one gets you to the low traverse.
The other rope leads you to climb up the cliff, instead.
… I wouldn’t want to try either.
There are Routes C and D for very high water. 😦 … Don’t contemplate either.
Best wait up to 12 hours for the next low tide. Take Route A.
If you are too late in the day, be aware that there is a land route up and over the river known by Rangers. Telephone if you want information on that.
Once across the Bloukrans, you are much relieved. Guaranteed to finish the Otter. It’s easy from there.
Studying the near useless map given you at the start. And the look of the coast, … I gambled that it might be possible to stay low and make it to Andre huts along the coast.
After all, it was low tide. Very early morning.
Why not give it a try?
Sadly, the very last headland is impassable. I made it this far — then had to either backtrack. Or scramble up the cliff to regain the trail.
Some exposure. Not recommended.
Arriving at the Andre huts early, we had plenty of time to explore.
Over 5 days we saw no big marine life. But plenty of birds.
Check the standard facilities.
My last night. Luxury mattress.
This was the only local visitor to my tent over 5 days.
A female “buck“, I assume.
We celebrated our last evening with a bonfire.
Washed completely away by morning.
more of my photos from day 4