South Africa’s Whale Trail

As I post this hike is still closed due to COVID.

The Whale Trail is an unforgettable experience, taking you through one of the Western Cape’s most unique and diverse nature reserves.

The route stretches over 55km, from Potberg to Koppie Alleen, with five overnight stops (hikers spend the first night at Potberg before starting the trail). The unspoilt natural beauty on this trail is unsurpassable, leading through lush fynbos and offering stunning views of the coast.

De Hoop is known as one of the best land-based whale-watching spots in the world. Between June and November, the coastline is transformed as southern right whales migrate here to breed and look after their young.

Reservations are limited to group bookings of either six or 12. (No children.) The tariff includes the shuttle service from Koppie Alleen, where the trail ends, back to the Potberg tourism office and the Whale Trail parking area.

CapeNature

If you have a group of 6 people and are interested, check a trip report on Hiking South Africa:

The Whale Trail

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on the Whale Trail race.

A funny John Muir Trail Book

I read Almost Somewhere by Suzanne Roberts in advance of our upcoming JMT hike.

Day One, and already she was lying in her journal.

It was 1993, Suzanne Roberts had just finished college, and when her friend suggested they hike California’s John Muir Trail, the adventure sounded like the perfect distraction from a difficult home life and thoughts about the future.

But she never imagined that the twenty-eight-day hike would change her life. Part memoir, part nature writing, part travelogue, Almost Somewhere is Roberts’s account of that hike. …

Amazon

Mountainsmith Zerk 40 Backpack

MAGGIE SLEPIAN: Best Backpacking Packs of 2020

Maggie’s article includes my own current favourite, the Hyperlite 3400.

NEW to me is the Mountainsmith Zerk 40, Editors’ Choice Award 2020 from Backpacker Magazine.

It’s quite different. More pockets. More features. Yet astonishingly still weighs only 1 pound, 9 ounces if you remove some of the extras.

Looks ideal for trail runners and fast packers.

I’m intrigued. Having carried a frameless pack for most of my life, I’d mostly use the Zerk frameless and without the hip belt.

It was designed in consultation with thru hiker The Hiking Viking, Tom Gathman.

I’m not a fan of the look, however. And it’s not waterproof.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Giant BANANA SLUG in my Tent

On finishing my first West Coast Trail hike 1999 I threw my backpack into the trunk. Drove directly to my parents home hours away.

Two days later I unpacked. Found 2 banana slugs inside.

I’m more careful now to keep pot, mug and cutlery clean and packed away at night.

My tent zipped.

Yet I still had a banana slug in my tent this year. 😐

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Dientes de Navarino, Chilean Patagonia

One of the #BestHikes in the world.

Suzie Dundas posted a terrific trip report for Outside magazine:

Dientes de Navarino is a trek of superlatives.

It starts from the southernmost town in the world—Puerto Williams, on the 55th parallel. …

Our upcoming trek would cover anywhere from 35 to 45 miles, depending on what route we chose and how accurately our trackers would monitor our steps through mud and snow.

First trekked in the late 1990s but only officially (and partially) marked in 2016, around 200 people attempted the trail annually before its blazing. Since then, the number has gone up to between 1,000 and 1,500 per year. …

A Trek to the Edge of the World

How to tackle Chilean Patagonia’s Dientes de Navarino, considered the most unpredictable trek in the world

related – our failed attempt at Dientes de Navarino