When I woke up after the hike I was afraid to move. I didn't want to know how sore I was from the previous days long adventure. I wiggled my toes and they were fine and then I slowly peeled myself out of my many layers and to my astonishment I wasn't all that sore. I could certainly feel the hike had taken its toll on my body but it actually wasn't all that bad.
We broke camp and made our way to Mkombati. So, we were driven driven driven driven driven driven driven and dodging dogs, goats, cows, horses and people on the roads through the tanski (a notoriously dangerous part of South Africa). We eventually hit dirt road and had to avoid speed bumps as well. We took some pictures along the way and Jacobus and I hung out the widows to try and get some sunset shots. The little rondovals scattered along the hillsides where stunning against the sunset. We reached Mkombati and the made our way to our chalets. They were really nice but it was strange to be in a house with electricity and walls. The look on Daves face was classic when he saw the kitchen with a proper stove and counter space, he thought he was in chefs heaven and ran around the house screaming, "it's a real kitchen!!!" After every room in the house had been explored, and everyone claimed their respective beds Dave and Julian got busy in the kitchen making dinner. We all started looking at pictures on the computer and reminiscing. We were all becoming a bit nostalgic. We had a fantastic dinner that evening though it was a bit strange to all sit around the table. It seemed so formal and I think we all missed the campfire and of course, the impala club. We slowly drifted to bed after dinner to get some rest before exploring Mkombati in the morning.
It was a beautiful morning in Mkombati and we only had one day in this amazing reserve so we had to make the most of it. The Moglie crew was already out and about so Charlie, Sarah and I jumped in the jeep to go exploring. We ended up driving down a dirt road full of potholes and water and Charlie did his best to navigate his way through it. We eventually made it to the beach and what a beautiful beach it was!! The sand felt amazing under my feet and the smell of the sea air was so refreshing!! I took several pictures and explored around the rocks and looked for shells. Then we walked around the beach and found the Moglie crew. There was a huge sand dune and they were all at the top enjoying the view. I made my way up the dune and got some great shots of the guys running and doing flips down the dunes. We then all made a beeline for the water and went for a nice swim and did a bit of body surfing and snorkelling.
We eventually had to head back to the house as the Moglie crew was going to be leaving at noon. We had a nice lunch with everyone and then Julian, Craig, Mike and Dave said their goodbyes and headed on their way to Port Elizabeth before heading to Wilderness. We opted to stay at Mkombati another night so we could enjoy the rest of the day at the reserve and then make the entire drive to Wilderness in one day. I couldn't help but be a bit sad to see them go as I reluctantly watched them drive away.
Jacobus, Charlie, Sarah and I jumped back in the car and headed off for another adventure in the reserve and headed down that bumpy road once again. This time heading towards the water falls. We made it to horseshoe falls and I jumped out of the car and ran over to the edge of the cliff where the water fell into a huge horseshoe shaped lagoon. It felt as if I had just walked onto the set of a movie, it was just breathtaking. Jacobus and I attempted to climb down but didn't get too far as the sides of the rocks were rather slippery and we decided to drive on instead. We drove to the next inlet and found there were two more sets of waterfalls the second of which flowed right into the ocean. Sarah decided she would sit in the sun while Charlie Jacobus and myself hiked back to the previous set of waterfalls. The rocks, water, birds and sunshine made for an amazing setting. We reached a point where there was no more path and had to jump in the water and swim up river to reach the falls. We felt the water before jumping in and it was freezing!! We all sort of looked at each other in contemplation and I just decided to go for it and made the plunge without thinking much about it and when I was about half way up the lagoon I realized I was wearing my watch. I quickly turned around and swam back to shore with one arm in the air and put my watch on the shore hoping it would be ok. The water was absolutely freezing and it was getting hard to breath at this point. I swam quickly up the river to the falls and scrambled onto a rock in the sunshine. The boys came swimming up behind me and we were in our element!!! We were astonished by the beauty of this place and swam around a bit and jumped off some rocks. It is a pity I couldn't take any pictures, I suppose some moments will just have to be stored in my memory! We swam back down river and met up with Sarah. I climbed around the next set of falls a bit and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. At this point I really did feel as if I was watching myself live in a dream...it was completely unreal!
After an amazing day of exploration we headed back to the house for sundowners and to make dinner. When we arrived back to the house we found that monkeys had ransacked the house. They had eaten most of our food and made a complete mess of the house. I couldn't help but laugh as I began to clean up the mess they had made. Jacobus jumped in the jeep to go to the store to get food for dinner and I enjoyed a cup of tea as the sun went down. It had been about 40 minutes and we were beginning to wonder were Jacobus was when he showed up his eyes were huge with worry. Turns out he was driving too fast around a corner and managed to do a 180 in the car and popped both of the tires on the left side of the car off their rims. He was obviously upset but it took everything I had not to strangle him. Though it certainly could have been worse. So, the boys went off to see what they could do to try to fix the car while we stayed back at the house trying to figure out what our options were. We were planning on getting up with the sun and had a full day of driving ahead of us. The boys found someone to help them fix the car and everything got sorted, but it was a long night. When they finally made it back to the hose we sat down to what was probably the most revolting dinner of the trip (turns out tuna and canned asparagus don't go well together).
Tomorrow...A long drive to Wilderness.