On Thursday my friend Carol asked me to take her and her friend from her youth (visiting from the UK) on a scenic hike. He was down for a couple of days and had so far only driven from place to place but now wanted to do a walk....which is what I'm "famous" for.
Hmm now bare in mind I did boot camp in the morning.....but decided that I would do it anyway. I got home from boot camp at 6.45am, had a deep, hot, bubbly bath and got ready for the day. Her friend, Richard, had suggested we start the day with a hearty breakfast (he paid for everything because the exchange rate from pounds to SA rands is 15/1) but still a kind and sweet offer never-the-less.
We started at Primi PIati and I had to smile because it IS cold here currently (our winter) but never ever have I seen heating like this on the deck of any restaurant (electric heaters tied up under the umbrellas)....lol looked a bit crummy to me. Most places use those lovely big, standing gas heaters...much better to look at and spreads the heat all around....but still heat was heat and we were grateful for it.
After a typical bacon, egg and fried tomato slices breakfast with coffee, we set off to show Richard our area. He is from SA originally, but been in the UK for 40 years. We first stopped at the beach which he went to in his youth and wanted to revisit.
What a big thing was happening on the very day we chose to go there. The mouth of the lagoon was closed, and the municipality was using a loader to reopen the mouth. The driver kindly spent some time explaining to us that if they don't do this, the houses on the lagoon side of the beach would flood with the rainy season. What good timing for us, since it added a little flavor to walking on a beach on a cccold day.
After the beach walk, we went and walked on the boardwalk on the lagoon side. The boardwalk goes all along the lagoon, meandering through reeds and other foliage. Very pretty. This is the tiny little Malachite birds (Kingfishers) area and should be around, so we were hoping to see some.
It didn't take long to spot one. They are so tiny, but so beautifully colored. They shine and glisten with their brilliant blues and greens as they flit from post to post. They would take off and fly just a little ahead of us as we walked along the boardwalk and as we neared them, they just kept repeating that pattern so we got plenty of viewing of these splendid little birds.
A pair of cormorant birds were ducking and diving in and out of the water, indicating that there was plenty of food in this lagoon for them to satisfy their needs.
Because of a piece of a piece of white plastic pipe lying in the water, I was able to zoom in and see the tiny little fishes they were gorging on.
Feeding frenzy over, and this ones drying out on a protruding rock.
I spotted this little field mouse on the side hiding in the long grass.
He's lucky the forest buzzards flying overhead didn't spot him. He'd have been dinner before lunch time.
The plants along this boardwalk are so pretty, and some are unusual. I loved this ones heart shaped leaves....too cute.
This trees stripey trunk was also unusual and beautiful in its own right.
It must be a good place for lily's because these ones had such huge flowers.
Seemed like a good place for spiders too, the webs were hanging from every branch, gratefully I didn't step into any and didn't see any spiders in them.
What we did see plenty of in this yellow daisy bush were bees doing their job of pollinating. It was a beautiful sight considering that some areas have no bees doing this (Japan) because of chemical pollution and have to pollinate by hand.
As beautiful as this area was, we had to move on. We ended up at a B&B called The Kingfisher and stopped for a quick cup of coffee to warm up. It was their bird feeding time, so we were privileged to see tons of birds eating and drinking right close - almost at arms length.
The add red food coloring to the water because its a color that attracts birds.
We climbed out way back up the pretty garden path and back to our car for the "real" walk.
One last look at the river that the B&B sits on before we left. Such a stunning place to be privileged to live at. Some people really are blessed with that. The couple that owned this B&B were so sweet, when they learned that we were on our way to a hike also called the Kingfisher Trail, they gave us a card which would allow us a free entry. Their kind gesture really touched me and they saved us R75 ($7.5) which thrilled us obviously.
We arrived at the Kingfisher Trail and immediately ran into a young man, Canadian, trying to find the office to buy his entrance ticket. Carol offered for him to join our group rather than walk all on his own. He accepted. We set off together, the four of us.
The trail is also on a well maintained boardwalk for most of the way, basically only the entrance is without a boardwalk. This trail also follows the river all the way to a small waterfall.
Again, this is a very picturesque area with loads of bird calls to be heard and the occasional barking of baboons in the background. We saw loads of buck droppings, but they were already gone by the time we got there. Between Carol and the youngster, they talked non-stop which was interesting, but it chased all the wild life we could have seen away. For my part, I'd have chosen seeing the wild life and chatting over coffee after the trail about where he'd come from and where he was going to next. But what we did get to see and its BIG PLUS since its an incredibly shy bird and very few people get to see them in the wild without major big specialized camera lenses etc. Suddenly there they were, a pair of nesting Knysna Loerie birds. What a privilege.
Their distinctive blue and green color is incredible seen live. They also have a deepest red splash under their wings and only seen when they are in flight or about to take off. This bird is related to the cuckoo.
After a while of walking, we came to the pontoon crossing. Its very easy to get this floating platform to you, you just pull one rope and it floats along. Still, it was rather nice having some men to do that for us women.
Once across the water, the forest is amazing. Green vines hang between the trees....it has a truly magical look about it. The quiet, (other than the talking twosome lol) and bird calls take your breath away and leave you with a sense of deep inner peace.
We finally got to the waterfall area and found a (retired age) gent "swimming" in the icy icy (remember its winter here) water?????
Turns out, as his wife explained, that she zipped open her pocket to take her sunglasses out and a ring that has sentimental value fell out and slipped down into the water. Oh shame poor woman and POOR GUY down there in the cold water.
As it turned out, we needn't have felt quite so sorry for him, hes an ICE WATER SWIMMER lol and this water was ONLY 8 degrees according to him whereas he is used to swimming in water temperatures of 0-4 degrees. He had the shirt to prove it too.
So while we made it to the waterfall, other than Mr ice water swimmer, no one felt inclined to swim across to stand under the waterfall....we'll save that for summer.
Once out of the cold water, Sidney totally stripped out of his cold under ware and put on his pants without the icy under ware. He tried to be discreet (this is South Africa not Europe)
but still managed to expose his butt to us. I had my back to him, so I fared well, but this is Carols expression...baring in mind that she is a spinster-never been married. She often jokes that she may be the world oldest virgin at 64
We walked all the way back and parted company with our newly met "friends." Next we took our "free entry card" back to the Kingfisher B&B then made our way back into town for some dinner. The drive back was into the dusk and the sunset turned the world slightly orange.
The carload of people were silent....as it usually is after an 11.4km (7.8miles)trail walk. By the end of the day, my pedometer showed that we had in fact walked 18.5km (11.4 miles)
By Friday, I was up again at 5am for boot camp and managed well enough because Fridays work out was not as much cardio as it was core exercises. Loads of sit ups, crunches etc and less running thankfully. Still by 10am (and here comes the explanation for the title) I decided with all that exercise I had done over the past 2 days I could share a muffin with my sister over coffee. We chose a savory muffin...all cheese and bacon...yummy. While there, we bumped into my sisters nieces on her husbands side and we got invited to a barbecue. Great!
Still thinking about all my exercise, I decided not to be over cautious as to what I ate....I also didn't go crazy. I had :-
2 pieces of chicken, drumstick and thigh but didn't remove the skin.
quarter cup of potato bake (the type done with cream and cheese sauce)
quarter cup of spinach bake (also done with cheese sauce)
half cup of greek salad
2 buttered slices of pot bread done over the coals
half cup of curried cauliflower and gherkin salad and...
a glass of wine.
I also had 1 tsp of a baked ginger pudding as well as 1 tsp of baked syrup pudding each with 1 tsp of hot custard.
Not too crazy right?
OH MY WORD. That night, I suffered. My stomach churned and balked at what was in it.
Each time I turned over in my efforts to get to sleep, nausea rose up to greet me. On top of that, I had over extended myself and my knee was murdering me. Eventually I had to get up and take something to stop myself feeling like I was going to throw up and also some pain killers for my aching knee. I ended up rubbing my knee with some icy hot embrocation and then pulling my knee guard before I crawled back into bed convinced I would die in the night.
I finally fell asleep somewhere around 4am and slept till 10am. Thankfully my hubby put my phone on silent so I wouldn't wake in case someone called early.
So that's it. I really CANNOT eat anything creamy, I really MUST choose whether I eat potato or bread, not both at the same time, I REALLY cannot do boot camp and trail walking, its either or.
Today is Saturday and I woke up feeling much more myself......a more informed self.....Celeste' you are not a spring chicken, stop acting like one...lol