Breathing fresh air at Harkerville Forest, South Africa
Harkerville forest is located along the garden route right in-between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. It falls within the garden route national park along with Storms River Mouth mentioned in my previous post.
Yesterday I found myself feeling a bit antsy and panicked about life and for me there is no better way to cure those feelings than being outdoors and breathing in fresh air. It’s an instant remedy assured to remind you of where you are and why you're doing it. It provides a cold refreshing glass of perspective.
Anyway one of the lucky things I now have, is the privilege of calling this slice of the Garden Route my home, and Harkerville Forest & Reserve happens to be a 10 minute drive down the road. So I roped my mom into joining me and hopped in the car.
With the weather gloomy, I was excited to practice using the manual settings on my camera, trying to capture the mist as it swept and crawled through the trees & vines. For the last two months I have been trying to simultaneously juggle teaching myself how to use my camera manually, editing on Lightroom and how to build a website site. It has been a lot to take it but it is also extremely exciting increasing my skill set and learning the skills I have always wanted to acquire for the lifestyle I want to pursue.
Immediately after entering the park you are surrounded by thick dark green forest on either side of the dirt road. Vines hang down overhead, ferns dot the narrow road and buck peer at you with curious eyes through the shelter of the trees. One of the qualities mist has which always leaves me in awe is the way it seems to envelope its surroundings and make them completely magical. You feel like you’re in another land filled with mystery and intrigue.
The view site at Harkerville is one of a kind with picnic sites right by the cliff side that suddenly drops to the ocean below. I remember being taken aback by the height above the sea when I visited a few years back. The mist yesterday made the views a bit hard to see and we could hear the ocean but not quite locate it, walking slowly along the path, until a slice cleared up and we could see the cliffs down below with the waves crashing against them. I got to explore for a good two hours with absolutely no one else around. Pure bliss.
The park has everything to offer from picnic sites to a variety of hiking trails including a two day trail, accommodation near by and views for days. The ocean below, steep cliff sides, a mossy stream and a little waterfall leave you nothing short of inspired. Not bad for an afternoon trip up the road.
Anyone wanting to check out the park, go to the SANParks webpage for more details on the exact location and the small entrance fee.