We got up pretty early. The host at the backpackers made us “breakfast in a tin cup”- eggs, vegetables, and bacon. We ate out on the porch of the communal space. After breakfast, we packed the cars up and headed to Hogsback.
We stopped at the only grocery store in Hogsback to grab some snacks to take with us on our long (4-hour) hike, then started hiking. We started on the trail towards “Big Tree”. Just as we were coming to the trail head, two small dogs dashed across the street and headed to the trail. They ended up staying with us the entire four hours we hiked, and acted as though we were their owners- which we found quite funny. This part of the hike took us less than an hour and was a bit hilly. The terrain here was mature, dense forest, which isn’t super common in the other areas of South Africa we travelled. The trail was very muddy and therefore pretty slippery as well. Big Tree is a pretty big tree (though small if you’re used to huge redwood trees).
From there we continued on the trail to the waterfall “Madonna and Child”. This part of the hike was longer- about 2 hours. The waterfall is beautiful. After the waterfall, there is a very steep incline to a road. This was definitely the hardest part of the hike. We thought there was a trail that cut across from a small village to Hogsback, but we either couldn’t find it or it doesn’t exist. We therefore ended up walking along a dirt road for about an hour back to Hogsback.
We were pretty tired and hungry by the time we made it back to Hogsback, as it was about 3 PM. We grabbed lunch at The Lighthouse Restaurant, then headed back to Grahamstown, as you don’t want to be on the road there after dark. We made it back to Grahamstown just as it was getting dark. We had leftovers for dinner, and hung out as a family for a bit, then went to bed pretty early, as we were very tired.