So I am back at work. At least it is a VERY short week. I might just manage……I had a fantastic time off though and it was a great break. Of course the best part was seeing my sister, but the rest was pretty good too.
Other than Ironman, we ate lots of sushi, went to a spa for a massage and went hiking. We should perhaps of had the massage after the hike but still, it was great.
The hike was interesting. We did the Tsitsikamma trail, starting at Blaauwkrans Hut. Unfortunately we received a phone call from the trail director a few days before we set off saying that they had a fire in the area, and although it had died down it might still affect our last couple of days. Apparently fires can lie smoldering for about a week? He said that if we had hot windy days it could flare up again, but he would stay in contact with us and let us know what was going on.
We set off with this in our minds. The weather was fantastic for us, but not for the fires. It was hot! Luckily it would not affect our first few days and it made for good hiking weather. We dunked ourselves in every pool or river we could find and it was awesome. Pretty unusual for the rivers still to be as warm as they were, but then, after the temperature of the sea water last month, most water would feel pretty warm.
On the 3rd day, as we approached Heuningbos Hut we started to see the smoke and it looked pretty damn close!!!! I got out my cell phone and called Graeme (trail director). He said we should not worry about that night, we would be fine as the wind was blowing in the opposite direction and there was indigenous forest between us and the fire but we would not be able to hike the following day. He was actually on his way to evacuate the people that were staying at the next hut. Yikes.
We had to cut our hike short by a night and headed back to Port Elizabeth the following morning. It was a pity, but not something we had any control over.
I was also pretty surprised by my legs. I handled the walking and even carrying the pack fine. I thought I might battle a bit doing it so close to IM but no problems.
Here are some photographs.