“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable” – Mary Oliver
When I first read this line of poetry a couple of years ago, it rang so pure and true in my soul, it became my life’s motto in an instant.
Not that I’ve always been super successful at this – sometimes the slog of daily life becomes so all-encompassing, it’s all too easy to lose that sense of wide-eyed wonder.
That’s kind of where I found myself at the end of 2018: looking back on a year of incredible opportunities and fulfilling projects but just completely exhausted to the bone. I felt an overwhelming longing for simplicity and the need to immerse myself in nature.
So, when a spot opened up in the group my cousins had organised for the Otter Trail, I grabbed the opportunity without a second thought.
Sure, I only had ONE week to get my gear together (fortunately I’m kitted out with most of the basics).
And no, I wasn’t fit at all (in fact, I think this is the least fit I’ve been in about 10 years).
But, let’s face it – when you get the chance to piggyback on another group’s booking for this trail with its notorious 1-year waiting period, you take it!
This also, of course, put me in the advantageous position of having absolutely no time to burden myself with too much reading and research; conjure up any unrealistic expectations or think too much about the dangers (like the Bloukrans River Crossing) lying ahead.
Fortunately, I still had a roll of expired Kodak Gold and decided to put it to good use snapping some of the spectacular scenery that surrounded us for the five days we were on the trail.
While I love the mood and grain of these images, no camera can capture the true magic of these pristine spaces. In a world where truly wild places no longer seem to exist, the Otter Trail offers an unforgettable taste of somewhere almost ‘untouched’.