Champagne Breakfast at St. Helen’s Rock, KZN, Port Shepstone

Champagne Breakfast at St. Helen’s Rock, KZN, Port Shepstone

Champagne Breakfast at St. Helen’s Rock, KZN, Port Shepstone: Sian and her friends visiting the south coast down from Jhb had pre-booked a ride with us quite some time before. But we had a surprise in store. For Sian and her enthusiastic crew.

St. Helen’s Rock expedition video

They were going on an ancient tradition this time round – a river ride from Port Shepstone harbour – up to St. Helen’s Rock. 14 Kilometres of winding river and deep nature. Starting early and not without the usual confusion and chaos of a big crew, we were soon racing with the tide and current. In order to get under the low-level bridge but up the first rapid, or Berm ONE as it is affectionately known, we had to time it just right. Berm TWO was easier but took a while as we skirted sandbank and reef to get in and around the corner. But then it’s plain sailing and we cruise past the pump station and onto the bend that hosts St. Helen’s majestic piece of Africa.

The champagne was soon flowing and the breakfast was spluttering on the skottel. There is a helluva lot of exploring to do up at St. Helen’s Rock. Just about where the Umzimkulwana and the Umzimkulu come snaking out of the Oribi Gorge. We are actually able to go even further up into the Oribi Gorge. But that is going to be for the next boundary-pushing adventure. We did bring a kayak and next time we will bring even more, to enable even more exploring of this historic site.

History

There was certainly trade and business going on here back when this was the commercial junction from Durban to all of southern Natal and beyond. This exact spot! There are ruins everywhere. And rumours of a complete village settlement on the north bank still need to be verified. There is the wreck of a beautiful European looking boat half-buried into the mountain bank. There are railway tracks and even sidings strewn about by the floods, at the confluence of the two mighty rivers – the Umzimkulu (comes from the Berg) and the Umzimkulwana (comes from Lake Eland).

This wreck we encountered whilst surveying the upper reaches of the Umzimkulu Estuary
This wreck we encountered whilst surveying the upper reaches of the Umzimkulu Estuary

And just wait ’til you hear what St. Helen did to get that beautiful big old rock named after her.

Forthcoming attraction!

Let’s gooooooo!

So please get in touch anytime on umzimkulu@gmail.com or call me up on +27793269671 although WhatsApp really works best. If you like this type of adventure. Rates are roughly R100 per person per hour. And we can cater and bring loaded coolers.

BTW we run on solar power and electric engines. SILENT! And you are welcome to bring a fly-rod.

There is a lot more to see and do on The Sardine News website at https://thesardine.co.za and the MasterWatermen at https://masterwatermen.co.za.

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