Monday, 17 September 2012

The Cape Dune Molerat Trail

In the Wilderness National Park, between the towns of Sedgefield and Wilderness on South Africa's Garden Route, this 8km hike takes in the relatively unspoilt landscape of Swartvlei and Rondevlei.  The walk takes around 2 hours depending on what you do along the way and should be done early or late in the day, as it can get really hot.  It's name reflects the fact that there must be a few million of these creatures in the area; if their mounds and burrows are anything to go by.  We only came across one and he was completely harmless; think more cute guinea-pig than dirty rat.  The trail can be tricky, with the ground collapsing unexpectedly every now and then because of the extensive underground rodent excavation.  Hiking boots are therefore a good idea. 


Seeing this little critter reminded me of the Ecuadorian dish of 'Cuy', or spit-roasted guinea-pig.  I had a smallish taste in Banos (Southern Ecuador) but unfortunately the memory of my first pet tainted the whole experience.  I don't think that there's any risk of spit-roasted Cape Dune Molerat making inroads in the international culinary scene.      

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