Africa Calling – Formosa

Formosa: beautiful. Aptly so named and described respectively by renown explorer of antiquity, Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, when he first viewed this high point from Plettenberg Bay on the southern coast of the African continent. And so it is.

Special for more reasons than this Tale goes into, at 1675 metres above sea level and straddling the provincial border of South Africa's Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces, the vision of summiting Peak Formosa and experiencing the Tsitsikamma (meaning place of many waters) region from its highest point was there as long as Joseph can remember. Visually beautiful and simply stunning in being set apart from the peaks that surround the massif, this Tale is a picture feast of a solo summit of a peak that is not only aptly described as beautiful, but so much more of the months preceded before it in Africa Calling. Enjoy – ridges, drop offs, knife edges and all, in the late Spring of 2020 in the southern hemisphere:

                               Solid supporters at a 3 degrees Celsius start, especially in the planning and preparation of this solo traverse is the real reason for any successful summit. And descent.

Only accessible from the north side of the vast Tsitsikamma mountain range, the trail starts and finishes at a farm reservior above, traverses along a ridge line and navigates the peak on the right below before making summit of Formosa itself, below centre.

                               Unique: crossing from the Eastern Cape province into the Western Cape province on foot on Formosa after almost 12 months crossing Africa via vehicle.

                               Looking south and below, Formosa provides the source of the famous Bloukrans River, extending the provincial boundary to the Indian Ocean.

                               Drop off scramble: “Aim for the green patch on the left of the first peak.”

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After navigating the first, more challenging peak above, Peak formosa appears in all its grandeur, below.

                               Peak Formosa, 1675 masl. Highest point in the Western Cape province. Beautiful!

                               Looking south, the Tsitsikamma National Park coastline, forming part of the Garden Route National Park and host to the world famous five day Otter Trail, stretches from left to right, with the Bloukrans River mouth, far right.

                               Looking east along the Tsitsikamma range, with Rushes Pass visible on the right, centre - forming part of the six day Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail and one day 65 km Tsitsikamma Ultra Trail Run which traverses parallel to the coast, inland and below Peak Formosa.

                               Looking north towards the Langkloof and picturesque Route 62.

                               Looking west with Plettenberg Bay, left.

                               Irresistible: descending main drop-off with knife edge below.

                               As the morning matured so did the colours of the flora of Formosa.

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 “Beautiful. Beautiful God. Beautiful Saviour. Beautiful Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for all you are, for what you have done in our lives. You are so worth and more beautiful than anything we can imagine or experience and without you, our Trailblazer, we would have no reason to keep on running our races. Giving you all the glory and praise.”

Journal: Jethro Journeys
Africa Calling – expedition


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