Well I hate to say it but this was about the Hike of the Season......Although absolutely blimmin' freezing (like sleeping in 7
layers of clothing and a beanie and blankets on top of the s'bag) it was soooooo beautiful. Every day was a gem.
We arrived to find the train coach accommodation (well two, at right angles but we only used one) very comfortable with loos
on each end so no creeping out to the ablution block at night. All had own compartments - PLUS 'dressing rooms' to expand into!!
Lapa with firewood was all that was provided, but trust Allen and Horst, who with much trial and error, and own technology, managed to rig up electricity so that for two nights, wrapped up like esquimaux, we watched the ENTIRE BBC series of Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austin). Even the kids were riveted.
Allen and Tania produced a massive delicious chicken potjie which lasted us for two nights ensuring that we didn't have to fuss about food, and an endless supply of firewood kept us warm.
When we arrived we made contact with Rudi, at his pannekoek paleis, who gave us a lot of useful input and lent us a book on Adam's Calendar. Next day we set off as per instructions through the MOST picturesque village, accompanied by a young spaniel (Lieflappie), who was later joined by a jack russel, and started over the hill through an aMAZing mass of worn and weathered rock formations COVERED in flowering aloes and popped out at the top on the EDGE of the escarpment overlooking miles and miles of lowveld forest. Most of the walk was along the edge, enjoying the views to the extent that Horst eventually suggested that we cut short and save Adam for the next day as we were going so slowly.
Undaunted we returned to town where we devoured large pancakes and watched the wild horses that abound in the area come and drink at the pond next to our table!!! The 'town wild horses' can be approached and patted, but the others, of which we saw many en route, can not. We did a little explore of the town and visited a jewellry-making mother and daughter team who are making the Antiques of the Future - BEAUTIFUL stuff - and looked at the lovely B & B's etc. A short detour to a nearby cemetry (Horst is into cemetries at the moment) and we were home to the movies.
Next day saw us setting out from where we left off the previous day, and made our way along the edge and over the hills to Adam's Calendar. Armed with the book we were able to make sense of the area, and all the ancient monoliths... We agreed that they were definitely PUT there by someone but all rather sceptical about the date of 75000 years. Shades of Stonehenge. We spent ages exploring around the area and discussing (TG for the book) and then a pleasant walk back to town, where a brief detour took us to the lip of a waterfal for a latish lunch. Dogs still with us. (Is this right chaps? I feel as though I have got a bit muddled here....) Lots of photos, interesting plants, lichens etc etc!!
Yes Jenny, you did get it a bit muddled up. The waterfall was at the end of the first day before we got to the pancake eating place. Not to worry, does the sequence really matter?
Next day (Monday) was to be a shortie as long drive home so we just wandered off to the adjacent forest, on the edge of which we found a picturesque but abandoned school, with one section FULL of really useful books and school stuff scattered around in typically wasteful manner, and of which Tania and I took full advantage and had to phone Allen to fetch our salvaged STUFF!! We left at noon for a rendezvous at....the Machadadorp Cemetry....which we explored briefly before a scratch lunch of leftovers in the shadow of a tombstone (well not QUITE but NEAR a tombstone) and a further rendezvous at the Icecream shop on the highway before a slow drive home.
A perfect weekend was had by all. Big thanks to all concerned....It was very Happy-Making!
Pity you had to miss, you others!!! But we will return as there are other lovely hikes still to be done in the area.
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