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Jan du Toits Kloof

Leader: Don Jepson 11 February 2019 Jan du Toits Kloof

My expectation of a rush of applicants for this pristine Kloof were proved wrong and we ended up with a relatively small party of 6. Granted, the terrain is demanding for the average mid-week hiker but we soon got into a rhythm and felt at ease with the boulder hopping. The weather was ideal with two mild days before it heated up on our return. The kloof is full of wonderful encounters with waterfalls that force one to climb ‘up and over’ or find some ‘secret way’ through the jumbled boulders, some of which are the size of large containers. Of course the abundance of idyllic pools to swim in is a major feature and a tired body can be instantly restored! One amazing characteristic of kloofing is how one can always find a way through these obstacles, sometimes just a narrow ledge above the water and by changing from one level to another. The section beyond Overhang Cave camp is the most interesting as it is more ‘closed in’ with compulsory wading pools. We opted for going into the pools boots and all as there are just too many such pools – even with wet boots the grip was still good on the dry rocks. Our turn around point on day two was a delightful waterfall that presented a barrier to further progress unless one hiked ‘up and over’. It was lunch time and we had had lots of fun so we declared this the end. I would be interested to know how far we were from the legendary ladders and guess it was not too far – after 40 years since last being in the kloof my memory is blurred! We passed many side kloofs along the way that in themselves would make for further exploring – maybe one needs three nights out to do it justice! We arrived back at the cars at midday on day three feeling well rewarded and satisfied. I felt very privileged to have been able to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow members in such a wonderful environment.

Donald

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