Early on the morning of Saturday 26 May 2018, eleven hikers piled into cars and headed toward Eerste Tol at the top of Bainskloof Pass. Here, they all gathered in the still chill, but now late, morning air and headed towards the river they needed to cross to begin the day’s hike.
After a week of rain, the Witte River was gushing, and it took some time for everyone to wade safely across. To the joy of all, water accompanied the hikers as they trudged and splashed their way to camp. The path cut through the steep valley, alongside waterfalls and gurgling, impromptu streams, and eventually reached the vlakte at the foot of Slanghoek pile. Each person sought out a dry spot to pitch their tent in the marshy landscape.
The energetic members of the party ate lunch and headed up Slanghoek pile, whilst others explored the vlakte and its rockpools, or simply soaked in the breathtaking views with a book in one hand, and tea in the other.
When evening arrived, all the hikers gathered at camp once again, to enjoy the sunset, before wrapping up warmly for supper. Everyone enjoyed supper, lit by the nearly full moon and a spattering of stars and pleasant conversation, before retreating to their tents and falling asleep to the roar of the waterfall.
The next morning, members of the party had the option of ascending Wellington Sneeukop, or exploring the vlakte, before heading back home. Those who bagged the peaks, spoke of spectacular views, with an adventurous glint in their eyes. The Witte River had calmed overnight, and the party made a swift crossing, before dividing into cars and being swept back to the rush of the city.
Thank you to Freda, for leading this magical trip, and providing options everyone could enjoy, and thank you to Sven Musica for the photographs! Find Sven’s blog and more photographs from the meet here.