CYCLE RIDE TO CACKLE & GRUNT
Six hardy cyclists – Aris, Graham, Mike, Warwick, Keith and Margaret assembled at the Ashton’s place in Howick and set off at about 10h00 on a lovely, but a bit windy, Sunday morning up the steep Curry’s Post road.
By the time we reached our first landmark, “The Red Fox” (now under new ownership as “The Blue Lizard”) we were all breathing quite hard. Next we went past “Beacon Hill” on our left. (A walk over Beacon Hill is highly recommended, as there are magnificent views over Howick and Midmar Dam as well as many beautiful wild flowers including the “Candelabra Plant”).
We continued ever upwards working up a nice sweat until we reached the D369 turn off to Lions River. We continued straight on and thankfully downhill past “Groundcover”. By now Bushy and Pat had caught up with us in their escort vehicle. The downhill section was short lived as we were soon climbing again cycling past “Old Halliwell” on our right followed by “Mulberry Hill”, “McMuddles on the Hill” and “Cranford Country Inn”, all to our left.
The lovely scenery continued and 17km from Howick we eventually reached the “Cackle & Grunt” which is located on Montrose Farm at Curry’s Post. There we were warmly welcomed by our hosts Anna and Bruce Williams and were soon served cold beers and other liquid refreshments. After a well-earned rest and a chat we selected lunch from an appetising menu, had more drinks, and tucked into a scrumptious meal. Time ticked on and we had to set off on our return journey, luckily now mostly downhill. We decided to take a longer route back and turned right down the D369 dirt road towards Lions River. The first section is quite steep and a bit uneven so the downhill speedsters had a rough and precarious ride until the junction with the N3 was reached. We continued on the dirt road past “Lions River Trading Post”, “Lona’s Pianos” and “Lions River Arts & Crafts” before turning left on the tarred R103 back towards Howick, passing the “Mandela Monument” to our right. We turned left after Tweedie downhill and under the narrow railway bridge followed by more uphill work as we entered Howick and even steeper turning up the Curry’s Post road back to the Ashton’s place for tea and cakes on the back patio. (The return journey was 24km).
Thanks go to Mike’s wife Dallas for providing us with such a lovely big cake which went down very well indeed. Thanks also to Pat and Bushy for joining us and providing a back-up service. The cycle ride was again a nice change from hiking and a great day was enjoyed by all.