I’ve been hiking again! Second time this year, and must admit I am quite enjoying it not just for the hiking aspect but for the opportunities to write up what really happens on these hikes, I title this Kamberg outing…

 

There is something about Mary…

                    or

Losing the Hiking Club Chairman on a Hike

 

Leader: Mary Clover

Day Participants: Warwick Keating, Dave Sclanders

Weekend: Dulcie (Mary’s mom), Keith and Margaret Ashton, Mike Kirby, Rod and Amy Hart

 

Before the hike Mary joked about the hike leader being permitted to lose 10% of the party… but to lose the club chairman is surely a noteworthy achievement! Something that will look good under the leadership heading on a CV  - “lost hiking club chairman whilst on hike…)!

 

In all fairness to Mary, Keith managed quite capably to lose himself without any misdirection nor prompting, it was merely a case of having gone so far down a difficult descent he had no option but to commit to that route while the rest of the party, not having gone through that point of no return retreated which ultimately led to there being half a mountain between Keith and the rest of the party. For dramatic effect it is tempting to report that when Dave Sclanders came across Keith he was walking back along the trail mumbling incomprehensively, but then with Keith’s Lancashire accent that is normally the case…

 

It was for Mary and her mom Dulcie something of a nostalgic trip since the section of Kamberg we were on had been their family farm prior to being expropriated by the Parks Board in 1990. A 3.8km drive using Mary and Keith’s’ 4X4’s took us to just below their old farmhouse, of which now little more than the foundations remain and from their we kitted up and set off on a short walk to pitch our tents alongside the Mooi river, under a spreading Oak planted years ago by Mary’s family

 

 

Having made camp we set off with day packs to work our way up to “The Krans” a huge exposed rock face with a shallow overhang forming a cave at the base with several sections of interesting bushman paintings. Here we took the opportunity for a lunch break and then began the steep climb to the plateau above the “Krans”. The aim was to transverse the plateau then to descend and make our way to the “Roman Baths” on one of the tributaries to the Mooi river. It was on this steep descent that we got parted from Keith. It was Dave, I think, who retrospectively commented that the lack baboon and Eland tracks going down indicated that we could not have expected to find an accessible descent on that particular route, a case of humans venturing where animals fear to tread.

 

 

We did not get to the Roman Baths as it took longer than anticipated to get off the hill and to link up with Keith again. With the excitement of the day and the relief of finding Keith ”intact” the “pub” opened understandably earlier that evening!

 

Some of us had an evening dip in the pool alongside our campsite which was very refreshing and prior to supper Mary led a short stroll to a landslip area on the banks of the Mooi to see how some trees that she remembered from earlier times. Bramble growth prevented us from getting to the trees and it was generally noted that brambles and wattle are proliferating in the area.

 

Dave and Warwick were heading home that evening so Keith, still doing penance for getting misplaced, walked back with them to the 4X4’s and drove them back to the Parks Board offices where Warwick’s car was parked.

 

Day two we awoke to an overcast sky and a chilly breeze, undaunted we set off to at least see the “Roman Baths” although no one was planning to swim - Mike did unintentionally put one foot (fully shod) in the stream just above the pool! Magnificent setting for a sunny day picnic and swim. From there we climbed to the rock face opposite Keith’s nemesis where the previous day Dave had indicated there were some bushman paintings – one of an Eland turned out to be particularly noteworthy. Quite a steep climb up but by now we were getting used to this!

 

The weather showed no sign of turning so it was back to break up camp, the short haul with full kit back to the 4X4’s and home.  An excellent weekend break and interesting to share it with Mary and Dulcie, if the opportunity comes up for a return trip it is definitely worth it – only just keep an eye on Keith…