9 - 10 March 2002
Brenda and Warwick, Graham and Grethe, Mike, Brian, Bushy and Pat gathered at Cathedral Peak and set off in overcast weather. We wandered through the hotel grounds and having failed in our efforts to hijack the horses and the helicopter began the serious business of hiking. The sun came out and the morning’s hike took us gently up river with beautiful views of the peaks. Lunch was taken at a lovely pool with some of has having a refreshing swim. Then it was on up the river, rock hopping and many river crossings. There was a brief rest for the girls while the men made decisions about whether to take the high road or the low road to the cave (the low road won thank goodness!!) Then it was a steep zigzag climb up to the cave (Brian having stayed at the river to have a hot shower - yes it is possible!)
The cave has to be one of the best in the Berg, very large and comfortable, with a great view and built in shower. After watching the sunset with liquid refreshments and ‘dinner’ we were lulled to sleep by Brenda reading to us from the Just So Stories - a great way to end a great day - thank you Brenda.
Next morning we were up bright and early watching the sun rise on the peaks to be told by our leader that we would return ‘a different way’. So after breakfast, after a short section of steep zigzag we proceeded vertically up the mountainside, clinging to tufts of grass for dear life, onto the top of the hill above the cave. The view was stunning. It felt as though we were literally under those peaks and it was a truly spectacular moment. Now we were told that at the end of the day we would have completed 16 kms!! Then it was up onto the contour path for the long slog back to the hotel. The weather closed in and at some point it rained (I was too tired to notice when). Once back at the hotel, we were warmly greeted by Merle who very kindly took our drivers to collect the cars and then treated us to tea and the most delicious carrot cake. Thank you Merle.
For those who were fit and fleet of foot this was a very enjoyable hike. For those who were not so fit, afraid of heights and the lame, this was a challenge of note.
Thank you to our men who helped carry packs when the going got tough and who helped us negotiate vertical rock faces safely. Thank you to our leader, Warwick, for a memorable hike.