GARDEN CASTLE WEEKEND - 13-15 JAN 2012
Notes & Photos by Keith

Leader Keith Ashton : Participants:- Chris & Brigitta Simpson, Harry Holderness & Stella Wells, Lettie Oosthuizen, Keith & Margaret Ashton.

Prior to our club weekend at the cottage we had one of our sons John & wife Heather & grandson Mark staying with us for 5 days & spent precious time with them so the first 3 photos reflect some of this time.

Some drama occurred for our other guests from the club as they were driving up to the cottage late Friday afternoon as a big hailstorm hit the Bulwer & Underberg area - Chris & Brigitta & Harry & Stella had to seek urgent shelter to avoid damage to their vehicles. Lettie was slightly later & missed the hail but all arrived in the rain at the cottage (we had brilliant sunshine for the 5 days before). However all settled in nicely & relaxed with dinner & drinks.

Saturday & Sunday of course were our hiking days much enjoyed by all & congratulations to Lettie (relatively new member) for coping so well with the hikes & several river crossings.

The following photos will go some way to illustrate our experiences.

1. Grandson Mark in training
2. Grandson Mark leading Margaret
3. One of our sons John with Mum Margaret in Mermaid Pool - note John imitating dad with thumbs up


4. From L-R Stella, Harry, Margaret, Brigitta, Chris & Lettie posing before hike
5. Margaret & Lettie chatting after crossing the Mzimkhulu River
6. Resting close to a lovely pool on the Mlahlangubu River


7. Still resting - same pool
8. Lettie studying paintings close to keimarg cave
9. Lettie & Chris close to the cave lovingly refurbished by Keith & Margaret


10. View from the cave - Margaret on rock - Lettie behind other rock
11. Carefully crossing the Mlahlangubu River
12. Lovebirds Chris & Brigitta just after crossing the Mzimkhulu River


13. Lettie thinking of diving in after crossing the Mzimkhulu River - But had second thoughts
14. Margaret & Lettie crossing the Thukelana River just before it joins the Mhlambonja River
15. Our group close to Thee Pools


16. Looking down on our group near Champagne Pool
17. Lovely valley & stream on our way to Bushman's paintings
18. One of the many beautiful proteas in the area


19. Lettie at Bushman Rock looking towards Garden Castle
20. Another lovely pool near Bushman Rock
21. Lettie doing a depth charge into Champagne Pool


22. Lettie resurfaced after the jump
23. Lettie & Margaret on way back to the cottage after our great swim
24. View from the cottage veranda towards Garden Castle


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