BANNERMAN HUT HIKE
31 MAR - 1 APR 2012
LEADER: DAVE SCLANDERS
REPORT AND PHOTOS: LETTIE OOSTHUIZEN
GROUP: TISH, LETTIE, DAVE HERSELMAN, TONY & ROSS
We started off on our hike from Giants Castle camp on Saturday morning. The skies were grey with heavy rain clouds. All, except myself, were donned in rain gear.
As we headed up the slopes towards the contour path and the mountains with patches of snow we were greeted by some baboons from high above the contour path. We also saw some Eland. The last 2kms to the hut we walked in a storm with icy cold rain pouring down on us.
It was with great relief when we finally arrived at our overnight destination and were able to change into warm, dry clothing. The hut was behung in every conceivable manner with very wet raingear, socks and even underwear. Dry hay was stuffed into wet boots and hiking poles used to hang clothes.
During the early evening the rain subsided and we were greeted with views of a colourful rainbow and a patch of sunlight on the distant hills in front of the hut and the snow covered mountains behind us. The night sky was a pitch black curtain splattered with millions of shimmering stars.
Early Sunday morning we rose to a spectacular sight with the sun rising from behind the horizon in front of the cottage and bathing the mountains behind us in a bright orange cloak, leaving us all in awe of how great and magnificent nature is.
Me soaking up the early morning sunlight whilst Tony does his household duties.
After a hearty breakfast, during which some of the group mentioned that they had heard some mysterious noises during the night (pots being moved around, spooky, spooky), we donned our backpacks and Dave led us down to view the ruins of a burnt down hut. We then walked back up the steep slope towards the pathway just below Bannerman hut and headed off into the distant hills.
Dave our leader decided to dive into the long grass and had to be assisted up and out by the other Dave. Presumably he was looking for the elusive Oribi. We all had a good chuckle at this rather funny sight.
Dave's mission for the day was to take us to see some bushmen paintings in caves off the beaten track and to walk on paths that the bushmen had walked on so many years ago. We were extremely fortunate to be able to view the very famous Moon Goddess along with many other beautiful paintings with very intricate details.
Inside one of the caves we were greeted with the sight of a beautiful hanging garden behind a curtain of crystal clear water.
Almost at the end of our hike. An ideal spot to take a dip, weather permitting.
Another very special hiking experience with our leader Dave Sclanders and super group of hiking buddies.