MHC - Fort Nottingham
Midlands Meander - KZN
Central Midlands
14 January 2018

Report and photos by Dave Sclanders

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]



Our weather continues to keep the Weather Men on the run. Weather Predictions seldom happen as forecasted and so everyone is kept on a roller coaster run of what the weather will do. This unpredictability certain has an effect on anyone venturing out into nature in any way, especially for hikers venturing into lonely outdoor areas.

Well, 23 of us weren' t going into the mountains, but we were going to do a day hike out in the open, along a long, high unprotected ridge, no trees, no shelter, and very exposed. Leaving our vehicles at the Fort Nottingham Museum, we headed for the old soldiers road that cut through the forest and up to the crest.. The morning was hot and walking through the forest was a pleasure. Breaking out into the sun half way up the slope, changed the situation somewhat. The road slunk into a path and the path slunk into a very overgrown hard to follow, game track through the long grassy undergrowth, hidden rocks under the grass did their bit to hinder progress. Nevertheless, frequent stops to admire the view (and also to let the back markers catch up made for an interesting morning under a, by now very hot sun. Time for tea was taken on a high rocky mound before we set off for our lunch spot.



From our tea spot, we could see a dark patch of trees on the horizon, far across the next vlei and valley bottom. On our left the high, unmistakable form of Kamberg Mountain, was visible through the hazy sky. A few short cuts here and there, a small stream crossing, and soon we were at the trees, but unfortunately, they were a bit far away from the edge of our escarpment, so we moved on a bit further and found a rocky ridge that offered good views, and a good place to sit on while we had lunch.



After lunch we headed across the plateau to look down onto the Spring Grove Dam , this newish dam supplies some top up water to Midmar, and is probably the major reason why Pietermaritzburg/Durban areas still have some water available .



Then under the new leadership of Loga, we headed off home. By now the day temperature was ugly, and we were very happy to get back into the forest on our way home. A short way from there, and we were at our cars, and glad to get into the luxury of air-conditioned transport. Nearly as good as Good old Hiking Boots , fresh air and sunburn. A great day in the open with group of strong hikers chatting happily along the day.

Dave Sclanders

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Summer rains have not been good, the natural veld grasses have not grown as well as they should have, and with Winter on its way, every bit of grass is precious for animals and water conservation. Remember, grass slows down water run-off from the ground and gives it a chance to sink into the ground to re-supply our streams, rivers and underground water on an on-going basis..

ALWAYS GO PREPARED FOR THE UNEXPECTED

For any questions on berg hiking, feel free to contact me. See my website at www.bergfree.co.za

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~O~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~