20 April 2019
Report courtesy of Dave Sclanders and photos by Alistair Nixon
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]
Easter Saturday was the next planned day hike for the Midlands Hiking Club, the venue, the famous Roman Baths of Kamberg Nature Reserve. The weather forecast was fine for the morning, but a bit suspect with rain forecast for the afternoon. Nevertheless, a good turnout of hikers 22 hikers started the hike. Unfortunately, my camera decided to do strange things, so thanks to Alistair for taking pictures of the day
After a short introduction, we set off along the old road that wound its way to the long the little distance tributary of the Mooi River on which the Roman Baths Pools were situate. Along the way we passed the ruins of one of the old farmhouses that was once occupied by farmers of the valley. For many many years the old toilet had stood proud and unbroken standing up proudly above the broken walls of the house. Since I was last there, some brave hooligans saw fit to destroy this old monument.
Rest breaks were taken along the way, and the long line of hikers stretched across the landscape. A lot of photo opportunities were enjoyed in this magnificent landscape of peace and tranquility. Another rest, and then the long train of hikers were once more on the trail, heading down towards the river.
We had recced the path the day before to see if the river was low enough to cross, as it is easier to find the pools from the far bank, but unfortunately, following the recent heavy rains, this was not possible. So, the more difficult route had to be done on Saturday. Nevertheless, after a bit of detouring and cutting here and there, we found a way to head down to the river itself from the East bank.
As we neared the river, a lone Eland was seen across the river, it soon took off, and was out of sight. The steep game path to the riverbed was found, and after a bit of "nerve wracking steep path descending", the rocky pool area was reached.
The water was too cold to swim in, a hardy few soaked tired feet in the icy water, while a good lunch break was enjoyed, with time to catch up with newfound friends. Then as the weather started to show signs of changing for the worst, it was time to pack up, do the short steep climbing bit and head for the cars some 5,5 kilometers away.
The cars were reached in a good short time, and some 20 minutes later, the rains came. A good end to a most enjoyable day.
If you have not been to the berg this April or May you have missed some really great hiking opportunities .April and May are some of the best months to be in the berg. Those who have hiked have really enjoyed some magnificent hiking weather.
We are now into the winter months, the grass is dry, farmers and Nature Reserves are burning fire breaks, so beware of lighting or causing any berg fire. Run away berg fires cost lives very year.