15/17 December 2001 : Warwick Keating


Early Saturday morning seventeen Club members, including an American plus four visitors arrived at the rustic campsite which includes “upgraded toilets”? (previously long drop) and no showers unless one can use those in the Giants Cup hiking trail house.   The morning was spent erecting tents under the shady trees and swimming in the Pholela river.


A circular hike of 6 km partly along the Giants Cup trail rewarded hikers with beautiful clear views of the berg and farmlands towards Underberg as well as a fine display of wild flowers along the Trout Beck stream.


Saturday evening weather was balmy and warm and all enjoyed the communal get-together, some braaing, others cooking meals on gas.


Sunday’s hike (the Challenge) took off at 07:40 up the Pholela river with a brief swim stop at Whale Rock.   The hot sunny weather convinced some members to return to the shade and cool of camp.   The path led up a steep incline to the Little Berg plateau where a tea break allowed all to enjoy the clear vistas of the Berg, then on to Mnongweni Cave to view the Bushman paintings.   A brief visit to Siphongweni Rock, then some route finding down to the Siphongweni stream and on to Mzimkhulwana Hut for lunch.   The trip home along the Giants Cup trail past Bath Plug cave met with some hail and rain.   The party arrived back at camp at 5.00 pm having covered 23 km.    Again a braai social evening was enjoyed by all under cover of the extended caravan tent.


Monday dawned misty and damp and most members broke camp early.   Although the camp is rustic it has beautiful shady grass campsites with views of the Berg.