8-10 February 2002 - Brenda Keating
Following excellent directions, 16 members met at the week-end venue of Haycroft Lodge on Friday afternoon and happily converged around a roaring fire lit in a castle-sized fireplace and mantle piece.
Saturday dawned cool and misty but, by the time the hikers set off, there was just light cloud cover. After fording a steam in full flow, we began the trek up what appeared to be quite a reasonable climb - but what nevertheless required a few rest stops before we summitted at a broken beacon. The view from the top was worth the effort, and the herd of Eland that stared at us from a distance made it doubly worthwhile. Some of the party viewed "Bunker House" whilst others were content to take in Garden Castle, Bamboo Mountain and Underberg further away. Most people come to the mountains to restore their souls, Andrew however lost his and he arrived at the top “Sole” in hand. The way home lead down a long ridge and eventually we all met up on a grassy dam wall for a brief stop, then along through Splashy Fen or “Cookie” country! A short cut across private farmland soon had us back on the road and so to base and the luxury of a private bath!
Sunday saw the hikers off up the road to explore the cottages at Stoney Hall where three more joined us in the form of three very boisterous dogs. We set off on a gentle hike along the perimeter of the farm, seeing Rhebok in the grasslands in the distance, and traversing around pine plantations up hill and down dale. A circular route around back through the mielie fields (more Rhebok there) on to Stoney Hall brought us back to base, where we cooled down in the shade of the old oak tree. Some members gently paddled the canoe around the wrap around dam, but to their peril, as we soon saw when our leader came walking back looking suspiciously like a toddler in trouble to be asked, “Don’t you use Huggies, Bushy?”
Lunch was had in the shade looking right up at Bamboo Mountain and so to the end of a lovely week-end in a glorious and comfortable setting. A good one. Thank you Bushy.