Everdon Estates Hike 6 Sept 2009

Leader: Cecil Hackney (Everdon Estates)
Planned distance 15km (was cut short due to weather - high temperature)
23 Hikers

Report and pics: Rose Dix (CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)

Cecil Hackney (Leader)
Keith Ashton
Chris Dobson
Margaret Roberts
Howard Townsend
Rose Dix
Christie Exall
Joan Templeton
Marina Jurgens
Linda Bruss
Merle Brett
Mike Bennet
Jeff Mayall
June Crebo
Eugene Mare
Dave Sclanders
Rod Hart
Andrew Friedemann
Michelle Friedemann
Peter Wedge

Visitors/Prospective members
Carolee Thomson
Bruce Rudling
Lyn Gissing

23 in total

This new hike was supported by a very large crowd of eager hikers who met on an uncharacteristically hot spring day on the beautiful property of Everdon Estates where Organic Avocados are farmed and subsequently sold by Woolworths and many other outlets, with 55% being exported. They also produce a variety of Oils used in cosmetics and now in cooking - with many added flavours. A new taste experience awaits.

In his introductory speech, Keith (ably encouraged by Dave) gave us a highly imaginative review of the recently acquired Luxury Lodge in the Valley...their risque observations being greeted by surprised expressions and murmurings of 'whatever did they have for breakfast?'

However, hiking isnt all about getting from A-B, its also about learning and this we certainly did.

We were treated to sightings of many zebra, wildebeest and a very jaunty warthog. We learned that Avo trees, when pruned, need sun protection much as humans do.

The hike was to be 15ks over a varied terrain, grazed by happy looking cows and a myriad inquisitive calves on wobbly legs. Exciting to see early spring flowers dotting the slopes even though rainfall has been sparse.

The beautiful plant - Syncolostemon Densiflorus is the host plant for the endangered Karkloof butterfly which Cecil told us is being rescued from extinction (I hope I got this info correct) Wonderful to hear that so many Oribi are living on the Estate. Cranes are still battling human and animal foes to increase their numbers.

Just after lunch on a high plateau overlooking inviting valleys, we started up a steep incline, where Christie discovered her shorts had split - but while we were all fiddling with our lenses to get a shot of this interesting feature, she decided that her posterior view was not to be shared and opted for a lift out by luxury vehicle....thus providing a mean photo opportunity for the ever vigilant Rod (pics are bound to follow)

The heat was becoming oppressive at this stage so the hike was shortened by 4ks. Most hikers then retreated to Yellowwood Cafe where Cecil and Sandra kindly provided cool water to quench parched throats.

Back at the Avo packing sheds, Cecil very generously gave everyone Avos as a reminder of a great hike.

Rods informative photographs will illustrate our journey far better than words - Im sure that we all hope that this hike will become a permanent fixture as it certainly is one of the most spectacularly scenic hikes in the area.

Our grateful thanks to Cecil, Keith and Margaret for recce-ing this new hike for our enjoyment.

roseanne dix