SUNDAY, 23 JANUARY 2010
Leader: Allison Gunning, Report by: Peter Wedge
Sunday 23 January was a clear hot day Allison Gunning had planned a hike in the Kamberg as leader so the following people joined her at Kamberg Parks Board office for an 08h30 rendezvous: -
Tony Moreno, Gill Plummer and Peter Wedge
Brian Checkley, Howard Townshend, Andrea Ward and Libby Deysel
Kristy and Otto Solomon
Ann Brown and Carol Coetzee
All ready to go by 09h00 so the drivers took cars and hikers about 3 kms to the start of the hike leaving the vehicles in a generally safe area.
Plenty of sunscreen needed on the day within the first 2 kms most of us feeling the heat, probably 30 C plus.
After a steady climb but on a clear track we approached the Mooi River, disturbing a herd of approx 15-20 eland. This is a magnificent antelope as we all know but the general condition of these particular animals was superb. They were quite close initially probably only 250m away but quickly left the area for higher ground and then stopped to check us out!
As we arrived at the Mooi we found it in full spate and after several sorties up and down stream clearly it was not able to be crossed without considerable difficulty and with the distinct possibility of being swept off our feet Allison wisely decided that we should abort our original plan of crossing the river and then ascending up the Mooi's valley to Krantz's Cave. We had planned then to return over the top and to Roman Baths and then back to base.
It was now around 11h00 so Allison decided to go up the Mooi's tributary to Roman Baths on a shorter route and take lunch in this very attractive spot.
However to get to the Baths was not easy with the normal track being very wet and slippery. We eventually arrived at the area and a welcome rest and lunch. Most of the ladies and a couple of hardy guys decided to swim in the pool. Clearly very refreshing with the hot humid weather but still needing a bit of nerve to be immersed. Judging from the squeals and screams of the girls!
After lunch we returned to base along the clearly marked track with evidence of baboons (droppings) recent presence. Generally, this area of the approaches to the Southern Berg looked very green and in great condition. Back to the parked vehicles by around 15h00 having covered around 11-12 kms. Allison reckoned we would have walked another 6 or 7 had we been able to get across the Mooi but a good day and a good workout sorely needed to counter post Christmas eating excesses.
We should consider repeating this hike to take in Allison's original route later in the year when the river levels have dropped to allow safe crossing.
A good turnout for an early hike in 2010 - and thanks to Allison for her leadership and good knowledge of the area.