Giants Cup Trail
19-22 March 2010

Report by Jenny Rooks; Chirps - as per credits; Pics & comments courtesy Roseanne Dix

It was Keith’s challenge to us that the Giants Cup was a trail that should be hiked by everyone at least once that decided me to join John Fourie’s Giants Cup Trail. So, despite not having backpacked for well over 12 years, I nevertheless joined the 6 other MHC members on the 4 day Trail on from Cobham to Bushman’s Nek. Of the 7 of us that set out from Pholela Hut, only three had hiked the trail previously and Libby Diesel and I were the only novice backpackers in the group. Although I had aching shoulders and back at the end of each day from a pack that was far too heavy, and at times I wondered what on earth I was doing on this trail, in the end I had to admit Keith WAS right; everyone should make an effort to hike it at least once.

The scenery can only be described as breathtakingly spectacular, and we in KZN are particularly privileged to have this wonderful trail so accessible to us, literally on our doorstep.

Each day was unique and had its own highlights so that it would be difficult to single out which part of the trail was the best. I have a collage of wonderful memories, particularly the views from the top of Garden Castle, Bathplug Cave, skinny dipping in the pool at the Mzimkhulwana Hut, the stunning double rainbow that arched over the sky at Winterhoek Hut, being caught in a hail storm on the 2nd day and the shooting star that we saw in the sky in early hours of the morning while we were sleeping outside on the grass outside Swiman’s cottage.

The fellowship of the group was just as special as the wonderful scenery – John Fourie (leader), Rose Dix, Margret Kirsten, Kevin Knox-Davies, Max Ramseier and Libby Deysel were all superb hiking companions; but who knew that Libby was a whizz at cards, out manoeuvring everyone else to always win the most matches? Or that Kevin can do the most amazing impromptu songs? The vision of Kevin at the end of the hike with his hiking stick as his guitar, singing ‘Don’t Throw Your Backpack away’ to the tune of " Don’t throw your LOVE away" will remain with me for a long time.

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Chirps from the Peanut Gallery

For my first back packing trail, it was great to be able to celebrate my 65th birthday in the Drakensberg with the most amazing group of hikers - the "Magnificent Seven".

I was so privileged and fortunate to have these wonderful people with me on a difficult trip down Memory Lane. Thank you so much for your support.

It was great to have 7 beds and more at winterhoek instead of 6 all in one "sardine tin". A little logic opened all the doors, and who does not want SOME comfort even when hiking!!!It was a great trip.

John :
From the Horses Mouth (Leader) The weather was extremely kind to us and the Trail well worth the effort. What a great bunch of people - the companionship was excellent. There was also a brave soldier or two - Kevins rendition of "Dont Throw My Rucksack Away" has been captured on video clip for future talent competitions. All Members beware - we have a "card sharp" in our midst.... Do NOT be beguiled by Libbys innocence.

As the official "Sweeper" I was done out of my job because everyone was so strong and also 'out of the feathers' as dawn broke. A wonderful hike, Thank You John.
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1. Day one
'Now just remind me why Im doing this again??'

2.Apprehension replaced by Elation
John, Jenny, Libby, Kevin

3. At Mzimkhulwana
Birthday Girl on her first Backpacking Hike
Well done Libby !!

4. Libby doing her
Mermaid Impersonation
at Mzimkhulwana Pool

5. Day 2
A Wobbly Start a Fabulous Day

6. With a Huff and a Puff
we made it to the Top

7. Our Reward at "Winterhoek"

8. Sharing strange Beverages
and even stranger Tales
Winterhoek Boma

9. Day 3
Bye Bye Winterhoek... Hello Black Eagle Pass.

10. Girls Night Out
- Swiman -
Shooting Stars and Soggy Sleeping Bags

11. Day 4
Ama-Cool Himself -
Our very Dear, very Sweet, Problem-Solving Leader

12. Its Not over til the Thin Man Sings
- Bushmans Nek -