Chase Valley, Pietermaritzburg. 9th December 2012
Photos & comment by Rod Hart

This is why it is called the "Cascades Centre" though because the actual cascades are hidden behind the center very few people actually get to see them. This is where we started our hike from, the carpark behind the shopping centre, just above these bubbling cascades. Including Brian Henwood, the hike leader, there were 9 of us on the 13km hike. The hike is described as a hike up through the Chase Valley plantations along farm roads to the top of Chase Valley Heights and with views of the city and the fancy houses below. In this case we were invited to a braai and swim at the leaders house afterwards.

Pic 2 Hike leader Brian checks his watch and declares it time to set off (in the carpark behind Cascades Shopping Centre)
Pic 3 All sorts of trails and roads, all with one thing in common - they go UP
Pic 4 The group poses for a portrait on one of the cycle jumps built specifically for the Downhill World Championships

Pic 5 I stop to get my obligatory "pretty flower" photo...
Pic 6 ... and the group stops obligingly for me
Pic 7 An enormous water pipeline, unfortunately the lack of scale in the pic means you don't get to see how really big it is - you will just have to walk up there and see for yourself!
Pic 8 Tea-time, a time honoured break for hikers
Pic 9 My new (second hike) Hi Tec boots take in the tea break

Pic 10 And off we set again, having reached the highest point of our climb. the path is now either level or downhill
Pic 11 Peter pointed out this lone lily to me
Pic 12 and the group waits again...
Pic 13 & 14 Earlier we had passed a fisherman and his family and wondered where there was to fish - well here we are

Pic 14b And off we set again, tromp, tromp, tromp, nine pairs of dusty boots
Pic 15 And this is what we looked down on...
Pic 16 I could certainly have put that hammock to good use right then!

Pic 17 Back at Brians house, a swim and a braai
Pic 18 An excellent way to end a hike - that you can see from the smiles all round! Thanks Brian and family for your hospitality.