Report and photos by Alistair Nixon, additional photos courtesy of Brian Henwood

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]

Bulwer Mountain or Amahaqwa Mountain (misty one) fortunately did not live up to its Zulu name when 7 MHC hikers arrived on Sunday 18th May. The previous walk to the top in 2013 was shortened because of the misty conditions.

The area must have been a well maintained area in its hayday but unfortunately one could see areas of neglect in the form of encroaching bramble and footpaths which in time will be reduced to eroded gullies. Wild flowers abound in the area.

The first stop on the way up is the cave with examples of Bushman rockart. Unfortunately over the years individuals in sad need of psychological assessment have inscribed their names and generally defaced these once beautiful works of art. It is a pity the cave has not been fenced off. They are still worth the visit.

Our route could be described as exploratory which added a touch of adventure to the hike. Added to the enjoyment of exploration was the graceful flight of paragliders as they soared over our heads. Nearby is a well known launch site for para and hang gliders. Set against the blue skies it was a pleasure watching one of the world’s quietest sports.

The gradient on our route was challenging but an occasional stop to enjoy the views made it really worthwhile. Once on top the views are SPECTACULAR. The ‘berg and valleys beyond were beautiful in their hazy autumn colours. One can also judge the extent of commercial forestry from this vantage point. The paragliders also kept us entertained with the occasional swoop past and a friendly wave.

The clamber down was like the route up exploratory, steep, challenging but fun. It took its toll on the knees or if one used the backside sliding technique the ‘injuries’ would have been quite different. It was suggested by a fellow walker that a cardboard box would have been an interesting method of descent.

The pub at the Mountain Park Hotel was an excellent way to finish off a great day’s hiking.

Pic 1 - The Challenge
Pic 2 - Graffiti
Pic 3 - Rest stop
Pic 4 - Paraglider
Pic 5 - Paraglider
Pic 6 - Everlastings
Pic 7 - Paragliders
Pic 8 - Nearing the top
Pic 9 - Nearing the top

Pic 10 - The top
Pic 11 - Group photo
Pic 12 - View from the top
Pic 13 - The descent
Pic 14 - Descent
Pic 15 - Bulwer"mountain" in the background
Pic 16 - Nearing the hotel