31 August 2014
The hike set off in a lighthearted manner, and our first obstacle was a very tight farm fence line. Considerable care was taken in crossing this obstacle, with the “Up and Over’s” and the “Crawlers” . Down at the river, it was too early for a swim so we carried on. The easy part was now over, above us stretched the long, long climb upwards and onwards. A second fence was negotiated, then the line of walkers started to spread out as the incline started to tell.
Pic – 2 – 3 – Stay warm
Pic - 4 – Lunch is at the top of that “little hill !!”
Pic – 4a - Dave showing how it is done - Pic courtesy of Carolee
Pic – 5 - “Up & Over”
Pic – 6 – Too early to swim
Pic – 7 – Cross the next fence !!
Pic – 8 - Now , start to climb , don’t look up.
Frequent rest stops were taken, where some patches of Natural Bush offered some wind protection, the sun shone warmly , almost inviting us to take our jackets off, but around the next corner – the icy wind reminded us why we had kept our jackets on.
Pic – 9 – 13 The changing views and temperatures of the lower lying areas.
From where we stood just past the last clump of bushes, the crest seemed very far and high away. But from the back ranks some strong walkers appeared and headed out far ahead, the back markers were now being “sucked along”, by these mountain goats in front. As we climbed higher, the views of the surrounding low areas became greater and greater.
Pic – 14 – The Mountain Goat front runners
Pic – 15 – Greater and greater views.
At last the remaining hikers reached the top – thank goodness, where a sheltered clump of rocks provided a relatively warm and windless spot to eat. The views from the top , were 360, with fairly good visibility.
Pics 16 – 18 At the top and far away
Pic – 19 – Everglades Hotel far below.
Pic 20 – 22 - We ARE at the top , at the Beacon
Then the long downhill trek to the cars began. For some hikers going downhill is more problematic the climbing up. But - remember - What goes Up must come DOWN, and visa versa. So when getting fit, don’t just practice along the flats, unless off course the plan is to “hike around the Golf Course”. Try and put some hill work into your training. Remember to put some bricks or sand into your training backpack instead of marshmallows.
Pic – 23 WE “WAS” up there
Then across the river, where only the four footed hikers opted to go for a swim.
Pic 24 – 27 The river at the bottom of the hill.
Pic 27a – 27b Photo's of Lettie getting hooked up and waiting to be unhooked! (Pics courtesy of Carolee)
A quick last group picture at the farm gate, before the last hill up to the cottage, where lunch was waiting for some.
Pic – 28 The Farm Gate
Pic – 29 – 31 The Lunch – much later than expected.
Pic – 32 - Inhlosane from the front
Pic – 33 - Nice sign
Thanks to Carolee for leading the hike, and Neville for always being around.