Report and photos by Rose Dix
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When one walks out over hills bursting with flowers, under an "African-sky-blue" dusted with fluffy upcountry clouds, one truly understands the pull of nature - which is why crazy people will drive 230km to hike 16km in heat which keeps most people in air-conditioned malls.
And so it was , yet again, this bright morning when we met Keith & Margaret and other eager hikers for yet another superb hike around Umgeni Valley.
This beautiful Reserve never fails to enthrall and delight us with its varied terrain and bursts of summer flowers and glimpses of the game which inhabit the surrounding hills.
We were an interesting band of 20 hikers ..made up of Ramblers Durban (well presented!) and Midlands Hiking Club plus many new enthusiastic members and visitors, who we hope to see on many more trails.
Because of the heat, Keith kept us on the upper levels and we walked at a leisurely pace from waterfall to highground paths cloaked in a rich array of colourful blooms. The paths are slightly overgrown, which is sad, because it could mean that the Reserve isn't visited as often as it should be - However, this does add to the rural ambience, despite smart new buildings popping up where before was only grassland.
Umgeni Valley is a gem of a venue.
Keith is a gem of a leader.
Aren't we all so lucky that our dedicated leaders give so much of their time for our enjoyment.
Spare a moment to appreciate the time and effort our leaders put in to make our weekends so pleasurable.