Midlands hiking Club – Highmoor Camping Weekend
3 – 4th June 2006
By Dave Sclanders

Highmoor is one of the highest camping sites that you can drive up too in the berg. Set on a high hill at Highmoor , the camp has great views of the lowlands below you. It also offers great sunrises – if you get up early enough , it is also a very cold camping area as it is quite exposed to the cold berg winds. Keith had arranged the week end , so that people could spend either the whole week end , just the Saterday , or Sunday and do day hikes from there . Saterday morning saw 9 hikers meet at the campsite at Highmoor. However only 4 were to spend the night in tents , the others were on the day trip. With all the “planning and packing” that goes into a hiking week end , where you drive to the campsite , set up camp , and walk from there . One tends to take and incredible amount of “stuff” for the one night , - needless to say , someone who shall remain nameless – for honours sake , left their sleeping bag behind. However the day trippers had brought blankets with them , so the night was very comfortable for the bagless hiker . Saterday was veery cold , with a bone chilling wind dropping the temperature to below zero degrees. However a good long hike of about 15 kilometers was enjoyed.

The hike was an informal , investigative affair , where we eventually ended up hiking along a high ridge that looks down on to the Kamberg Valley and fishing dams. Wonderfull views of the entire central berg , from ‘The Reddi Peak in the Loteni area , to Cathkin in the north was our backdrop.

Snow was scattered across the top of the high berg , and with the cold wind blowing , camping or hiking along the top of the escarpment would be very cold and ugly. On arriving back at the cars , tea was made to warm up , then the day visitors headed back to a warm home and bed. The remaining 4 hikers , Keith, Margaret , Terresa and Dave , got themselves ready for a cold evening in the fresh mountain air. A long hot shower was the order of the moment for Teressa. Keith had brought a pile of wood with , and soon we had a good fire going.

However after a quick supper , food took a very long time to warm up , then cooled in a matter of minutes , we decided the inside of our tents was the best place to be. On long cold winter nights , one can spend up to 13 hours in the tent , so – good , and comfortable mattresses are very important. After breakfast on Sunday – which turned out to be a gloriously warm day , we set off for the top of Cleopatra . A very easy and relaxing walk , with great views down the valleys again , and lunching in the warm sun , eventually saw us get back to the campsite just after lunch . More tea , pack up the dry tents – which had had ice on them in the morning – and we set off for home.

A very enjoyable week end , however the greatest fact was that we established 2 more day walk venues , which are very easy to hike , no great climbs , and very good views of the berg. So make a note of this , and be prepared to enjoy future outings at Highmoor. Thanks to Keith for organizing this week end .