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Magoebaskloof hike, Dec 2005

This weekend was a bit different from the normal outings. My son (John) is a member of the 9th Benoni Scout group which he thoroughly enjoys. One of the boys is finishing off his Springbok award and one of the requirements for this advancement was that he had to hike 36km over 3 days with at least 3 other boys.

The boy who was doing the Springbok hike is Tyrone Emmett. His father, Gerrald, asked me if I would like to come along as John (my son) had already been invited. Well, I jumped at it. My daughter would be at PLTU (Patrol leaders training unit) at Gilten in Roodeport and my wife at home all alone. Oh well, I organised an air ticket for her to visit her sister and niece in Cape Town. The scene was set...

The trip and hike were awesome. I can not explain how much I enjoyed the weekend. The scenery was brilliant, the companions were brilliant, overall, out of this world.

To have a look at the web site for the hiking trail, go to this web address: - Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail

Day 1, Woodbush to Brooderstroom

We left Benoni at 04h00 on the morning of Saturday the 3rd of December. The trip took us out north to Pholokwane and then onto the R71 towards Tzaneen.

The photos on the left are at the Woodbush hut on our arrival. The kids basically finished packing their last items into their back packs. They each had to carry their own food to last them the entire hike which would be 2 nights out. They were not allowed to consume any of the parents food.

Listening to them, they thoroughly enjoyed having to cook lunch up on the mountain and their breakfasts and dinners were great. For dinner they had dehydrated hiking packs donated by tentco which they said was very good.

 

At this point, the boys had hiked about 4 km's and were crossing the road into vegetation and a valley below.

The last photo shows the steepness of the decent into this valley. It was at this point that the kids were on their own again for the rest of the day, making their way to the next hut which was Brooderstroom.

The photos to the left are Brooderstroom hut. The hut is incredibly well kept. I am not sure when the place was painted, but it looked like yesterday. It really was well kept. The last two photos were of dark ominous clouds which would come and haunt the boys the next day...

Here are some photos of the surrounding area. The dam in the lower two photos are of Dap Naude dam which was not far from the hut.

Top photo is of the boys nearing the Brooderstroom hut.

The photos below are the dads and boys sitting around the fire.

First photo from Left to Right. Myself, Shane Gardener (Troop scouter) and Gerrald Emmett, Tyrone's dad

Second Photo. Mark, Johan and Gerrald

Last photo below. John, Gerrald, Mark, crouched down, Shane and Andrew Greenslade.

 

Day 2: - Brooderstroom to De Hoek Hut

This was day two and during the night, it rained continuously. When it came time for the boys to leave it was still coming down in bucket fulls.

It took the boys nearly an hour to get their hiking stuff waterproofed as well as themselves.

The two lower photos is of them heading out into the rain. Both photos were taken in the comfort of my car ;-)

This is De Hoek Hut. Again, it was as if the hut had just been painted. It was immaculate and clean in every respect

Here we have some inside shots of the hut.

Top photo is the kitchen. Very basic but adequate. There was hot water available together with a kettle. That was it. No stove or anything else

Next photo was immediately outside the kitchen and is the braai area. As you can see, also very nice and clean

Last two photos is of some of the rooms. The beds we called "ATB's" "Anti Tokolosh Bunks's" They were very high off the ground and if one slept on the top bunk and wanted to get down of the loo in the middle of the night, you could get one hell of a fright if you did not take into account the height as did our Troop Scouter. He speaks from experience.

That evening, the dads decided to head out up the trail for a bit of exercise and see if we could meet the boys on their way in. The route took us past Dokolewa Pools hut.

These are some of the photo's I took of that Hut.

This is actually one of the overnight huts and was awesome. The sound of the water coming over the waterfalls just to the left of the hut was defining. Not sure if I would have had a good nights sleep there but the setting was...

 

Two photos as we hiked out to meet the boys.

 

As it was, we did not meet up with them and turned around at 16h00 and returned to the hut. It turned out that the boys were 45 minutes behind us still

Top photo and the boys had just arrived.

They took their shoes and socks off and due to all the rain and the heat from their feet, they sat there laughing as steam emanated from both foot and shoe.

Middle photo is Tyrone who was the leader as it was his Springbok hike

Bottom photo, Mark, Gregory Witt and John brows over the photo's of the day

Sunset. Another wonderful day gone buy.

Day 3: - De Hoek hut back to Woodbush Hut

Dawn from De Hoek Hut. Best part of the day...

 

Morning time around the fire area.

Look closely around the fire in the bottom photo. The boys lit the fire early in the morning and endeavoured to dry out their hiking boots which were wet from the day before.

 

Between De Hoek Hut and Woodbush hut, you can take the main road by car which myself and Gerrald did in order to meet the kids at the end point.

This is some photo's of the scenery on the way

 

Once Gerrald and I got to Woodbush hut, we again decided to hike down towards the boys and meet them on their way in.

When we headed out, we took the wrong trail but ended up at this hut being Seepsteen Stables Hut. Also a very rustic and beautiful hut.

  

Top photo is the trail on the way to the boys.

2nd Photo down is John leading up the hill. I was told that at this point they had been hiking for 2km's at a 30 to 40 degree angle up this hill. Fortunately, Gerrald and I had decided to stay put at this point.

3rd Photo is Mark coming up second.

Last photo, a team shot of the boys together with Shane who had decided to hike the last section with them

 

Top photo. The boys would regularly stop at streams and fill up their water bottles. Even I had a good old drink. Suffice to say that no one had any tummy problems.

The two photo's below is of the forest that they walked through.

 

Top photo is the last section out of the hiking trail.

Photo below is a group photo before we got in the car and headed home.

To end, this was an incredible weekend and really enjoyed by everyone. If you hike or are considering hiking, do not give this trail a miss.

Till next time keep well, travel safe and enjoy.

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