|Hayleigh has been needing
to do a First Class hike for some time. We kept on saying that we need
to set a date, however, months went by before we got to set the date
for this weekend.
A hike for First Class
involves her getting together at least 4 fellow scouters and hiking
at least 20km's in either a day or two. I had seen an article in one
of the outdoor magazines about Ezemvelo and that there were hiking
trails. Honestly, magazines often can not portray the beauty that
some of these places have. Anyway, there were 4 hiking trails of which
Hayleigh did the 14km and 6km hike. More about that later.
There were finally 7 scouters that hiked over the weekend with her.
They were John (Brother), Michelle, Rene, Ryan, Jordan and Mathew.
We arranged to meet at the scout hall at 16h45 in order that we could
pack and leave by 17h00. We took both cars with myself towing the
caravan and carrying the 4 boys with Lindsay towing the scout trailer
and carrying the 3 girls. Everything went to plan perfectly. The problem
however was getting to Ezemvelo. Looking at the map on the Ezemvelo
website, it looked like we could head down the N12 towards Witbank
and intercept the R24 - R54. From there it was an easy drive up to
Ezemvelo. Well, we drove and we drove looking for these numbers, however,
most of the off ramps simply had a name. It got to the point where
we saw a Bapsfontein sign and decided to take it as I new we had to
go through there. This eventually got us to the campsite, however
and extra hour travelling and arriving in the dark!!! Not cool. Ironically,
if we had headed down Pretoria road in Benoni, this would have gotten
us there in the shortest possible time and route. Even more ironic
was the fact that Pretoria road is not more then 1km from our house!
We did take this route home with the distance being 90km's and taking
1hour 20 minutes due to a serious thunder shower we had to drive through.
Anyway, as normal, there are photos below.
Also, an index for some guidance.
you ever arrived a a camp site in the dark and had this preconceived
idea as to what the scenery before you looks like? Well due
to us arriving rather late this time, we had no idea what
was in front or around us for that matter.
two photos were the view from our camp site. 1st is straight
out, 2nd is looking right.
The two lower were from a road that
ran in front of the camp site. The left photo is the entrance
road. The trees in the bottom left is where we camped. The
right photo is a closer view and if you look carefully in
the trees, you can just make out Lindsay's car and a tent.
is everyone on Saturday morning having breakfast and getting
ready for the hike. More an overview of our camp site
are some views of the camping area and the ablutions. The
toilets showers etc were old but well kept and clean. Tons
of hot water.
Also the camping area was lovely and
shady but with the resultant bare ground. There is however
some well grassed areas.
- day 1
- day 2
On Sunday, Lindsay and I decided to join
the kids on their hike as it was only 6km's. Little did we
know the terrain! However, the hike was one of my best. The
scenery was absolutely fabulous. The kids had a whale of a
time as you will see below.
we are on the start of the hike and on a lovely gradual climb
up the hill.
the group will stop and have a rest. Ironically, they all
sat down on a hill where there was a freshly cleaned out
Warthog hole. Luckily Mommy and Daddy were out foraging.
just had to include this photo as it reminded me so much of
Zimbabwe. When we used to roam Matopos, they were everywhere.
They are the resurrection bush. Basically
during dry weather they appear to completely dry out and
die. Serious rubbish dump material.
However, let them get the smallest
amount of water and they do as their name says. Resurrect
into a beautiful green bush again.
way through the hike we got to this point. We were at the
top of a valley that lay before us where the Wilge river ran
The shear height if
the cliffs gave me the habdabs when the kids went and stood
on the edges.
Photos from top left to right and
1 John and Ryan
2 Ryan, John, Rene, Mathew,
Jordan, Michelle and Hayleigh
4 Jordan, Hayleigh, Mathew
photos were taken opposite from each other.
The bottom photo was taken from the top of the first two
photos and vice versa.
Top right photo is the kids at the
top of the top left photo.
picturesque photos from the top of the outcrop above.
-find water and have fun
kids find water, you know what is going to happen.
This is how it starts. A rest besides
the water with hiking boots off and cooling those heels...
the exploration begins
pool is found...
The home run
general info and photos
are overnight huts for one of the hiking trails. These are
them. They are set in a shallow valley next to a stream.
They are very nice with a braai area,
outside ablution facilities with hot water. It would appear
that even if you are not hiking, you can also stay here.
Simply drive through the reserve.
just down the road are "Family huts".
the left is the view from them and on the right one of the
huts which are the same as the Overnight huts.
Below are photos of the reception area
and the lake in front. Clockwise from top left
There is a fuffy slide from up on the far side of the dam
down to in front of the office
2 Chalets next to the reception
3 The swimming pool
4 Sunset over the dam
5 The dam
6 The reception
of my more picturesque photos. Must get these enlarged and
Till next time keep well, travel safe and enjoy.