Cederberg Hike ~ Wolfberg Cracks, Maltese Cross, Stadsaal Caves…

Our weekend away hike in the Cederberg started early on Friday and ended rather late on Sunday 🙂 We left Cape Town early and stopped over for breakfast and to meet up with the rest of the group at Kardoesie on the N7.962317_10152477594643245_434275022_oFrom here we travelled in convoy past Algeria and over the Uitkyk Pass until we reached Dwarsrivier, the home of Cederberg Wines and Sanddrif Holiday Resort were we stayed. (The grave road is +_ 46 km and was really not good to our little sedan car. A 4 x 4 would be a much better option) We booked into our little 2 room cottages and obtained all the necessary permits for the various sights we are visiting during our 2 night / 3 day stay. Most of the areas belong to Nature Conservation so a Wild Card is a bonus if you have one. Sanddrif holiday resort  Sanddrif holiday resort DSCN6918 DSCN6923  I just had to add this picture of the little bird that stayed with us. He was not at all scared of us and was a real model for me. After we unpacked a few thing we took a walk, over the bridge and through the lovely campsite, down to “Maalgat”, which is a huge swimming hole.     Sanddrif Holiday Resort Sanddrif Holiday Resort Sanddrif Holiday Resort Sanddrif Holiday Resort Sanddrif Holiday Resort Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Only mad people swim in that freezing cold water!! 🙂 A panoramic view of the Dwarsrivier A panoramic view of the Dwarsrivier which we thought was the Maalgat with very little water until I decided to head back and came across the path leading further down to “Maalgat”.

This is Maalgat!!

Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike  Maalgat Hike Maalgat Hike Maalgat HikeFrom here we headed back (about 20 / 30 min walk) to our huts to get our cars and drive to the Rock Art Site to view the Bushman Painting and then a bit further down to the Stadsaal before sunset to do a mediation. DSCN6925 DSCN6926 DSCN6927 DSCN6950 DSCN6928  tania2b DSCN6931  DSCN6933 DSCN6938 DSCN6934  ?????????? DSCN6947 This really looks like it is going to fall over any minute. And it boggles the mind to think that a tree would want to grow out of solid rock 🙂 DSCN6943 DSCN6945 ?????????? We arrive at the Stadsaal Caves (Cape Nature Property) in time to see some of the caves and rock formations and a lovely sunset. This is one place I really would like to return to and spend at least 4 hours just walking around and taking photo’s. Magical!! DSCN6961 DSCN6963 DSCN6965 DSCN6966 DSCN6967 DSCN6969DSCN6971 DSCN6974 DSCN6975 DSCN6973 DSCN6985 ?????????? DSCN6977 DSCN6981 DSCN6983 Sunset Meditation DSCN6990 ?????????? DSCN6991 DSCN6995 ?????????? ?????????? DSCN7001 DSCN7003 DSCN7007 And that was sadly the end of day 1. Saturday Morning early we got up to do the Wolfberg Cracks. This was a big one on my bucket list and I am very happy that I am now able to tick it off. What a great experience. DSCN7031 “Approximately 1,2 km from Sanddrif, at the foot of the Wolfberg, there is a parking area under the oak trees.  This is the start of the walk.  The path leading to the Cracks is clearly visible.  Three Cracks can be viewed, of which the first two are easily recognizable.  The hike to the third crack is for the more adventurous tourist.  A map indicating the route is available from the office at Dwarsrivier.”

Wolfberg Cracks
Uphill all the way to the Cracks!

DSCN7033 DSCN7035 DSCN7036 DSCN7037  DSCN7041 DSCN7042 DSCN7046 DSCN7047 When you get to this point you see the ledge you must walk along to do the Cracks and its up to you to make the choice. It is not for everyone and a bit of fitness is most definitely required. And perhaps a bit of insanity 🙂 DSCN7050 DSCN7052 DSCN7054 And this is how they get you up there… pull 10401919_10152111388030969_8691183346039214311_n 10394121_10152111388160969_3335280717970297467_n10411437_10152111388210969_1784022360624299936_n   ?????????? DSCN7056 ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? Wolfberg Cracks We made it over the ledge. Now for the next challenges. We have to climb over or under, pull and push one another, crawl under, squeeze through and feel your way in the dark… Enjoy the photo’s as words just cannot explain how beautiful and magical it is and the photo’s don’t really capture it either but it give you a great idea of what to expect. The crazy / adventurous ones in our hiking group 🙂 DSCN7060 DSCN7061 DSCN7065 DSCN7066 DSCN7068 DSCN7069 DSCN7071 DSCN7072 DSCN7075 DSCN7073 DSCN7076 DSCN7078 DSCN7081 DSCN7082 DSCN7083 DSCN7084 DSCN7085 DSCN7088 DSCN7089 DSCN7090 DSCN7091 DSCN7103 DSCN7098 ?????????? DSCN7101 DSCN7104 DSCN7113 DSCN7115 DSCN7117 DSCN7119 DSCN7122 DSCN7123 DSCN7124 DSCN7125 DSCN7126 DSCN7127  DSCN7129 DSCN7130 DSCN7132 DSCN7135 DSCN7137 WE DID IT! Now for the last stretch down hill. DSCN7139 DSCN7141 DSCN7144 DSCN7145 DSCN7146   I wanted to do a panoramic from the top but the wind was so strong you had to hold on or get blown away.       DSCN7147 DSCN7149 DSCN7150 DSCN7152DSCN7153 DSCN7158 DSCN7163 DSCN7165 DSCN7169 DSCN7173 DSCN7174 DSCN7179 DSCN7180 DSCN7183 DSCN7185 DSCN7194 Some rock climbers coming down!! DSCN7197 DSCN7195 DSCN7200 DSCN7203 DSCN7205 DSCN7208 DSCN7206DSCN7209 Well that was the morning sorted out! Now what do we do for the rest of the day? All hyped up and nothing to do… DSCN7219 DSCN7223 That was until we decided to go and see if the wine tasting was still open…  and it was… LOL 😉  Cederberg Wine Varieties     DSCN7213 DSCN7216  ?????????? DSCN7220 Our day ended with a lovely group braai, more wine and a lot of laughter. 🙂 DSCN7231We sadly could not go stargazing at the Observatory due to rain.         The next morning we were up way to early, and had a beautiful rainbow above the mountain tops. We packed all our things, packed the car ready for our trip home after our hike up to the Maltese Cross. DSCN7229 DSCN7241DSCN7238 DSCN7240  DSCN7242 DSCN7243 DSCN7250 DSCN7244   We barely started the hike, when our hike leader hurt his calf muscle and we had to keep stopping to try and sort it out enough for him to carry on with the hike.     DSCN7246 DSCN7248 DSCN7255 DSCN7252 DSCN7251 ?????????? DSCN7257 DSCN7259 DSCN7265 DSCN7267 DSCN7273DSCN7269  DSCN7275 DSCN7286 DSCN7290 The Maltese Cross The Maltese Cross DSCN7301 DSCN7303 DSCN7307 We had to do a “footsie” for the Wild Card to prove we were here 🙂 DSCN7335 DSCN7337 ?????????? DSCN7347 DSCN7352 Filling up with water on the way down DSCN7353 DSCN7358 DSCN7349 ?????????? DSCN7366 DSCN7368 DSCN7365DSCN7362 DSCN7364 DSCN7370 DSCN7372 DSCN7373 The End of a really wonderful weekend hike with 23 great people. The birds were a lovely ending, in the huge protea bushes at the car park were we start and end the Maltese Cross Hike. DSCN7376 DSCN7377 DSCN7380