The Rim of Africa – Traverse One: Day 4
(+- 16.6 km)
Today was a long but not too tough day except the 1 rather steep uphill which we were told was only +- 2km, but you have no idea how long that can feel.
We were up at our usual 6.10 and set off by 8.15. Like most days, we started off crossing the stream and then did a gradual climb up the mountain. I loved the field of dried out Protea’s and blue flowers. It was such a stunning contrast but as hard as I tried I couldn’t quite capture it on my camera.
From here it was a lovely path but kept going up ever so slightly until we hit the Cedar Trees where we had a very quick tea stop with lots of laughter (All about what food to eat for what blood group and one of the men were really not happy about not being able to eat pork and the worms that were now in his body… LOL)
After our tea breat we carried on going up, up, up, Engels Man Se Kloof to the top were the men patiently waited for us.
From here it was a very long jeep track and we had our quick lunch break along the way. I think in total we only had about 45 min rest all day so you tend to go into auto mode to just try and get to the end.
The last part Marinda and I did last year when we did the Wolfberg Arch hike with another group but it would have added about 3km onto our 5th day. We walked past the caves we stayed at with the group and down to the Welbedacht Cave.
At first we were really annoyed because we both knew there was no water close by and it was not all that clean but made peace with it once we settled.
It was really sad to see how so called Nature lovers / hikers can leave such a beautiful spot in such a dirty state! The one part at the entrance to the cave was littered with toilet paper and the bushman paintings are now almost gone due to people making fire in the cave. Let’s not even talk about people now doing their own graffiti… grrrr!!!
Once we put our things down we all headed off in search of the closest water. The men all went quite far. I found a stream but did not see that it was mud under the grass and sank ankle deep into it and getting water out of that hole was not going to be easy anyway. Marinda went just a bit higher and we very slowly got water from a small running stream by filling up a water bottle and then pouring it into her portable shower (which was one of the best things on the trip). While the men were away we had a quick, cold shower that feels like heaven after a sweaty long day.
Believe it or not but the other 2 great items Marinda brought along was her “kitchen sink” and camp coffee maker. The ladies had a mountain spa… Epsom salts in a bit of water in the sink and Real coffee! The men were of course treated to some coffee as well!
We all set up our tents. (Tent in a cave? It was so that the mice don’t get to our stuff and it was a chilly wind blowing) Then prepared and made our dinner and watched a beautiful little “Spectacled dormouse” running around trying to get to our food in our tents and backpacks. Sadly it was just too fast to take a photo of it.
We ended the night learning to play a card game, seeing as Henk carried the cards all the way up. Lots of laughter and fun before bed time at about 8.30. (one of our late nights)