The Rim of Africa – Traverse One: Day 5 (+-15 km)
Day 5 was a real adventurous day but also a wet and cold day.
We woke up to a rather cold and foggy morning but we were all prepared and put on our rain gear (all except one tough lady… no, not me) It didn’t rain very hard but enough to take it a bit slower going down the mountain in case of slippery rocks. This was a fairly easy decent down from Welbedacht Cave, but somehow we missed the path before the river and had to cut across the land until we found a path to Driehoek Farm where we stopped for an early lunch.
OK, so we get to the tree where we are supposed to cross only to find there is no path and a river running in the reeds. We tried a bit further up but the river just got broader and now my knees were slightly shaky as I nearly stood on a large snake. (I encountered 3 snakes during this hike. 1 baby and 2 large – A mole snake and a grass snake. They were all camera shy so I couldn’t get any pictures of them)
Now what? Do we walk +-3km down the 4×4 jeep track to the left and hope we can cross the river; do we go right for 5km extra along the road: Or do we send our scout into the reeds to see if we can cross the reeds? Our scout bravely went across, came back and led us through without anyone falling and getting totally soaked. We carried on across the field until we got to the Oak trees to put our boots back on.
Once we crossed the main road we started our 5km uphill walk along a 4 x4 jeep track to the top of the mountain… No real tea break today except a 5 minute stop to catch our breath, stretch and share a quick snack.
We got to the top only to discover we now have to go further! Sometimes I was glad the men did not tell us just how far we had to go but other times I wished they did 🙂
Close to the top we left the jeep track and went up a hill then started walking across a long open plain in a wind that was freezing cold. We reached a sign that one of the men drew in the sand for us saying, “Hut” with an arrow but no matter how hard we looked we couldn’t see the hut. Ha,ha… it was quite a bit further on!
We eventually reached Sneeuberg Hut at about 4.30 and by now we were freezing cold and tired. The hut itself is lovely but sadly not very clean. We tried to open the side door for light and fresh air but in the end it was just too cold and had to close it and use our lights.
The ladies once again got water for everyone and I very bravely even had my evening wash in that cold water. Thankfully it was out of the wind, but still cold so my wash was rather fast. Regardless of how cold it is you always feel better after cleaning up a bit and knowing you will have slightly cleaner clothes the next day. (The stuff that don’t dry you tie onto your backpack while you walk the next day and it generally dries quite quickly)
We all pitched our tents because once again it would be warmer and we weren’t sure what was living in the grass on the floor. We then made our dinner and enjoyed a swig of Jerepigo to warm the body as a starter. The cold got us all into bed rather early but that did not last too long… Even though our backpacks were hanging on hooks the mice were trying to get into them so we had to put them into our tents again. The mice were persistent and now wanted to get into our tents so one of the men decided to make a trap to catch one so that the rest would leave. Lots of laughter but it did not work and none of us had very much sleep as we had to shoo the mice away from your tent so that it doesn’t eat a hole through it.