Saturday 23 July 2016
Report and photographs by Margret Kirsten; Comment and additional photos by Keith Ashton
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]
After having had to cancel this hike twice before due to rain, we finally made it in spite of rain having been forecast once again. Yes, it had rained during the night and heavy clouds hung over the Gorge and I heard someone whisper.......Margret is the Rain Queen!! Giggles and Chuckles!
We were 7 sturdy hikers, 2 had cancelled at the last minute. Again I heard a whisper from the same person ... sissies … and then...lots of laughter again.
We started along the upper gorge and passed several view points which were admired in awe. It was a pity that we did not have sunshine. Then over slippery rocks we crossed the weir and up, through the forest passing another great view point. Reaching the grassy slope on high ground, we passed the beacon. We encountered a little drizzle and slipped on rain coats and two minutes later we were off again.
Next we visited Margret's cave which is situated close to the edge and dangerous in slippery conditions but was nevertheless photographed with great excitement.
We continued via another high view point where one person contemplated climbing to the nearly free standing rock. The leader quickly decided to continue and gave him NO time to atte mpt it. We descended through a small forest, crossing the stream and up along the next stretch of grassland where we spotted 7 resident Zebras and shortly thereafter passed a memorial plaque of Greg Bosch who was killed there after he had followed robbers at night who had broken into his nearby house. We made a detour via the crack before descending into the gorge to the riverbed and Soreass pool, our lunch spot. The rocky area was explored at length and Neville had to do his thing and climb the big rock - boys will always be boys!
Because of the cold weather we did not linger too long and made our way zig- zagging along the river and crossing it a few times. Wet leaves covered the rocks here and there which made it a dangerous game.
Without injuries we reached the point where we had to leave the riverbed and make our way up the steep slope back to the upper part of the gorge. Huffing and puffing uphill warmed us up again. In a what looked like a cave/overhang, climbing skills were practised again with fun and laughter. Soon thereafter we approached the more comfortable path which took us back to the weir and the last slippery rocks of which we had had our fair share. Then back along the last stretch with some more viewing into the deep gorge after which we soon reached the car park.
Our small party, enriched with a new experience, departed for home with great satisfaction. Thank you all for joining and covering “new ground”.
The following photos are courtesy of Keith Ashton:
1. Map near the entrance to Kranzkloof Nature Reserve
2. Margret our leader taking our photos in a rather dangerous cave
3. Margret, Loga, Pat & Neville - don't sleep-walk in this cave
4. Loga near the crack we thought of jumping across
5. A touching plaque just next to one of the tracks
6. View of the river at the bottom of the gorge
7. Our retiring Chairman Neville, a rock of the club, waving good-by in style
8. Brian , an ex. Chairman, playing snakes & ladders
9. Margaret trying to look elegant climbing down the ladder
10. Neville trying to do his last climb as Chairman
11. Neville thinking if I fall now I must shout I RESIGN - can't have any deaths on a club hike !!