MHC - Blesbok Ridge
Lidgetton West
Midlands Meander
25 June 2017

Report and photos by Dave Sclanders.

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]



Trying to find new hiking venues that are not too far away, interesting, and not too difficult or long or easy, can be a challenge for leaders. Whilst doing a country drive one afternoon, we came to an area that did promise to be a worthwhile future hike venue. Sometime later we did a recce hike, and sorted out a reasonable route, and so a new hike venue was added to the clubs hiking list.

On the 25th June , 15 of us met at the magnificent Lythwood Lodge Conferences and Events Centre in the Lidgetton valley. The path from the Lodge leads up fairly steeply through a beautiful natural forest to the huge plateau above.



The plateau is a large pine and gum tree plantation, but fortunately there are paths and roads on which we walked that kept us mostly on the edge of the plateau. From different vantage points we had a great 360 view of the surrounding valley farms and towards the west, the high escarpment of the Drakensberg.



In places we had to follow the forest fire breaks, this however made the walking a bit easier, but at the same time trough up clouds of soot from the recent burning of the forest area border. In some areas some choose to walk in the burnt area as this was on the edge of the escarpment, and gave views of the farms below, and others choose to stay on the road and go through part of the forest, and miss the views.



Lunch was had at the highest point in the area , however the angle of the sun, and fuzzy conditions curtailed the far off scenery that was all around us.

Back at the cars, a walk around the lawns and gardens of Lythwood Lodge set a good vibe for us to catch our breath and relax before heading for home.



Our thanks to Leon and Alison of Lythwood Lodge for allowing us to use the Lodge as our start point, and a allowing us free access to the area around the Lodge and the road to the top of the Ridge

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Winter day hikes can be trickey. The weather can be very unpredictable, and can change in a very short space of time. Mornings can be cold, then it gets hot and as the afternoon progresses cold comes in again. Make sure if jerseys and jackets are tied onto the back of day packs that they do not fall off, or become lost along the way. It is good sense to carry a good torch with. Sudden darkness can have it s own set of consequences. ALWAYS GO PREPARED FOR THE UNEXPECTED

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