21 February 2021
Report and photos courtesy of Dave Sclanders (additional photos submitted by Libby Deysel)
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]
With Social distancing in mind, and all the other rigmarole around Covid, We set of, by the time we had cleared the car park, Social Distancing was a thing of the past, the line was well spread out as the steep incline from start to lunch kept the fitter sort of up-ahead, there was a long tail grinding up the mountain side. This would continue for the rest of the morning. We crossed 2 streams where short rests were taken and fresh cool mountain stream water taken in. Then onwards and upwards.
FINALLY, the top of the falls was reached, by now the days temperature was sky high, the sky was blue, and a number of us had also "blown it". For the more hardy, a quick look down the sheer sides of the cliff we were on top of, then a great migration to different preferred lunch spots - trying to find shade where there was none. Hot sandwiches in the hot sun is not really very appetizing. Maybe sitting on a rock on the edge of the cliff was probably the coolest place to be, some cool wind and the occasional spray coming from the waterfall.
Some say there is often the feeling that someone is watching what you do, well here on the cliff top, a fleeting face in the rock called out "Well done you lot, a great achievement on such a hot day!"
Our lookout was trying to find a short cut back to the cars, "all that way Down !!!!!!". The one great secret and lesson of the mountains is - ONLY FOOLS LOOK FOR SHORTCUTS - if there is no path, DON’T GO!!
As we packed to leave, we looked up at the high Rock Cliffs above us, and were very thankful that we did not have to cross them today. If you go to McKenzie's one day, the path is over the crest!! @#^**++.
I had started with bad cramps as I stood up from lunch, it was a nightmare trip back, downhill all the way, causing more stress on my thighs than I could bear. Hiking sticks got me down to the car. A few others also had attacks of the cramps on the way down or at home that night, drinking water, and having some cramp or muscle relieving medication helps in these dire times.
Thanks to my hiking partners for being patient and understanding. Lesson here is for me, go back to a better First Aid box for myself. It is years since I last carried anti cramp medication.
on the McKenzie's Rinkhals, and how big these falls can be - quite spectacular - both pics.
We are now heading the Autumn, and some of the best times to be in the berg. Look at your calendars and plan a few days in the berg in April/May. But while saying that, The weather forecast may not always be right, go prepared for anything, and enjoy the experience.
Additional photos courtesy of Libby Deysel
Pic 24: "The largest mushroom in Mkhomazi"!
Pic 27: A zoom in on the eagle/vulture flying in the distance in pic 26