Bald Ibis 16-18 September 2005
Bald Ibis trail photos were taken by Beverly Brockman with her Nokia cellphone - hence the lack of clarity and quality.
On Friday, we spent the evening in a wooden dormitory. The showers used a “donkey” hot water system.
On Saturday, we walked around stunning Tafelberg Mountain frequently losing track, the trail was not well marked especially Siggy’s Forest and Yellow Wood Forest but the maps and notes were well marked. We were guided by Giulia and assisted by Nathalie, who both did an excellent job! The 1st day was tough, walking 17.5 km. We started with a heavy climb to get to the base of the mountain. We saw plenty of yellow wood trees and the view of the horizon was complete with raptures. The climb to Rapture Cave was steep but it was worth it as the views were magnificent. We saw cows and a few birds on the way. We then walked to a cave with San Bushmen paintings and had our lunch there. We also saw Cathedral Cave, which was interesting and then walked to our overnight spot, which were twin caves. The cave consisted of dusty platforms used as bed and long drops were ‘the facilities’.
David carried firewood from the bottom of the wattle plantation to the cave and then proceeded prepare the campfire. We then sat around the campfire and talked. The women, asked our one and only male hiker being, David intense questions, needless to say he handled it well.
The 2nd day was a shorter 9km walk around the foot of the mountain. It was a pity we did not get to see the Bald Ibis birds.
Generally, it was considered a dry hike, maybe best attempted in summer.
The hike was situated near Harrismith and a great weekend away.
The hike was enhanced by the presence of Guiola Criscoulo, Liesel Heyns, Nathalie Berquet, Michelle Borkum, David Ryba and Beverly Brockman.
By Michelle Borkum