24-26 September 2004
The youthful group braved the long weekend traffic on the N3 and arrived safely at Bergville campsite on Thursday evening. Renate and troupe arrived just before 07h00 on Friday to start the great trek, we knew in the next half an hour George would announce ‘ten minutes left’.
Down came tents, cars packed and we motored to the Injasuti start point. The usual hiking rules and introductions done and we were on our way. We walked up the mountain, across the hillside and open grasslands. The weather was miserable, intermittent rain, ponchos out and we continued with some of us slow as usual, but persistent.
The lunch stop was just outside the bushman painting caves. One should be guided by the Parks Board, but not the youthful group, some crawled under the fence (without backpacks of course) to the caves, whilst others had their lunch. When the rest of us went up to view the stunning paintings, George called and we were not sure if it was a Parks Board official. The heavens opened again.
We headed for Marble Bath Caves. It was a long way, up and up we went. We eventually reached our destination, so far from the water. It was so cold. Some hikers went to the river to shower and fetch water for all of us. I was just too cold and got into my sleeping bag to keep warm. We had an early night but were up early roused with the noise of a group of children, from a school camp swimming in the cold stream. We had breakfast at the river. Another miserable day, walking in the rain and mist across grasslands.
We arrived early at Grindstone Cave. Our water supply was music to our ears and pots were out in various catchment areas. We did not know what to do with ourselves. Renate had private yoga lessons from Guilia whilst we all watched, too lazy to move or join in. It got colder and Guilia was kind enough to give another lesson. The stretching definitely warmed us up. Despite the inclement weather, one feels special and privileged to be in such an environment.
We woke to a beautiful day, watched the sunrise, had breakfast and then split the group due to some injuries. We went off in our groups, picturesque scenery most of the way and eventually back to the cars, showers and on to the M3 to Johannesburg.
Thanks to Bev and George for organizing a wonderful hike, with interesting people and maintaining such high leadership.