Holhoek – Youthful Hiking
The idea of a base hut camp hike was very enticing as until now we have only done backpacking. We arrived on the Friday evening to find a pleasant surprise, electricity, warm showers and thick mattresses. It did not matter that the hour was late; we could still happily braai our meat and enjoy supper.
We started out at 8am on Saturday morning and I kept wondering if this was a joke. No steep hills to climb! At last a hike suited for the likes of me, a lovely brisk walk through bushes without killing myself.
The entire trail was beautifully laid out. One could actually enjoy the views and with the added luxury of wooden ladders up and down the cliffs, pretend that climbing up and down cliffs is actually child’s play.
I suppose a fear of heights might be a drawback, but I was happy to discover that this was a problem I did not have.
The first day we walked 14kms which was hard to believe as I was hardly tired. We were back at camp around 15.00. Enough time to shower, visit, relax, braai – feel like you were having a relaxing weekend – and finally a comfortable sleep.
We were up and about early next morning to be greeted by a serious soft rainy session. For awhile we weren’t sure if we would be able to walk. Soon enough the rain stopped and we embarked on our second day.
Once again it was hard to believe I could actually be hiking without suffering. Ladders aided us up and down cliffs. We were fortunate enough to see some bushman’s paintings and also a cave where Boer woman and children took refuge during the Anglo Boer War.
I always thought of the Frees State as flat so it was quite a surprise to find this lovely spot full of cliffs and beautiful walkways.
We even saw a tiny black snake enroute vigorously flicking his little tongue. I preferred to move along in case the family came looking. 7kms flew by and soon we were on our way back to Johannesburg! Just in time to miss a brewing storm!
This hike can easily be done by inexperienced hikers and is certainly a spot to bring friends and family for an enjoyable weekend.
Elsa and Natasha Petrides.