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First impressions are important ...

Comments from newcomers

Thought potential newcomers to the club might find it interesting to see what comments are received from previous new members/first time hikers.


Hiking has been one of my hobbies for more than a decade and I was introduced to it by a group of hikers from my church, St Mungos in Bryanston as part of fellowship and opportunity to get a glimpse of the awesome work of God's creation of nature and the universe.   Consequently, for me hiking has always had a spiritual revival element to it.  A couple of years ago I heard of the JHC from other hikers and in May this year I agreed with some close friends, who had taken a maiden weekend hike with me in a St Mungos group hike to Rustenburg, that to keep the momentum on their discovery (of how great hiking is), we would come along to the JHC hikes.  All was made easy by the great website you have.  We picked a Sunday on which to start, and pitched at the rendezvous.  Yes, we were a bit alarmed as we stood out as the group of darkies.  Everyone seemed relaxed though and casual.  After a few pleasantries and formal intros we were on our way to the hiking venue Bartlett Farm in Magalies.  When we got there, leaders introduced themselves and informed us of the procedure and rules.  Off we went and now having done five hikes with JHC, the decision to join was not a debate as I have found the leadership, atmosphere and the camaraderie during hikes resonates to a great extent with my expectations.  To illustrate the warmth of JHC hikers, on the first hike after taking my membership, I brought along a friend for her maiden hike and we were in different groups.  Unfortunately, she left her lunch/snacks in the car as she thought we would be back around lunch, when it was time for lunch up in the mountains she only had an apple & water.  To cut the long story short, she got back to base having been offered something by others in her group and when membership forms were distributed she took one and vowed to return! (Oh she'll slaughter me for telling the story.)

Getty Simelane


The Johannesburg Hiking Club was a wonderful experience, which I recommend to any of you who travel to the area.  Although I had hoped to do more hikes,  I am very grateful for the five which I had the opportunity to participate.  Dave Richardson gave me the attached photo with the Magaliesberg in the background - thank you.


I joined the JHB Hiking Club in April 2006.  My first hike was with Jim Arnett to Tswaing crater, and I battled to carry my backpack up a slight incline.  Thank goodness it was such a simple hike or I would have made a complete fool of myself.  My impression was how nice and uncomplicated hikers are, and after my second hike to Castle Gorge, where I also struggled, I made the decision to go every week, and fitness came automatically, and the enjoyment of the freedom of the outdoors, the wonderful people and feeling my body get stronger and stronger was absolutely wonderful.  As a cancer survivor, having endured chemotherapy, I take every hike as a special gift from God. Regards, Jenny Munton.

My personal experience with the hiking club has been very fulfilling,  I have met some super people and have been to some amazing places.  The reason for joining the club was to get fit, and to be more outdoors and to make new friends. I have also introduced a few friends who say they wish to become members in the New Year as this is what they enjoy as well.  People have been very friendly, especially the more senior hikers who always make you feel welcome. My aim in the new year is to go back packing in the Drakensberg.  Rhoda Berry - joined June 2006

First Impression Comment by Dr. Charlie Montross:
The Johannesburg Hiking Club is a classic hiking club full of wonderful characters who are friendly, good humored and sociable with a passion for enjoying hiking in the outdoors, typical of other classic hiking clubs worldwide. That is why they have been around for 75 years.
My first day on the hike I was too busy, trying to keep up with Shimon Botbol, the man who introduced me to the club, and therefore I did not notice any one else, let alone form an impression of them...

Last Update: 2007/08/03 / Author: admin
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