14 October 2012
Arriving at the meeting place where all hiking enthusiasts gather, all dressed in their gear, some in longs and others in shorts, there is an air of excitement. It was overcast and misty, however somewhat humid. We wrote down our names in the register, then we all waited in anticipation until precisely 08:00 when we all left in convey to our destination. The excitement and anticipation grew, occupying both my son and my thoughts, as the previous hike two weeks earlier was at Chicken Run, which for an absolute first timer was a challenge in many ways.
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Eventually arriving at the destination, "Caste Gauge", where we all assembled before embarking on our journey to the gorge.
Approximately 9 children accompanied by 12 adults engaged in the trek up to the gorge, commencing with a well kept path leading up, which the children ranging in age from 7 to 16 years of age with an energy in them which remained for the entire day. It was so refreshing to newcomers such as myself as to the real reason why we were there, and that was to enjoy and savour every moment of our time out there.
We arrived up at the ‘saddle’ which was a bit of a strenuous walk up to that point, with regular stops along the way to enhance the enjoyment. Our guide "Suzi", gave us a brief history of the area, pointing out the strong holds of the structures erected during the turbulent period at the turn of the pervious century. We were amazed as to the conditions of these stoned structures, erected almost on the shear of the slope of the mountain, facing north towards Pretoria.
We all had something to eat and drink here; with the overcast weather it made it an excellent day for hiking. Most of the children accompanying us were ahead of the group, running and playing.
As we assembled our daypacks and continued with our journey, with fellow hikers chatting away and our spirits enlightened. Now in a slightly descending fashion and with a gentle breeze blowing, one could almost hear in the whisper of the wind the soldiers shuffling and doing their daily business, surrounded by the strange composition of the rock structures, which is unique to the area.
Prior to us arriving at the rock pool, we came across a team of maybe 15 to 30 dedicated enthusiasts from all age groups hard at work clearing bush, removing rocks and boulders, and creating a new path to our final destination.
On arriving at the rock pools the kids, as energetic as ever, and some of the adults changed into their swimming costumes and jumped in, while the rest of us just relaxed, had our lunch and really had a good time.
Returning back with the weather not too hot and a slight cool breeze made the return trip most enjoyable. We all arrived back at our vehicles at 14:50, all of us making friends on the journey. This is a most enjoyable event for a family outing.