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This meet first appeared on the meets program much earlier this year, but it was postponed several times. As I had never done it before, I was a bit hesitant to actively promote it, as I feared it might be a bit of a boring trudge along a jeep-track. Anyway, having run out of excuses to postpone again, I pushed ahead and got permission from the farmers at each end to cross their properties and to leave vehicles at each end.

A small party consisting of Bill & Di Turner, Clive Louw, Dennis Lange (Worcester Section), Karin van Niekerk, Cheryl and I, set out early on Saturday morning. We left a car at the finish and carried on to the start where we set out at about 09h30. Bill and Di had started earlier and driven a bit further up the kloof, so we did not see them until the evening stop.

 

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Along the way

The walk starts at the entrance to Vermaakskloof and snakes its way up the kloof through rock gorges, on a good path trending ever upwards, but never too steeply. At a saddle it suddenly dips viciously into the next valley system. At the bottom of this valley one crosses Bakneskloof, which contains the only water on the trip. This river is small but it was flowing well and perfectly situated at the halfway point. Flat grassy tent-sites made it the perfect camp spot.

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              Evening in camp

 

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The campsites along the path

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Early the next morning

The night was colder than expected, but clear and with a nearly full moon. There was heavy dew in the morning which wet the less well-prepared. Bill and Di again set off earlier than the rest of us in order to botanise along the way. From the campsite, the path follows the river for a while and then rises quite steeply out of a most beautiful valley up to another saddle at a tee-junction. Here the path continues on to Buffelsdrift or goes down to the road. At that point we realised that we should have made it a two night trip and gone all the way, as it looked really interesting.

 

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At the turnoff

The walk down to the car was better than expected, but fairly long with the last few kilometres being across farmland. The weather was warm and clear and it was just great being out there in the Klein Karoo. We left Di and Karin with a bottle of water while we went to fetch the cars. There seemed to be an issue with Bill’s car keys as a distress call went up long after he should have got back to Di and Karin. Fortunately he must have arrived soon afterwards and everyone got home safely.

This turned out to be a fantastic weekend hike and I can highly recommend it for two days. We will have to check out the last stage for suitable water before we can plan for three days, but watch the program for the next meet in the amazing Kammanassie.

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Greg, Bill, Dennis, Di, Karin and Clive at the end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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