The party met at Ruitersbos Primary School, on the R328 between Hartenbos and Oudtshoorn, on a fine autumn morning. We proceeded to Mooihoek farm, which lies below the Robinson Pass.

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The party comprised, Bill Turner, Joan Lourens, Greg & Janet Moore, Ian Clarke, Janine Smith, members, Gaynor Schoeman, prospective member and Dennis Voget, guest and Mooihoek Farm manager.

It was quite cool on our start, but we quickly warmed up as we climbed eastwards up to the neck. The path has recently been cut and is in good shape and easy to follow.

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We paused at the neck, where there are fine views of Engelseberg and the upper reaches of the Moordkuil River and then descended down to the river where we had a break at the old camp site.

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The trail from here used to continue eastwards and join up with the Doring River path from Waboomskraal, but now turns south and follows the river. We followed the river through indigenous forest and patches of fynbos, where we climbed out of the river bed.

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We passed large pools, where two of the party braved the water.

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We passed many more large pools and stands of large indigenous trees and then started the long ascent out of the river, but dropping down to cross tributaries, with steep scrambles out.

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As we rose above the river we could look down along the length of the river and see many pools and the rugged beauty of the area.

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We soon arrived back at the bakkie that was placed in the reserve, to avoid a long walk out on plantation roads.
The hike took five and a half hours in total, of which three and a half were actually walking. The distance was 12km and we did 573m of ascent and 741m of descent.
To quote Joan, “A gem of a trail, with great variety, that should be walked more often, to keep it open”. A great day was had by all.

Greg Moore

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