Instead of walking from the Robinson Pass to the Attakwaskloof Hiking Hut, we decided to walk in the reverse direction, starting from Perdekop Farm.
The starting time was brought forward to 07.30 as the temperature was predicted to be quite warm and fifteen people assembled bright and early for the start. Eleven to do the full trail and four the half trail.

The party consisted of Bill & Di Turner, Tony & Evie Bowen, Dave & Gill Manley,
Clive & Sandy Louw, Karin van Niekerk, Cheryl Devine, Robyn Reid, Janine Smith,
Brigitte Aubery ( guest ) and Janet & Greg Moore.

On the gate to the Attakwaskloof Reserve there is a new sign, proclaiming the reserve a World Heritage Site, and we complied with the instruction to only enter if in possession of a permit.

The road loops round past the Attakwaskloof Hiking Hut and then the trail starts behind the hut and up over the Attakwasberg. On the way up, Janet felt unwell and decided to go back. The trail is good and clear up to this point, but the next section of about a kilometre, which is just on the south side of the ridge, down to the corner of the plantation, in the next photo, is unclear and not good.

From the corner of the plantation, to the end, the trail is clear, easy to follow and well maintained.

The trail then traverses the southern slopes of the Attakwasberg and we shortly stopped for a tea break and to split the party, the ones doing the full trail to go on ahead and the group doing the half trail to press on at a more leisurely pace.

The party doing the half trail went as far as the swimming pools where a vehicle was left for the return. As Janet, the designated navigator for the return, had left the group early, Karin volunteered to swop groups and navigate back to the farm.

This photo shows the trail going off over the ridges of the slopes of the Attakwasberg, with Ruitersberg on the Robinson Pass, in the far distance.

We stopped for lunch at the swimming pools on the Molen River, which flows into the Kouma River, with the braver persons taking a dip. Dave, in his haste to get out of the water after dipping his feet to test the temperature, promptly slipped in. Gill, in a surprised voice was heard to say, ‘Dave never swims in cold water’.

After lunch, we walked up the valley to the point where the Attakwaskloof Trail joins the Kouma Circuit. This part was rather hot and humid, but as we joined the Kouma Circuit a welcome cool breeze refreshed us.

From the junction of the trails, there is a long downhill to the Kouma River, but by now the Robinson Pass was getting comfortably closer.

Clive and Brigitte used the opportunity to cool their feet off and everybody filled their water bottles, for the long pull up to the Robinson Pass.

The trail is just over 19km with 1225m of climb and 1000m of descent and took us eight and a half hours.

Cheryl asked, which way is the harder? The way we did it this year, there is more ascent, by almost 25%, but the path was much easier to find and much clearer and so not so tiring. So I think the effort involved was the same as last time.

Thanks to Evie, Karin, Janine and Robin for some stunning photos.
Everybody enjoyed their day out in the mountains.

Greg Moore – meet leader

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