Hiking Club Report 2018
The hiking club undertook a number of exhilarating escapades this year.
To prime everyone for this year’s hikes, the hiking club embarked on a 1-day hike situated in the Island Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. The natural habitat flaunted its beauty and array of bird species, even allowing us a peek at some of the large game species in the reserve.
The next hike was a two-day hike: the Assegaai trail near Grahamstown. The first day’s hike to the overnight lodging was relatively quick allowing us plenty of time to rest our tired bodies. However, the rest didn’t last long. As the sun began to set, the spiders emerged, seemingly from the very building in which we were to sleep. This created much panic. Furthermore, the local baboons appeared to be having a shouting match that lasted what seemed like hours which didn’t allow much quiet for us to rest our weary selves. The next morning couldn’t have come soon enough with everyone keen to get out alive and back to creature comforts.
The mammoth hike of the year was the 7-day Outeniqua hike which is an arduous 108km trek through one of the breath-taking Garden Route mountain ranges from Sedgefield to Harkerville. We were greeted with wind and rain for the start of this monster which was followed by never-ending hills camouflaged as mountains. Along the second day of the hike we were misled by what the local rangers describe as the resident forest elephant, who has a fetish for removing hiking signs. This attempt obviously wasn’t enough to deter our dedicated hikers and we muscled on to complete this truly memorable experience.
Another two-day hike which we undertook was the Kleinrivier hike. This hike is a true gem of the Eastern Cape bordered by the Groendal Nature Reserve and sharing its beauty. We opted to stay in the comfortable stone mountain cottage where you get a feeling of absolute seclusion from civilisation, so much so that it takes you a good day to reach it by foot. However, we were well rewarded when we arrived: solar lights, fridge for cool refreshments, dipping pool for those scorching summer days and a balmy indoor fireplace for those chilly winter days. With the many trail options that were clearly marked (and no pesky elephants) and places of accommodation, we will most definitely be back soon!
Live the adventure!