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It all started by Christopher saying that he wants to go to the top of Mafadi, the highest point of South Africa. So it got organised with Jim. But then Christopher pulled out and it was only Jim and me.
On the way down I voiced the opinion that I would rather like to do the contour path around Injisuthi, Jim accepted. We paid our dues for the hiking permit to a friendly parks board official who thought that my protest about having to pay to go to our mountain was rather funny. So I think I didn't score a point here. At 14h00 we got as far as to pick up our rucksack, at which point it started to rain, so back into the car and wait. Why start a hike in rain?
At around 15h00 we got going and started the hike by crossing the river without taking the boots off. Why take the boots off when everything is wet and our boots would have got soaked anyway. That was some practical thinking.
And off we walked in the wrong direction and once we realised that it was cross-country to meet up with the proper path. From here it was up through Van Heyningen's Pass and onto Wonder Valley Cave, which we managed to get to just as darkness set in.
Theoretically we should have retraced our steps back to a junction and from there onto Shada Ridge. But there was this path that lured us out from the cave into the opposite direction. It took us to a lovely valley with waterfall and pool. Jim managed to have a quick swim, for me the water was too cold. And from here it was straight up the mountain to eventually meet up with the path along Shada Ridge. At one stage rain was overtaking us, so much so that I suggested putting up the tent to sit and wait. Of course the rain stopped the moment we had the tent up. The tent was put up again at the place where we crossed the Cowl Fork Stream.
The hike started in the mist and got fairly dense. At one stage the rain came down heavily, all we could do is just carry on walking. Following the contour path we crossed the infamous Ship's Brow stream and pass. Camp was set up in the Old Woman Stream.
And from here onto Junction Cave near the Marble Bath. This cave is not on the hiking, but it was on my 1:50000 map. A cave is always fun, we could spread out and running water was right at our feet.
In order to not make the hike too short we retraced our steps for a while to make our way to Grindstone Cave. And for the first time we were not alone. Some other hikers occupied the cave already, but it is a big place and they had no problems with us staying there as well.
And that was the end of the hike, all that was left was to get down to the car the next morning and to the Little Switzerland Hotel for the traditional Lamb Burger.
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