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Magoebaskloof (28/April-2/May/2004)

Magoebaskloof, one of the premier hiking trails in South Africa, but, I think, it's beginning to loose some shine. Read further down why.

Day 0

magoebas01.jpg, 56106 bytesThe first night we were going to stay in the Dokolewa Hut. We had special food prepared for the first night, thinking we could get to the hut by car. No! We had to park at the De Hoek Hut and walk the 1.5 km down (fortunately) to the Dokolewa Hut. Some arrangement had to be made to carry the stuff down. We had our braai with cabbage and potatoe salad.
It's is a beautiful hut next to a small waterfall. But no power and no hot water. There are two rooms, for cozyness we moved every body into one room, it looks pretty crowded.

Day 1

magoebas02.jpg, 124776 bytesThe whole day was through indigenous forest and along a stream. It was only 8.5km, we did this in no time and arrived at the next hut mid afternoon. Nothing special to report, Judy slipped and fell, I took a shortcut which took me the long way around past Woodbush Hut, but it was easier walking.
Our overnight hut was the Seepsteen Mule Stable. No lights and no hot water, but plenty firewood. Some of us opted for a cold shower whilst others waited until we had a pot of hot water from the fire, taking that to the shower.

Day 2

According to the map we had one steep up to contend with. And this we did without realising it. Only when we sat down and I switched on my GPS which showed 1700m altitude did we realise that we have just done it, and it wasn't that bad.
magoebas03.jpg, 56028 bytesThe route onwards was not easy, it was up and down, over roots and rocks, it sapped at out energy level.
Towards the end I started collecting mushrooms, Boletus edulis was on the menu. I managed to find enough for one meal.
Waterfall hut is in a lovely setting, but again no donkey and thus no hot water. Cold showers were the order of the night.
The rain came down heavily over night. Missing windowpanes were a problem in that they let the rain come into the room. There seems to be a general lack of maintenance of all the huts we stayed at.

Day 3

This was going to be a loong day. The guidebook says 18.5km to Dokolewa hut plus 1.5 to De Hoek. This had us worried, so we left just after 8h00. After the rain the previous night everything was wet and at places not easy to walk. We started off in full rain gear.
magoebas04.jpg, 40804 bytesRegarding the distance we didn't need to worry, first because there wasn't much up and down and secondly according to Alan's GPS the total distance traveled was only 15km, but that we only knew afterwards. Still we were happy to see the De Hoek hut up on the ridge.
Incidents: I slipped and sat in the mud and at one stage walked knee-deep into the water of the stream in order to avoid a tumble.
From De Hoek we had to take the cars to Woodbush for the night. Again no hot water, and I remember that on a previous visit we did have hot water. Well times change, not always for the better.

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