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Mweni hike (20-23 December 2014)

Ama Poot Poot hike
Ama Poot Poot hikeSaturday
Started the hike about 12, we managed to cut off about 4 kilometers by taking the rucksacks by car to the end of the road, us seniors had the priviledge to look after the rucksacks whilst Jörg and Christopher returned the car to the tourist centre.
Mwenidec14 camp 1Up and over, past some kraals that I could have sworn used to contain many more people. Am I also mistaken when I think that not as many fields have been cultivated? Are we possibly witnessing the depopulation of the platteland (rural area)?
After crossing the river we set up camp and had a swim.

Mwenidec14 long poolThere were discussions about making the hike longer, because 4.5km as the crow flows is just not long enough. My input was: ‘lets see’. After numerous (that is what it felt like) river crossings we got to Jim’s pool for a swim, which was one of the highlights of the day. Another event was that my GPS dropped from my pocket into the raging river near Shepherds cave. Quick action by Christopher retrieved it a few meters from its drop point and no damage was done.
We now got into dagga (marijuana) country and found ‘our’ cave (Shepherds) occupied by the dagga people and thus didn’t want to get near it. So off to 5 Star we went for a comfortable night.
Regards making the hike longer, we got to 5 star by about 17h00, there was thus no time to extend the walking. We are not fast hikers, that is because of our speed, but also there are so many things to stop for.

Mwenidec14 daggaRetreat back to the first camping site. It was however decided to move along the Mweni to get to a place called Mweni pools. This is in the river further downstream from where we camped the first night. It involved some more river crossings, for Christopher and me no problem because we kept our boots on. But Frans and Jörg started to complain.
Eventually we reached the pools or should one rather say gorge, its very nice with water cascading down into the depth of the canyon. A campsite near by was selected.

Mwenidec14 Mweni cascadesThis was going to be quick and easy, let's just follow the left bank of the river until we get to the bridge. Alas there is a river coming in from the left, the Bhudlu. And that one had high banks and was deep. Christopher climbed down the embankment and crossed the Mweni, the others went on strike and returned back to wooden bridge near our last camp. I went with Christopher.
Mwenidec14 coke shopNow we were on the right bank of the Mweni and it should have been easy. But a river coming from the right had cut deep into the landscape, Frans and Jörg went up and over, me and Christopher changed sides and took the left bank to get to the bridge. Both groups arrived at the same time. And now no more detours, just walking to the nearest coca cola shop to tank up with a coke.

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