Queen Rose 1-4 May 2009

With a name like Queen Rose this had to be a supper hike. We were not disapointed.
Going down on Friday, we could take a leisurly drive through Middelburg, Belfast and Machadodorp. Who was along on the trip? Me, Allen, Tania, Christopher, Michael, Frans and the Robertse's.
It was actually getting dark by the time we had to turn off the main road to Barberton, fortunately the GPS did us great service here, it was one of those hardly marked roads which took us 10km through the forest down to Makesh hut.
In the morning we got going, today the hike was going to be about 8km long and 500m up. It wasn't difficult, good path and the ups were mostly gentle. Initially along the river. We only left the river in the afternoon at the water fall. For lunch a picnic place had been provided with table and benches, all very comfortable. It was here that I saw a huge snake which I was told was a black mamba, one of the deadliest snakes in Africa. Fortunately it was 'running' away from me, so no harm done.
The top hut is in one of the former forest stations, most of the houses are empty nowadays. It has beautiful surrounding, large deciduous trees all in autumn colours.
The house is very comfortable with a large kitchen and a dinning area, black bitch was the card game for the evening.
Initially we had to go up to the highest point of the hike. All that went through lovely unnatural pine forests. I enjoy walking through these forests, it reminds me of home. And then it went down and downer until we got to the water fall, at which lunch was declared. A large pool at the fall invited for a swim, just sticking my toes in indicated a temperature of around 15°C. Not too good for jumping in.
Following the stream down and criss crossing it 27 times got us to near the Makesh hut and back to our cars. Just a final up and over a very annoying and unnecessary detour got us to the hut.
Here we stayed another night before departing for home the next day. Traffic on the Machadodorp - Belfast road was bumper to bumper. And very slow due to some ongoing road works and due to the end of a long weekend for which we have to thank Karl Marx.

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