Schoongezicht (19 to 21-June-09)

schoongezicht01.jpg, 174750 bytesIt's near Swartruggens (just to the north of it at) and does not mean clean face but 'clear view'. The Boers used a little hill on the farm during the Boer war to observe the British in all directions.
Accommodation is good and very comfortable. Who went? Jenny, Lydia, Janine, Judith, Frans, Herwegs and us. Leon, the farmer, occupies himself with manythings, he has got cows, game for shooting, grows Chillies, Lucerne and maize and now also offers hiking.
Saturday morning some of us were a bit late getting up and had to be pushed by the others to get going and start the hike. Eventually we did and went down the road over the tar road onto the south section of the farm. Its all bush and rocks, we followed the route and went over the little hill which was used by the boers during the war. It looks like the hill was a volcanic outcrop the way it stuck out of the surrounding, but strangely the rock was quartzite, not really an igneous rock.
schoongezicht03.jpg, 265346 bytes It was here that Jenny had a faint spell and Allen and Tania took her back to base. Allen restarted the hike later on from the end and met us halfway. The hike itself was not very interesting, not much there to break the monotony of the bush, not even game. It was to be considered an exercise rather than a hike. And after 17 km I could feel this in my bones.
Getting back fairly early we had an opportunity to explore the farm yard, look at the chillies drying facility, look at the art study, harvest some pecan nuts, talk to the farmer and play with the dogs.
The evening was a celebration of Jennies and Frans;s birthdays. They had organised and paid for dinner laid on by the farmer. A sumptuous meal we could not do justice to, there were lots of left overs. A lovely evening enjoyed by everyone.
schoongezicht02.jpg, 232400 bytesAs usual there was only a very small group of hikers in the morning. We went out to discover the northern part of the farm, taking on the first part of the hike in Allen's bakkie. I found this more interesting than the Saturday hike. We came across some ruined walls which the farmer told us the historians don't know which tribe this was and when they occupied the area. I think its straight forward, it was the Matabele. They lived in this area before the Voortrekkers drove them north. There was also some bird watching.
Some of the others had gone with the farmers wife on a bakkie to look at some dam. There was an accident. Jenny was in the process of getting onto the back of the bakkie when the farmer's wife thought everybody was on and went leaving Jenny behind laying flat on her back. Fortunately no harm was done, but it seems that we are becoming more and more prone to accidents. Better carry our first aid stuff around all the time.

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