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Just arrived at the Slaghoek house and I decided to start on the report using my tablet.
Had an easy drive with minimum arguments about which way to go. The only hassles we had was with the lock of the gate, a combination lock, which would not open, only after some struggle and banging would it give. Its not the end of the lock saga, watch this space. It was established that last time we spent a weekend here was 8 years ago, in 2004. Amazing how time flies.
And who was along? Me, Alan, Tania, Frans and Robert.
The trail is classed as difficult and now that we are sitting in the Grootdraai hut we know why. The route is not easy, lots of climbing over rocks and sliding down to avoid a jump.
The crocodile invested river crossing (Olivants river) is also not to be sneezed at, that happened just before we got to the hut. The water was very cold, I donít think crocodiles will be in the water at that temperature, they would rather be sitting in the sun on the river bank (hopefully).
The hut is very primitive. 18 beds, all in one room with an open front. No kitchen, no running water and a half open toilet with a view. But we had no complaints, sometimes its nice to stay in a really rustic place with minimum luxury. It reminded us of sleeping in the caves of the Drakensberge.
Set off following the foot prints after about 1km we found ourselves back at the hut. Somehow we had not found the right route. So it was decided to follow the road which would get us to the next hut after about 5km, and it did. That way it was much easier to walk, nobody felt like getting onto the rough path anyway.
The remainder of the day was than used by Frans to hike along the river, by me to go down to river and the remainder was occupied getting the donkey going. Everybody had a wonderful hot shower. Camp live was great and the camp itself very pleasant with plenty of space and a number of bedrooms to be selected from.
We had a choice, straight up the mountain for about 2 km or the long round trip of 11km. We didnít have to vote on this, knowing that the loop is very rough, we have done it before, we rather opted to get straight up. But even that was a bit of a struggle since the terrain is very rough and climbing continuously. Next time we will use the road, much easier.
Oh yes, and the lock saga. On the way out we found that the combination lock had been replaced by a lock without a key. Now what was to be done? I was perusing the fence and the gates to see how we could break out with minimum damage and Allen phoned the manager. Oh, the key is under the rock next to the gate. That solved that problem.
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