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We tried to figure out what Tepel means, none of us in the car (Janine, Jenny and I) had a clue. It turned out that it means nipple, check the picture.
On the way down to Bethlehem we went though some heavy rain, in fact Heilbron was flooded, water coming out from the side roads like rivers making the main road nearly impassable.
Nearly faultless navigation and a good description we made it to the hut with only one minor wrong turn. The accommodation consists of a house with two large bedrooms, plenty of toilet facilities and a reasonable fully equipped kitchen, including crockery and cutlery. It's a new luxury we are not used to.
Walking around the house early in the morning we came to this graveyard, not many graves and only two gravestones still readable. And those go back a long time, Cornelis Frederik Heijdenreich lived from 1839 to 1918, he possibly came to the area with the Voortrekkers. I am intrigued by the symbol in the top of the gravestone, three toothed wheels, what could it mean?
The Saturday hike took us past a poplar forest, I immediately started looking for Leccinum durisculum (Poplar Bolete, it's a mushroom that grows under poplar trees) and found none. I had a bit more luck on the return trip and found enough for a quick fry-up.
The hike initially went up and up and than past the nipple, a quick detour was called for. Some of us to climb up to the top of the nipple, that was Frans, Jenny and I.
From here the route was contouring along the mountain and later one step down with the return journey along the kranz under overhangs and dense vegetation. Here I picked up a few mushrooms of the above species.
At the point where we turned down the mountain we had a look over the shoulder of the mountain and noticed that we were on the back of the Holkrans hike, the one with the crazy American.
We also noticed some strange erosion pattern, pillars of sandstone left standing on otherwise flat rock. My theory is that we were at the interface between sandstone and basalt. The basalt preventing the erosion of the sandstone. Coming back to the hut through the mieliefields we lost our path. H-L just stormed off, leaving us far behind, in the direction she thought was the right one. Fortunately she was not wrong and very soon we were back home.
Evening activity was showing pictures of Argentina and other hikes. This was mainly for Sue and Steve's and Oscar and Judy's benefit. But we all enjoyed seeing the pictures again.
Over night it started raining and it rained and rained, in the morning it carried on. What's to be done? Nobody felt like doing the normal hike, but some of us wanted at least stretch their legs somewhat. So we went to the San (Bushman) paintings, those are in the poplar forest. My primary purpose thus became the finding of more mushrooms.
The San paintings turned out to be fairly nice with some strong colours. My mushroom hunting was not much of a success, but I brought at least some to take home.
We left the place fairly early since we were a bit concerned about getting out, there was a mud bath waiting for us. Our expectations were true, our cars were slipping and sliding along and across the road. The farmer had posted one of his tractors in the vicinity, just in case. The case was when Frans got stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out. Thankful for his effort the driver received a big tip. Bethlehem was a pit stop to fill up with pancakes and coffee and off we went. It started raining again, but not as bad as on the way in. Heilbron had no raging torrents coming down the roads.
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