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The Num Num trail 5-10 Jan 2011

What is the Num Num trail, its a relatively new trail near Machadodorp in the Eastern Transvaal. See: for details.

It was raining when we got to the Pongola hut and the first thing I had to do was to get my rain jacket out which I had foolishly packed into the bottom of the rucksack. Pongola hut was not our starting point, we were taken over to Gods Window hut that made day 2 our day 1.
Who was there? The Herwegs, the Robinsons, Christopher, Thilo and me, altogether 11 people.
God's Window hut is marvelously placed at the edge, during clear weather one would see the valley and beyond. The two sleeping huts are placed unobtrusively between the rocks. Added to this is the electricity and this is possibly the most comfortable hiking camp I have experienced.


The rules say we must be out by 08h00. Being a somewhat anti authoritarian group we only managed 08h30. Very soon it dawned on us why we should leave that early. This was going to be a slow hike, the terrain is not easy and there are hardly any stretches where one can step out to achieve the normal 3 km/h. Looking back we only managed an average speed of 1 km/h. But it was worth it, the first loop took us down into the indigenous forest with gushing streams, water falls and seven crossings of the swollen river which gave us all wet boots. Going up from there to the highest point of the hike we got into an area of fantastic rock formations (Quarzite). Snaking between and over was an interesting experience.
And now down hill to the bridge over the river. Lunch had to be had in the rain and fife minutes after that the sun came out and it stopped. Struggling uphill from the river to the Bermanzi hut took it out of me, it was only me because the rest just stormed up and had no problems.
The old hut where we had stayed before when we did the Bermazi trail is still standing but totally burned out. A veld fire last year got hold of not just this hut, but also of the farm house near by. Our overnight hut was the converted stable, again very comfortable with electricity.


The walk to Candlewood hut was relatively easy, not like the day before. Started by cutting out the loop and went straight down the valley and along the valley of the Bankspruit. And here it happened, the party split, something that Christel had warned us about in her opening speech at the start of the hike. Allen and a few others had taken the left fork at a junction, we, the remainder didn't notice this and went right and over the bridge. Fortunately it wasn't long for the wayward group to notice their error and they joined us at the river crossing.

Crossing the stream at the bottom of the water fall was an adventure, water was flowing fast and it was up to our knees. 1 km from the hut I insisted that we have lunch, otherwise it would not have been a proper hike. It means we arrived at the hut just after lunch. The remainder of the afternoon was spent with a stroll over to the top of the water fall. Its an awesome sight with all that lost of water going over the edge. On a previous visit I remember it just a trickle going over.
At a point of reasonable cell phone reception we got the good news that Christopher had passed his matric with university entrance. In the evening we had the mother of all rainstorms and noticed that the hut was not 100% waterproof. There was a stream of water running through the hut, in from the leaking backdoor and out the front door.


Day 4 down to Whataba, but not just down, down and up and down again and in sight of the hut up again, which is the point at which some of us rebelled and went straight down to Wathaba, nice walk though. No specific high lights of this hike.
Overnight we spent in the Kiepersol hut, which is very familiar to us from previous stays at Wathaba.


The day to go home, that is why we didn't feel like doing the long loop and rather cut across and went over to Bermonci where the cars were. It was thus a very short hike and we got to the hut at about 10h00. And home we went.

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