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Everybody was there. Linda had booked us the Ratelrus hut which is normally accessed by hiking to it. But we wanted to make it a base hut to hike from and had to get the cars there, some cars made it, others didn't. Initially it was only Tony's RAV and my Venture that went down all the way. The others had to off load luggage half way and park back at the farm house. Tony did the ferrying of people and luggage. I took Allen's trailer plus some more luggage. The route wasn't much of a problem to the Venture since it has got enough ground clearance, but I could see that this track could be a severe problem when it starts raining. I spent the weekend worrying about rain.
Arriving at the hut we were informed by the initial arrivers that this hut is a big disaster, there is no toilet paper. The farmer was duly informed by Jenny via cell phone of this fact, also that the water from the tap was very brown and full of mud.
The question around the breakfast table was: 'what should we do today?'. No clear answer was forthcoming until I decided to go on a hike and everybody agreed to do the same. We went down along the escarpment to the Lunsklip waterfall and then upstream to a point from where we would go cross country to pick up the return trail to the hut. Altogether, I think, that was about 10 km.
We got back pretty early and used the time to make a decent fire so that we would have enough coals for the braai later on. Frans and I set out to explore the river valley upstream from us. We went past the dam and up to the camping place, which has a donkey and a shower, something that is lacking at our hut. Not that I mind, but some of the woman were a bit cheesed off with the fact that they could not have a hot shower or bath.
The evening entertainment was Roger asking men type questions and getting the girls to answer and the girls asking woman type question and getting us to answer them. Lots of fun was generated by the first question of how does a 4x4 work. And I can now admit that I cheated when it was asked "what is xxx??ta Hansen?" "It's a nail polish" I could shout out aloud after Lydia had whispered the answer into my ear.
Over night it started raining and I really started to worry about getting my car out of here. The sun started to come out in the morning and I was happier. We had a walk down to the pool. It invited for a swim and I followed Erich's example and jumped in. Beautiful, fresh, and not too cold. Following the stream further up we came to this twin waterfall which stopped further progress. But what a beautiful sight.
Packing and getting the cars out was next on the agenda. I hooked up Allen's trailer took on some additional luggage and loaded the kids and off we went up the mountain. The rest had to walk. I made it without problems, except that I rode over one rather large rock that made the car jump. The hiking group also made it over the top and down towards the farm house, only problem they had was that it started to rain heavily and they got somewhat wet.
The last event of the trip was to stop in Dullstroom to fill up on lunch in a pleasant Coffeeshop with a super efficient waitress. It was a good weekend. It rained all the way home.
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