May Day 3: Down to Earth with a Bump

So today Techno Mike has been delegated for this report.

We started a little late because of John’s soft boiled egg, which after a brief search, was found squashed in his trouser pocket – not normally a problem, but he was wearing them at the time. (John Fourie and Wendy Ross are our ground crew).

We started at Bridge 1 and walked upriver for about 200 meters to yesterday’s point to do a mini-SASS.

This completed, the trek continued downriver.

Rock hopping was again the “order” (Penny’s) of the day. Due to twice doing the “Boston Two Step” during yesterday’s Rock hopping and inadvertently removing shin hair, I, wisely, decided to bramble hop on the bank, but at times, reverted to said river rocks, when the bramble won.

Penny preferred to rock hop because she met with the brambles yesterday.

And today, let me tell you, we suddenly came down to earth with a bump.

The riparian zones are no longer beautiful as per the first two days.

On the north bank (river left for you canoeing types), you have some really pristine indigenous forests, with a nasty band of exotics starting to encroach from the riverbank.

Some areas are almost impenetrable, but with my trusty grass slasher, I got myself into the middle of thickets and battled to get out again. And we are only about 35 km from the source!

But seriously, there have been some areas today, which can only be described as heavy infestations.

Some inexpert control methods have obviously been used in the past, which have exacerbated the problems. Please don’t slash down any alien plants without follow-up herbicide treatment!! Overgrazing and road works have also impacted on the riparian zones, at various times. We saw the first plastic pollution today.

Today, Sithembiso, our DUCT supervisor from the Valley of a Thousand Hills, who walked with us for the first 3 days, has had to return to continue his alien plant control work in the iSiThumba area, above Inanda Dam. DUCT is very lucky to have this great bloke in the team. Sithumbiso writes his Nature Conservation exams later this week and we wish him all the best.

Posted by: Mike Farley DUCT Howick

Penz drinks the last drop of pure water – and we are only on Day 3!


About Nikki Brighton

I live in Howick, between the river and the hills. I enjoy pre-dawn walks in the streets with my dog, sitting on the veranda with crochet and tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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2 Responses to May Day 3: Down to Earth with a Bump

  1. Douw says:

    Good day you happy walkers!!!…really enjoy reading your experiences and love the pics!!! BUT sad to hear that after 35 km from the source you “saw the first plastics pollution”…a bag, bottle???…appreciate the feedback on the pollution you see, especially from the packaging side (having a National Recycling Forum meeeting today and will “market this GREAT walk!!)
    Safe walking!!!

  2. Pam Haynes says:

    Hi you river heroines and heros! I love opening this blog everyday it feels like I am there without any of the effort. Penny I cant believe it all came together – incredible! Looking forward to hearing the stories at Tanglewood tomorrow evening. Being a DUCTER really makes one feel alive. Cheers

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