May Day 23: Boatrides. Bumslides. (and Beer)

My kingdom (excluding the beer in my fridge) for a hot shower! Last night at Mfula Store, I was busily engaged in weighty discussions with Doug Burdon and John Graaf ( owner of the Store and accommodation), while downing some amber fluid.

It was amazing, that Doug, a semi-Scot, actually bought a round and one has to make hay while the sun shines. When I finally had time to take my shower, my co-walkers had wasted all the hot water on themselves. I don’t know what the youth of today is coming to!Today we left Mfula Store at 8am,

with two guides, Sibusiso and Mandla, whom John intends to send on guide training in the near future.

The whole atmosphere and accommodation at Mfula Store is highly recommended by this team.

About 300 meters below the bridge,

a mini-SASS was done with the second best score (7.6) since the start of the walk.

A stonefly drifted into Penz’s hand while doing the water blessing which put the Mini SASS score up.

There were several sites (some active) of sand mining and sand winning, which were all noted and GPSed.

All filmed by our intrepid cameraman, Siphiwe Mazibuko.

 Alien plants were with us all the way, new sightings being Indian shot and Azolla pinnata (red water fern), on which Bart Fokkens gave us a talk.

We stopped for a lunch break at the confluence of Mqeku with Umngeni River. It doesn’t take Pandora more than 2 minutes to get into any water.

This particular spot had a 50 meter bum-slide, which kept the spectators interested, while lunching on Wendy’s treats.

We finally got to Inanda Dam about 4pm

and were then taken by boat

 (many thanks to Douw and Danie for the boat trip and Chateau Collapso, while in transit) to our accommodation near the dam wall.

Many thanks to Umgeni Water for the accommodation and to Douw Steyn from Plastics SA for the the braai, beers and good company.

The team would really like to thank Bart for all his arrangements to make the tail-end of our journey a very memorable one.  Thanks too for this beautiful sunset picture.

I think this is my last blog. Cheers, Techno Mike

P.S.  We spoke to Douw Steyn about his work with Plastics SA “The whole reason why we are involved in the ‘Mayday for Rivers’ walk is that Plastic SA is the custodian of the Clean-up and Recycle SA campaign in September each year so our campaigns promoting clean and healthy rivers are closely aligned.  This year our theme is called ‘Clean-up and Recycle from berg2beach campaign.  We are saying, “Let’s clean up this country from the mountain to the ocean.”  What we are trying to achieve with this year’s berg2beach is to highlight the message that plastics make it possible to do your sport and leisure and that plastics don’t litter, people do.  Let’s take all those unwanted items out of the environment” We are encouraging hikers, mountaineers, fisherman, canoeists and divers to create awareness and to take responsibility for removing unwanted litter from the environment.  DUCT, WESSA, Canoe SA, Eco-Care Trust and Sasol endorse and support this year’s Clean-up campaign.  I see your campaign as in line with this project and we look forward to working more closely together in terms of educating the community with regards to cleaning up and recycling.  I look forward to a partnership going forward with DUCT.”  You can read more about the work of Plastics SA on their Website


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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One Response to May Day 23: Boatrides. Bumslides. (and Beer)

  1. Jane Weston says:

    I’m hoping that Siphiwe’s footage captures not just the science of the project but the spectacular views and characteristics of the river, the fabulously charismatic guests of the river, the various interesting overnight stop over places and the variety of knowledgeable people you are meeting along the way so that this unique trip can be shared with many once its finished and can continue the education and information efforts of the project well into the future.

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