John’s Trip – Days 1 to 3

The vehicle support group consisting of John and Brendon arrived below the source of the Elands river that flowed into a dam and exited as the Lions river.  One of the vehicles that joined us had ‘diff lock’  and was unable to traverse any further up the mountain track and had to be abondoned. The other 4 x 4 continued and then we walked up appoximately two kilometres through onto the vlei.

Mayday for Rivers 2013 - Walking the Lions 110

After photographs, a walk about and a picnic lunch, Penny and Preven set off with Pandora to follow the river down to where the support team had returned to to set up camp.Mayday for Rivers 2013 - Walking the Lions 093

It had now become very cold just before sunset and a pre-prepared meal of chicken and vegetables was heated up and hastily consumed. Sleeping bags and an early night were the order of the day. A gun shot was heard by some individuals in the wee hours of the morning. Otherwise uneventful.

It was light by 5am and breakfast of yellow maize porridge and toast was prepared and consumed by all so that the walking team was able to leave by 6.30 am. The weather had been kind and decided to give us all a warmer start.

The second evening was an overnight stop at Hawklee Country House. The trailor was left there and as the vehicle was fully packed and there were two additional walkers, Sue and Nikara, the owner Dean kindly offered to use his vehicle to assist in fetching the walkers at a pre-arranged location point.

team with Dean & Belinda from Hawklee

Our hosts Dean and his wife Belinda Lentz had arranged  for the locals to be intoduced to the team and snacks and drinks were enjoyed on the deck outside overlooking the river. What a beautiful setting! With a lovely crowd of people. As soon as the mercury dropped it was inside to a chicken supper (and for the hungrier and braver – a nice curry dish). A coconut cookie desert was supplied by a local lady named Debbie. It was to ‘die for’ and went down well in the pub with drinks. Our hosts had excelled themselves and really made us feel at home. Wonderful accomodation. A hot shower and a comfy soft warm bed! What more could one wish for? Until breakfast that is – a great choice.

The second day the support group departed having to make a lengthy circular detour to set up camp next to the river on a private farm.  A grove of poplar trees was found affording some shade as it had become decidedly warm. It was not long before the wind started blowing and became stronger. Some clouds appeared and the temperature dropped slightly. Another hour and the sun will have set.

Do not miss the next episode. What happened next? What did we have for supper? What did the weather decide to present us with? Was the erected wind shelter for cooking adequate?  Oh the excitement….

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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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