Today was an endless succession of drainage ditches,
and fighting our way through thick bush
We were extremely relieved to get through the bush and finally reach the river, and decided that negotiating wetlands and drainage ditches would be preferable, so after a rest
We discovered a delightful oxbow lake – should be called a horse shoe lake!
We eventually found a section of river with a small cascade suitable for mini sass – the first in many miles, and the highest score so far – a miserable 6.2 indicating only fair condition – and this is some of the healthiest river we have seen since near the source. Prev took the chance to have a quick swim thereafter.
and then realised that somewhere behind the dyke was the original Lions River – decades ago a massive channel was dug and the river re-routed to now flow across what were once a long time ago extensive wetlands. The channel is about 30 metres deep, infested with wattles.
A road or train would fit down there.
This river has been almost exterminated! From here we could see that we were on a small plateau, bordered by a hill of dolerite boulders. Pretty Merwilla plumbea (Scilla natalensis) lifted our spirits after all the destruction we had been witnessing.
and then our spirits then plunged when we hit chaotic, nearly impenetrable wattle growth along the river
which would be so beautiful – the wattle was so thick we couldn’t get much of a view of the river as it tumbled down cascades and riffles
We finally emerged on a grassy hillside
with a stunning indigenous forest on the hills beyond
Our 14th fence crossing was unusual – a double fence
and we finally left the river
to head up to a delightful cottage on the farm of Mike and Charmaine Blythe which they have very generously offered to us.
We are so grateful for this – thank you so much. Roll on that hot bath…..