Day 6 – Don’t Count Your Fences Before You Have Crossed Them

Penny writes:  After a wonderful evening at my friends’ the Alexanders,


today continued like all the previous days on this walk – depressing impacts, and low mini sass scores: the river has never been better than fair condition! On seeing clover we wondered – Which is more difficult to find – a four leaf clover or a stone fly?P1230339

We passed more effluent outlets,


bramble hedges



Lidgetton informal settlement is horrific – alongside the river on the flood plain, plastic waste washed down the river, pit toilets only metres from the river.



P1230378The next informal settlement for which I submitted comment on behalf of DUCT when the proposal was out to formalise the settlement, was not any better – with folk forced to wash their clothes in the already filthy riverP1230373

The algae blooming in the shallows is an indicator of the high loads of nutrients in the waterP1230379

The flood plain is very pretty, with mainly wild grass – but oh what is the purpose of this bulldozed strip alongside the river on the edge of the floodplain?


We spent a delightful time with Nkanyiso Ndlela (who ran a water workshop the afterno0n before for community members in Lidgetton), and Thembi and Thulani (Volunteers of Lidgetton)  who walked the floodplain with us and helped mini sass at the top of the waterfall upstream from Granny Mouse.


From notes I made later I wrote:

Today is the first day that I found peace in my heart since the walk started. The emotional drain of impacts we have witnessed along the river from a few short kilometres from the source have (I realise now) been weighing heavily in my heart and soul- and on my shoulders.


After  so many kilometres of total impact onslaught, today my heart finally began to sing whilst sitting in the valley below the waterfall  downstream from Lidgetton, where the river finally seemed to be beginning to heal.P1230467

The ever constant sludge and silt on the river floor and rocks finally disappeared, the riverbanks were clothed in indigenous bush,


wild flowers dotted the hillside,


otter sign was everywhere and I finally felt at peace as my heart  began to sing again.

Helping this healing process was the discovery of three labyrinths on the riverbanks


and Prev and I took the time do each do a slow meditational walk- which helped heal shattered nerves and emotions.

After being followed by a large herd of Nguni cattle,


our trusty support team met us to resupply us with water, as it was a very hot humid day


and we headed off with happy hearts alongside a river which for the first time since the source was crystal clear and silt free – what a cause for celebration


That celebration was short lived as a couple of hundred metres downstream we hit the confluence of the Lions and Mpofana Rivers – the latter is the receiving river for the water pumped from the Mooi River’s Mearns Wier – part of an inter carchment transfer. And the water was completely silted!P1230562

Back to square 1. We wondered – How mooi is the Mooi River really?

We found a very appropriate sign


crossed 20 fences,P1230610

found more wild flowers




(although the river is so muddy, the riparian verge is in good condition)P1230670

to await the arrival of the support crew collecting us at the end of the day.



After writing up the days blog


we have had a wonderful evening at Johns house – Doug & Mike arrived to say hello,

P1230686Ross and Pam arrived with a meal to die for,


and Bart popped in to say hello.

P1230690To all of them – thank you for a wonderful evening, and Pam & Ross – thank you!


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 Day 6 – Don’t Count Your Fences Before You Have Crossed Them

  1. Pingback: Water Workshop in Lidgetton | Midlands Conservancies Forum

  2. Pingback: Lidgetton | uMngeni River Walk

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