This meet was postponed from May to this date because of bad weather in May. The purpose was mainly to familiarise the would-be leaders during the upcoming Minicamp with the different routes in the area. But what would a meet in this lovely area be without exploring a piece of unknown high ground…

We were only six keen hikers who gathered at Chris Davies’s farm on Friday afternoon, of which two were new to our section’s activities (members of the Paarl-Wellington section and still in their thirties). The attendees were Hugh Sussens, Clifton Donald, Elna van der Walt, Helene Muller, Marieul Vermaak and Derek Odendaal (leader). We pitched tents and braaied (it’s about time that this verb is accepted in the English language) at Chris’s rustic camping area, with a magnificent view of the Langeberg peaks and ridges. The weather was abnormally warm for June and very pleasant. The next morning brought with it a strong berg wind.

We set out with our packs and left them after only about 3 km of hiking. From there, for four hours, we worked hard against gravity, vegetation and the strong north wind, blowing right across the long undulating ridge we were ascending, to reach the summit of Blomberg. We ascended more than 500 m to the top (982 m asl). The last part is rather rough and rocky, while the summit is narrow and small, so we had to keep low, not to be blown away. The view was absolutely great. My hiking hat blew away on the descent!

Reaching our packs again, we continued along the jeep track further into the mountains and arrived at the usual overnight spot at about 3:30 pm. It was really nice to spend a night in such a lovely environment, without winter weather.

The Sunday morning, we walked some distance on the northbound track further into the mountains, just to show everyone the lay of the land and where the tracks go. Then we hiked back to the farmhouse along a different route, also visiting the nice overhang with San paintings along the way. We reached our cars again before lunchtime.

Chris Davies welcomes hikers and other nature lovers to his large farm. But there are a lot of invasive trees, so he does not charge for using his camping area, on condition that visitors take down (or ring-bark) some of these intruding species. We carried a few saws and eliminated quite a number of pine trees and wattles.

We’ll be back…

Meet Leader ~ Derek Odendaal