Sore, tired feet were well-recovered after Cannibal Cavern’s hike … ready for the next day’s trail linking several shorter trails together as it was really, really windy!! And .. I went for a super duper foot massage at the Spa the previous afternoon 🙂
As a family, we all walked this trail in Feb last year when the ground was muddy and slippery. Quite different this time with the ground dry and cracked where mountain streams had dried up .. I remember the kiddies slipping and sliding along this part of the trail
Next time I would love to hike to Echo Cave … although Sipho, our guide to Cannibal Cavern said it’s a little tougher. I’d love to give it try 😉
I walked a little way up the trial to take photos, but unfortunately the sun wasn’t in my favour. A number of years ago hubby, Elaine and I walked up this way to a point where we could see over Surprise Ridge to the snow-capped Drakensberg range. Amazing view!! I also lost my watch up there … unlucky me … lucky baboon who must have found it !! … although he probably would have tried to eat it !
Looking back to Surprise Ridge … on top of which we stood !!!! You can see the burnt patch we walked passed on our descent (on the right) Cannibal Cavern is not in view from this angle. Hubby is standing in front of the protea tree line
We walked from the Fern Forest, down to rivers, up again, along open areas when you feel like singing ‘the hills are alive with the Sound of Music … … ” passing the trout dams again, as we did the day before, through natural forests of protea and down to the Grotto, at the base of Surprise Ridge.
We knew the Grotto would be pretty dry, but we didn’t realise it would be this dry!!!! There was only a drip and a drop. Taking a photograph from the path looking in seemed so insignificant hence I didn’t take one as I had done before with the kiddies being helped over the slippery rocks, and standing under the waterfall …
… and this is where we had to help each other across the river hopping from one slippery rock to the other ..
…. and what those slippery rocks looked like this time .. no problem crossing at all
Putting things into perspective … there’s Cannibal Cavern – mid photo in line with hubby’s ear – and Surprise Ridge on skyline/left
The strong winds were very scary actually. I had to stop and stand firm with my hiking stick dug firmly in the ground. I’m sure quite a sight!! It was impossible to take my camera out to take ‘happy snaps’ ! Also, after the heavy rains of last summer, the erosion was quite bad in parts, added to this precarious situation, there were loose pebbles and stones. I had visions of us tumbling down the mountain side.
The next very scary bit was climbing down … over loose pebbles and sand and an eroded path … stopping every time a strong gust of wind blew through the valley. This was our previous visit, on slippery wet stones .. without the wind !
It doesn’t look all that steep .. but believe me it is!!!
Back to the hotel and shelter from those strong winds!! Aloes were in full bloom ..
… The Cavern, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal: June 2014