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Offline LeonDude

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Mountain Sanctuary Park
« on: March 07, 2011, 09:17:27 pm »
Many of us in the Gauteng area have done Breedts neck a couple of times, but how many of you have gone to the Mountain Sanctuary Park on the northern side and done a hike there?
I was invited there this weekend by ESSA. After I did Breedts neck with the bike on Saturday morning I joined Cave Girl and the ESSA group we had a fantastic day of hiking through this lovely area. Here is the hike report.

Mountain Sanctuary Park

We did a nice hike courtesy of ESSA at the Mountain Sanctuary Park this weekend. The park is situated near Mooinooi, at the northern side of Breedtsnek pass.
In the distance is Buffelspoort dam.


The hike is quite short and not very technical, but the scenery goes through spectacular ranges of weathered sandstone.
Is that the Sphinx lying there? There were many fingers pointing to faces and forms seen in the beautifully weathered formations.


I’m looking for the geologists among you to tell me what causes this kind of markings on the rocks.


This is a waterfall at a part of the route called ‘The Grotto’. It’s a shallow cave behind the waterfall.


Next photo is yours truly behind the waterfall.


Sharron aka Cave Girl about to enter the cave.


Sharron outside the cave, in front of the waterfall.


More strange and mysterious markings on the underside of a rock.


The next photo is where my camera just does not do the area justice. There is actually a ravine between the near and far rocks, and the view really was spectacular. This is one of those views you can only experience by going there and seeing it for yourself.



At one stage the path is right in the river, and you have to do a bit of swimming (Although you could of course skip this and just do the overland part). When we got to the bit where we had no choice but to go into the water, we realized that we had no waterproofing for our electronics, and this saw me and Cave Girl climb out of the ravine and take a short roundabout route, carrying some of the groups’ electronics.

Here are four of us climbing down to get to the river. The rest of the group took a different path to get to this spot.


The water in the river pools is crystal clear and actually not to cold, so for the water lovers it was great fun.
Scrambling over the rocks. We soon found out it was easier to just walk in the water.


Some shots of the water and pools. What a nice place to spend a few hours with friends.






Later that night after a potjie and far too many beers we had a good sleep, and when we walked to the ablution block to get rid of some excess beer after the lights were out, the stars were out in the millions, a sight that I cannot stop wondering at whenever I get a chance to get away from the ambient light of Gauteng.

The ablutions were top class, and only one baboon patrolled the dustbins in the campsite.

Thanks to ESSA for the organizing, it was great fun.

See you again soon,
Leon

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