We started off with 15 happy first time campers who were thoroughly intimidated by the size of their hiking bags. Once the packets of food from Pick ‘n Pay Faerie Glen Hyper were distributed, we were off on our adventure. The boys soon realized that hiking was not for the faint-hearted with some of them swearing on their lives that they would never do it again.
When we eventually arrived at the camp site, setting up tents was a welcomed change from the walking and the river water was clean enough to drink from. Then it was onto the de-weeding. Armed with a description of the Mexican devil and instructions on how to destroy it, we began the real adventure. As focused as we were on finding the invader, we couldn’t help but be distracted by the awesome beauty of wild nature, the rock formations and mostly the enchanting pools. The boys wasted no time getting wet.
We made our way further up the river where we eventually settled down for lunch. This was when a new search began for a bag of vienna’s and the tomato sauce.
After lunch we all turned into lazy lizards falling asleep on the rocks basking in the sun. With the afternoon nap behind us, the boys were hungry for some excitement and found it in the form of diving from very high ledges into the pools. Boys will be boys.
Supper came in the form of 2 minute noodles with some extras which turned out surprisingly well. Then the stars put on the evening show before we were off to bed. We were enjoying the sounds of nature before two anonymous gentlemen went to sleep and managed to scare away all forms of life with their synchronized snore Olympics.
Sunday morning started with a light drizzle, sleepy heads and silence from our Olympians.
The boys, taking full advantage of the time left, were at the pools even before breakfast was served. I did the same and had my first swimming lesson from a 6 year old shouting instruction from the bank. Watching the younger boys splashing around was a good reminder of how simple life can be.
Eventually our time at the Dome Pools had run out and it was time to leave. With everyone packed, we managed to do the hike back in half the time despite getting slightly lost. This time around the boys had sworn that they would do it again and that the hiking was worth the pot of gold at the end.
It was heartwarming to see how well the group looked after each other, a bond some siblings will never experience. With a house father like Wilko, they are surely on the right path. Also a special word of thanks to the Mountain Club of South Africa for hosting our children and affording us the opportunity to make a positive contribution towards a better environment.