Hiking & Bouldering


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By Phillip van der Merwe

At a recent SOAPkidz meeting we were discussing the impact the outings with the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) has on our children. The consensus was that the bouldering, de-weeding and especially the rock climbing outings “blow” the kids away in that they are given an experience that will never be forgotten.

This outing, led by Petrus Nel from MCSA Magaliesberg Section, to Cederberg and Tonquani Kloofs involving eight children from the Kosmos Children’s Home in Kriel accompanied by Carina their social worker and three German volunteers bore this out yet again. Not just the children but also the volunteers and even an old hand like myself were completely “blown” away by what can only be described as an amazing and unforgettable experience. Not to mention that this all took place in the most beautiful and pristine natural surroundings the likes of which are seldom seen.

It started with everyone meeting early Saturday morning in Mountain Sanctuary car park. Introductions followed and a brief “aside” with Petrus where I stated that everyone was fit and ready for a challenging weekend. Maybe I spoke just a bit too soon because at one point whilst traversing a tricky section in the kloof the kids enquired as to the strange expression on my face. “Concentration” I quickly replied. “Noooo! That was fear and we have photos to prove it” they argued.

Splendid views, the majesty of the kloof, daring leaps into pools many meters below, an evening accompanied by Petrus on the guitar, an endless supply of coffee brewed using Carina’s lost sock, perfect weather and the rock climbing all added up to make the weekend what it was. Special thanks to everyone concerned and be assured that lives were touched and positively influenced. For one, mine most certainly was.

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