There is no doubt that Nature has a way of opening ones eyes and helping to completely relax you in every way, almost rejuvenating you, wait, it does! Truth be told, there is a rather spiritual connotation to being in a place of immense beauty, such as this, especially when you’re outdoors. That rejuvenating feeling I mentioned earlier is probably as a result of the immense amount of natural energy in this area of the country.
The Magaliesberg mountains truly are a sight to behold. nothing in comparison to the Drakensburg or Cape Fold Mountains but still amazing. This area is maintained by the Mountain Club of South Africa (http://www.mcsa.org.za) and a permit is required for entry to the Grootkloof Gorge. Thanks to Marlo, a good friend of mine, we were able to get a permit for access to this site. Those fortunate enough to visit the site would know what i mean but the immense beauty and energy of this place.
We started our adventure at around 8am from Marisha’s (The love of my life) salon. It was a team-building / end-year function for Carton Hair, Centurion. The aim was to get everyone at the salon (and partners) out into the wilderness, completely remove them from their comfort zone and give them the opportunity to try something new.
And so we headed off to the heart of the Magaliesberg mountains for an amazing day. It’s only about a 2-hour drive from Centurion, through Hartebeespoort dam and just past MooiNooi, very near Rustenburg. Once there, we had an hour long hike to the Gorge. The eye candy is spectacular. There really is alot of plant life, and due to the time of year, lots of rain too, so most of the trees and plants are green. The air here is so clean. it’s almost like a newborn baby taking it’s first breath of fresh air instead of all the polluted air we have to contend with on a daily basis in the city. This truly is a completely different lifestyle!
Can you imagine a group of 16 hair Stylists and their partners, only 4 of which enjoy the outdoors on a regular basis (Myself, My girlfriend Marisha, Karla and her husband Marlo). We stopped off occasionally for a bit of a rest, waiting for the less outdoorsy people to catch their breath then headed off again. This is known to us climbers as the infamous walk-in!
After a long hike up the slopes of the mountains and then a little further down into a small valley, then up another part of the mountain we eventually arrived at the entrance to the gorge. This was the most technical part of the trip. The route into the gorge was quite a technical downhill scramble. There were lots of trees and rocks all over the place and these proved to be quite the challenge for most of our teammates this day. Needless to say, we all arrived in the gorge safely. The Cliffs as spectacular as could ever be imagined, the water crystal clear, the plants giving off the most pleasing smell of the fresh clean air!
During Lunch, Marlo and Myself prepared the Abseil (Around a 20m drop over a HUGE boulder in the gorge). This was definitely the most terrifying part of the adventure for most of our teammates. They were thrown into the deep end with this one. I was the first person over the boulder. From the edge of the rock there’s a HUGE drop off. As you pass over the boulder you are left dangling in thin air while lowering yourself to the rocky outcrop beneath the waterfall. I don’t think I’ve ever been colder in my life. From this point I helped everyone out of their harnesses and they all had to jump into the pool of water to get to a little island in the gorge and wait for the rest of our teammates to make it down. Needless to say, eventually everyone was down. From here it was smooth sailing to the end of the gorge.
As we progressed further down the gorge we encountered some interesting challenges, especially the Bum-Slide, a smooth boulder in the gorge that gives you the chance to slide down into another pool of water. Most of us had a good laugh at each other at this point! Needless to say, all good things must come to an end, and by the time we neared the end of the gorge many of our teammates were feeling a little tired from our adventure. We exited the gorge and had a bit of a rest before making our way back to our cars. This was the perfect time for us to bask in the sun and regain some energy for the hike out.
The hike out was a rather intense little scramble up a small rock face. Despite the tiredness of our crew we all managed to make it out in one piece. From the top of the rock face it was a slow, steady and pleasant walk back to the cars where we proceeded to pack our stuff away and then headed off to a nearby hotel for a beer. For me, this is always the best part of an adventure. All the intensity has passed and it’s now time to relax and chat about the adventure with mates!
After sucha grand adventure it’s very likely that one would feel rejuvinated and ready to take on the world!