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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

South Africa - 8 May, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Cederberg - Sanddrif campsite S3229.282' E01916.166' 888 m 14 km
Maltese Cross 8 km (walk)
Cederberg - Sanddrif campsite S3229.282' E01916.166' 888 m 13 km
Cederberg Cellars 7 km
Finish Cederberg - Sanddrif campsite S3229.282' E01916.166' 888 m 7 km

Total:

40,798 km

19,978 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny, and hot in the sun, but cool in the shade.  Very cold at night.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

It is very cold this morning, so we spend some time laying in bed and avoiding getting up.  When we have no choice, we quickly get dressed and then go and have some breakfast.  We then get ready for our days activities.

 

We first head off in the truck to the trail head from which we will hike up into the Cederberg mountains to go see the Maltese Cross.  After a short drive along the dirt roads, we reach the trail head at around 8:30 AM.  We gather up our stuff and after a briefing on the route we head off.  We want to make as much progress as possible before the sun gets too high in the sky.

 

SouthAfrica01_Cederberg_Maltese02_HikeUp_Jac_3415_Web.gif (204773 bytes)

But it quickly gets very hot.  While the air is cool, the sun's rays are burning.  Following a short flat stretch, the trail quickly began to climb.  We had to find our way through some valleys up to a plain at the top of the mountains.  The trail was beautiful to walk on.  The rock formations we very intriguing - all jumbled on top of each other - like children's playing blocks that have been scattered around.  The plant life, while simple, is quite colorful and comes in all sorts of shapes.

 

SouthAfrica01_Cederberg_Maltese05_Cross_Jac_3418_Web.gif (209907 bytes)

We make good time (better than we were told to expect), and when we emerged on to the plateau, we were not sure if the giant rock sticking out of the ground like a grand phallic symbol was what we were supposed to find.  It is a huge rock and we walk up closer to check it out.  Even though we could not really find a Maltese Cross in the rock formation, we knew it must be what we came to see.

 

SouthAfrica01_Cederberg_Maltese07_Cross_3420_Web.gif (210010 bytes)

If you look closely in the picture, you can just see a few human figures at the base of the rock tower - it is big!!!

 

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After walking around for a bit, we sit back on one of the many rocks strewn around the base of the cross.  We open our packs and pull out some goodies, including some chips, a bottle of wine and some tin cups.  We lay back and enjoy the sun, the views and the wine.  An hour went by quickly and we decide to head back.  The walk back is just as interesting as the walk up.  Now we get a whole other view of the valley and the surrounding countryside as we climb down.  Jacqui and Lars get into a race at the end and, as their competitive streaks emerge, they race to see who can be first back to the truck.  But the searing heat from the sun and the loose, ankle twisting rocks on the path, soon put an end to that.

 

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We head back to the campsite - with some of us riding on the roof seats for a grand stand view of the surroundings.  Once we are back at the campsite, we relax, take a short nap and then get cleaned up.  At 3:00 PM we head off on our afternoon activities.  We take the truck over to the Cederberg Wine Cellar, where they take us on a tour of the facilities.

 

While the tour was nice, the highlight was the wine tasting.  They had a range of wines, but the only one that we found fairly interesting was the Cabernet Sauvignon 1999.  In the end, we bought a few bottles of this wine to drink back at the campsite.  As we had persuaded them to open a few bottles of this wine to convince us that it was good, we were all very "happy" as we headed back to the campsite.

 

SouthAfrica01_Cederberg_Campsite_Dinner_Web.gif (115082 bytes)

Once back at the campsite, the bottles of wine were opened on a continuous basis and the party started to really get going.  As this would be the last meal cooked on this trip, a real feast is prepared.  All stops are pulled out and every piece of cooking equipment on the truck is used, including the oven, all pots and pans, etc...  The final menu included dead soldiers and dip as starters and a main course of roast beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cheese broccoli, and other vegetables, and desert of apple crumble.  We stuffed ourselves - it was scrumptious!!!

 

The drinking carried on after dinner until all the wine that we had purchased - which was quite a lot - had run out.  We also took advantage of a few bottles of whiskey that we had stashed away somewhere on the truck.

 

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