Our next adventure day is drawing near, and the plans for the day is coming along nicely. It will be held at the NECSA picnic site on Saturday 9 March. To spice things up, you will be able to choose between two basic options: one for the tough and brave, and one for the not-so-brave...
Here’s Piers’ synopsis of the day...
Essentially the plan is to meet at NECSA picnic site on the Crocodile River (S25 48 28.8 E27 54 47.8), hike (8km) or MTB (15km) return to start, collect gear, hike to a raft put-in point, jump on rafts and paddle the 4km to the main road bridge take-out point. Then hike the Phaladingwe trail at Pelindaba to a climbing and then abseil point on the trail. Climb/ abseil and then continue hiking to the finish at NECSA Pelindaba picnic site.
My rough estimated timing would be:
Park your car and meet at NECSA Picnic site next to camping and braai area and prepare.
Listen to and receive instructions & maps, pack bags, sunscreen on, backpacks, water, etc. Take team photo.
OPTION 1 (THE TOUGH ONE):
Start 8km hike as marked on map. Read map carefully. Remember to bring lots of water, hats leg cover and hiking shoes. This is a tough hike. Hike circular route back to start.
Start 15km MTB ride. This is a tough ride, expect to do some hike-a-bike. MTB marked route round the Necsa industrial site and return to start.
The not-so-brave will have the option to bail out of this hiking/biking leg of the day, save two hours and skip straight on to the next activity: paddling.
Change gear, hike to raft put-in, waterproof your gear, put on life jacket & helmet, grab a paddle, listen to the safety talk.
Start paddling down river, listening to guides’ instructions carefully (4km with grade 1 rapids).
Arrive at the take-out point on RHS just before the R512 bridge (S25 47 47.8 E27 53 45.5).Take out the rafts, pack all gear on trailer. Get on your hiking gear, select one of several routes on the map, and hike to the climbing point (shortest distance is 2.1 km). Arrive at climbing point (Nagasaki crag). Check for barrier tape to show the path to climb start (meet guide there).
Various climbing routes will be set up from a grade 12 upwards. Choose an easier or harder route, depending on your preference. (Grade 12 is suitable for beginners.)
Continue with the trail marked on the map to the top of the abseil point.
Listen to the abseil guide’s instructions , put on a harness and helmet, and carefully abseil to bottom.
If you prefer, you may skip the climb and/or abseil and using the paths marked on the map, continue with the trail back to the picnic site.
04:15:00 PM onwards
Arrive at Picnic site, jump into the clean blue swimming pool. Stuff your face, drink beer and lounge around the beautiful braai area – swim, hike, climb, bird watch, paddle, MTB etc if you still have energy (watch out for baboons).
Before leaving please clean up area, deflate the rafts and pack all gear into vehicles to assist us. Make sure you return all ESSA gear.
Maps will be issued and a GPS track with waypoints of the entire route is available for download too.
What to bring:
- Comfortable clothes and hiking shoes.
- Sun hat and sun screen.
- Hydration pack / small backpack to carry water and snacks for the route.
- Water proof bag to put valuables / belongings in for the paddle.
- Climbing harness and shoes (if you want to use your own).
- Mountain bike (optional).
- GPS & camera (optional).
- Alcoholic drinks & snacks for the braai.
- Camping chairs.
- Bathing costume.
- Sense of direction & adventure.
We have re-calculated costs, and will be able to offer the adventure to ESSA members at R200 per person, and to non-members at R250. Those of you who have paid already will be refunded the difference – please contact us to make arrangements. The fee includes entrance, climbing and rafting equipment and a braai. Fees must be paid into the ESSA account up front, before Wednesday 6 March:
Exploration Society of SA
Standard Bank – Parktown (Branch code 0355)
Acct No: 2008 38210
Payment reference: ADay, your name and contact number.
Please RSVP and send proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org or sms 071 610 1985.
If you wish, camping is available at an additional R60 per person per night, and can be arranged with the guards on the day. NECSA offers excellent facilities and is a great place to camp.
Hope to see you there!