11 of us finally managed to get together for the 2 day one night pony trek to Ribaneng Waterfall; 9 adults and 2 children.
After lots of miscommunication, lost Shell ultra service stations and missing garages we finally met up for a great breakfast at Ventersburg .
Testing our driver’s overtaking skills along the way we managed to arrive at Malealea lodge in one piece around 3pm where we were settled into our accommodation and given a quick tour of the facilities by our hosts. Once unpacked and settled we gathered at the bar for evening sundowners before the evening entertainment by the local choir & band. It was then off for a great dinner.
After dinner some went off for an early night while the rest of us stayed to sample the local beer and empty a few bottles of red wine while getting to know our fellow travellers.
Breakfast was at 8am and we were set to climb onto the ponies at 10am. Once everyone was settled onto ponies the adventure began. None of us had ever done this before so both the area and the experience was new. Gert Jan being our most inexperienced rider proved to be most entertaining with his constant chirps to his horse on what was expected. “Sky turn right… Sky please turn right” became a familiar chirp.
The trip down the side of the mountain was spectacular. How those ponies do it is quite amazing. Spending a little time at the bottom in the river for the ponies to cool down was very welcome and gave us riders some time to settle the nerves. Hats off to Robyn the youngest of the group for doing so well. It was a little nerve racking.
Once we got to the top of the mountain on the other side we stopped for out pre-packed lunch and spent some time trying to convince ourselves that our butts were not as numb as they felt.
We arrived at the village around 4pm a little later than expected and decided not to do the 3/4km hike up to the waterfall but to rather chill around a fire. Guides were sent into the village to find cups for coffee. We even had 4 bikers join us briefly for coffee on their way down to Malealea logde.
I was still amazed the ponies did the ride and wonder if the bikes got back safe and sound. According to their GPS we had covered 16km.
Saturday morning after coffee we walked up to the waterfall; what a beautiful sight and enjoyable walk.
Back to village for a quick breakfast and packing horses had us leaving around 10am a little later than expected by our guides who usually try to get going at 8am. The trip back was cold with snow forecasted but fortunately a little faster so we warmed up quickly.
We arrived back at Malealea around 4pm and welcomed the hot coffee and warm shower.
Supper was fantastic. I just have to get the recipe! Saturday evening they had snow on the mountain we had spent the night before on. Fortunately it waited for us to leave.
Sunday morning after a walk to the local village and tour of the museum we left for home. A 3.5hr stop at the border which would have been a lot longer if Dave and Andre had not called the police and acted as a physical barrier to stop the Q jumping. It was around 3pm before we got through the border so we all said our goodbyes and went our own way back to JHB arriving around 8pm.
The scenery is just amazing and I will defiantly be arranging another trip in the spring when all the flowers are out.
Thanks to my travel companions - you were great and made the experience enjoyable: Robyn and Candice - our two younger members, Candice with your smile and Robyn with your determination it was a pleasure having you on the trip!
I look forward to having you join me on my next adventure.