Hiking the Loerie
Well, Wednesday morning started of grey with a bit of a drizzle. A great day for a hike! So off we went.
Having lived in Sabie for nearly 11 years, I would say it was about time to go and hike this popular route. It will be great to be able to give my guests, at Sabie Self Catering Apartments, first-hand information in ensuring that their experience is as positive as my morning hike.
The aim of this game was to ensure that all route markers were clear and the map easy to navigate.
Starting from Merry Pebbles parking area, where we left our vehicle, we walked around to Castle Rock Caravan Park, through the gates and started our 14km adventure.
It is, for sure, a privilege to live in such a beautiful part of our country. Walking the first 5km on a Jeep track covered with beautiful river pebbles, left behind by the river that ran much higher years before.... A cliff face on the right-hand side with a monkey call or two to welcome us. Rumour has it that you may just spot a rare Samango Monkey – would that not be awesome.
Trapping along, listening to the cobble of the river, we reach the "road to Bridal Veil Falls" in a jiffy. Time flies when you are having fun... So far so good, all signage visible, even if one or two can do with a bit of a touch-up.
We continue on the gravel road for another 2.7km to reach the parking area close to the Bridal Veil Falls.
Mr. Killer, the guard on duty, meets us to collect our permits (he assured us that his name refers to his looks - not that he is a serial killer)
And so the fun starts - the trail starts climbing up the mountain. First a nice, man-made path, then it becomes a bit more natural with rocks, tree stumps and other obstacles to navigate. Just before reaching the beautiful Bridal Veil falls, the path veers off to the right. Now things are getting interesting. I have done some "mountain climbing" at bootcamp, but it is much more fun doing the real thing. A path through natural forest continues up, up, up. The dew brushed from the leaves keeping us cool. Now and again the foliage opens up and we look down onto the valley below, appreciating the trail that we have completed and excited about the way forward. We are one a narrow, leaf covered path, over rocks and tree roots going up, towards the call of Glynis Waterfall.
Reaching the falls, we find a seat on some rocks, with a front row view of the water tumbling down from above -a reward worth climbing for. Time for a quick snack and some water. Let's go.
The trail continues climbing and then evens out; we are right next to the stream. Beautiful ferns, rocks covered with moss, birds singing. Then we climb again. In the distance the Elna falls are singing her song... encouraging us! Reaching Elna we know that we are nearly done with the climbing, not far to go to a welcoming wide track to take us back down. First we appreciate the beauty of Elna and can't help to think who was Elna? And Glynis... her sister... mother?
The last uphill stretch continues through a beautifully scented man-made pine forest and leads us to the foresters’ truck track. We make a left turn onto the track and start our descent. Keeping an eye on where you step as the Baboons passed through at dawn, leaving some slippery parcels. Down we go. Now we can chat, and take big breaths of fresh Sabie air, all hyped up after our 1.7km mountain climbing adventure. Strolling along we pass some foresters having a tea break - greetings all round. They work hard at keeping the forest growing; do they ever stop and appreciate the beauty? Sometimes we forget how privileged we are.
The downhill home goes quickly - meeting up with the gravel road we walked 4 hours earlier, we know that we can now say - we have done the Loerie!