As we had been advised that Wolfberg Cracks would be a serious hike, we got up early and- because Trokkie is slightly slower than a landcruiser- we sent my sister ahead for permits and caught up with them at the entrance of the Wolfberg Cracks Reserve.
Once you enter the gate it’s a short drive to the parking area through the “Valley of Red Giants”: a field with enormous upright boulders. (top left section of the photo on the right)
And then it was time to take on the mountain and walk our way up to the Cracks (those jagged cuts on the top, to the right of the photo below).
At the chance of sounding boring and repeating myself: ” WOW, WOW, WOW”!
I was Miss Slow Coach for most of the walk up but it was just amazing. The views from way-up-there were just awesome! Most of the way up is rocky, bouldery and irregular and I did have problems regulating my breathing with my stepping rhythm. But I kept going and the reward was AMAZING!
Massive boulders and rocks are scattered on the slopes with fynbos and other vegetation holding on for dear life in this austere landscape.
So eventually we all made it to the first pretty serious obstacle: a darn big “klip” in our way. Luckily we had lanky nephew Thomas who got up first on the big rock in order to drag everyone else up there. I promise, my face ONLY reflects effort, NOT fear! (Photos courtesy of niece Stefanie.) Awesome!!!!! Never thought I would do this kind of monkeynastics at my age! Once the heavy cliff-climbing was done, we faced a “little ledge walk” with a rope safeguarding us from an (almost) vertical drop into the valley.
Once we had negotiated our little ledge-walk, we had to find our way through the cracks: narrow passages through the top of the mountain. My sister explained that some of the cracks are dead ends and then you have to retrace your steps to find the right crack to pass through. A succession of eroded rock walls, pillars, arches and bridges, our passage through the Crack consisted of climbing man size boulders, slipping sideways through narrow slits and even crawling under boulders (on your back, because your body had to make a 90 degree upwards movement to get out from under the boulder) that were wedged between the rock walls.
(part of the photos below courtesy of brother in law Gerhard)
And then we were through the Cracks with amazing views and fantastic rock formations.
From there, one could continue for another two hours towards the Wolfberg Arch, but that would not be possible for us that day. Maybe we’ll come back one day to do the whole hike!
An amazing hike in an untouched rough and wild landscape!
The walk down was much faster (at least I could keep up with the rest and walk down non-stop) and we had a toasted sandwich in the parking lot (courtesy of Stefaan and Stefanie). By democratic vote we went for a ice cold beer at Oasis before Lut, Gerhard and the kids went back home to Cape Town and we parked ourselves along the roadside for an early night in the berg!
(instagram photos courtesy of Stefanie and Thomas)
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