Waking the Giant
It was an early morning rise the day I tackled the 2 giants. We wanted to get started before the sun was too hot on our skins. If only we had known.
So first, we tackled the sleeping giant. Gracious as she lays, this is a difficult climb, but bearable. You have to be fit; motivated and not scared of heights. It is a spectacular climb and one that takes a lot of energy, but it is an enjoyable climb to the top. You truly feel you have accomplished something. Good, solid boots is a must as there are many slippery places and a shoe with a tight grip is only an advantage.
75min later the view from the top is simply magnificent….. and then you continue onto the waking giant. Oh my!!! I had absolutely no idea what was waiting or what to expect.
I quickly realised that we had moved onto a different ball game. This was not hiking anymore. We were climbing. And I was not geared for that – did not have the right shoes on and no gloves on my hands. If ever I do this again… correct boots and gloves are a must.
But what beautiful scenery. The gigantic surrounding mountains – absolutely magnificent. You know that you are in the presence of something so much bigger than you.
The heat quickly swept down on us. We were expecting a waterfall to fill up the water bottles, but all the waterfalls were dry. Only very high up did we see a spray of water where a waterfall was still running.
We made our way all along a cliff, down boulders to the valley and then up again to go down the other side of the mountain. Tough is an understatement. Rocks, long grass, dry branches and lots of heat is all you see and feel for another 2 hours. You slip and you slide, but you move forward, because you know, somewhere in front is a river…. a running river with real drinking water in it. And you move down the slopes of that dry river, climb over boulders, slide down others, jump and climb some more. And then there is the river. What a treat. You will only know once you experience this. To put your feet in that ice cold water is truly a gift from God. And the taste!! Could not care less about “paddavissies” sliding down your throat. The water is all you want. And then starts the walk down the river. There is no other way or path but through the river. So make sure you once again have the correct shoes, because if your shoes become wet and you start slipping….. bad news! But no problem with the correct shoes. And you shouldn’t mind them getting wet, because there simply is no other way but to put your feet in the water. Another 2,5 hours of absolutely murdering heat and up the rock, down the rock. Into the water, out of the water. Luckily this happens under a lot of trees which provides shade. Without the shade, it would have been a killer.
But the beauty of nature here is simply mind blowing. Beautiful beyond words. The most beautiful red flowers that grow up in the mountain.
And then finally…. you get to the bottom of the river and turn into the main stream, the Molenaars River, to go back to the starting point. This is a lovely part, but tough. Up the stream, swimming many times (no complaints). Women might want to wear a swimsuit underneath their clothes or like me…. I just got into the water clothes and all. Could not have cared less at that stage. I just wanted to cool off and finish, get it over and done with. Eight hours after starting, we were back at the starting point… aching, hurt, burnt, but oh, so very satisfied. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment after a huge challenge; and believe you me…. this one is a challenge; mental and physical. To complete it is absolute success!
And the ice cold coke at the end of it all….. so worth it!
What an experience! What an adventure! What beauty and what endurance!
I will do this again, but not soon. It is a spiritual walk that challenges many things inside of you.
Dare if you would!!!
By: Julita Lambrechts