Sunday, April 10, 2011

Groenkloof Day Hike

From left to right: Cameron, Gregor, Keegan Nel, Mark, Brandon, Luke, Keegan Hague.
Front: Westliegh

We went hiking at Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria on 23 January 2011. The nice thing about this reserve is that it in the heart of a city and has an a nice selection of wildlife and various activities available to do.

The day started a bit gloomy with rain tapping on our bedroom windows but we held our heads high and the rain passed. I was extremely happy with the turn out as we had an almost a full troop at our hike including two parents all dressed in bright red what a team!

We decided to let the scouts take the lead on the Yellow route while the adults hanged back as the whole point of the hike was to allow the scouts to complete their Pathfinder hiking requirement. They were also requested to make turns to take notes so that may compile a log of the hike. About a kilometer into the hike we reached the T-junction where the circular route meets up and the scouts decided to go left which resulted in us completing the route in reverse, no harm done as scouts is always up for an adventure.

The scouts were extremely observant and spotted the first animals, giraffes, and continued to spot ostriches, wildebeest, zebra’s and various buck. They were so observant the even noticed a variety of insects, spiders, birds, and plants. One fruit that stood out was the Monkey Orange and with the help of a Trees of South Africa book the scouts to found out that the skin of the Monkey Orange is edible once ripe but the insides is poisonous.

As we continued on the route we found that the path split  in two so we sent two scouts in each direction to find a board. The boys that went right quickly found a board so we sent a scout to call back the other two, but they were nowhere to be found. After a quick jog we found them further up the path. There is a lesson to be learnt here, is give the teams a specific time limit to find the route and if they do not, they should return.

The scouters decided to lead the party from there on and we moved at a good pace and quickly reached the halfway mark as we quietly passed a whole herd of buck. Not long after we found the perfect lunch spot at a large bunch of trees all nestled between large rocks and boulders.
After lunch the scouts took the lead again and we were doing really well on time. On the last 2Km it began to rain again but with thunder present this time, so we decided to jog to get out harm’s way. Luckily the storm passed quickly and reached the end of our route.

It was a great day out and I hope the scouts plan to go back soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment