David and I had both done this walk two or three times before, but never led it. So we agreed we should do a recce before we offered it to our Thursday Explorers. We expected to have just the four of us today, so decided to do the recce. However at the last minute Anneke and Toon were able to join us, and brought David (2) and Sabine for their first walk with the group.
Before we started I explained that it was a recce, and just as well as things turned out.
All went well until we reached the area where we usually have our banana break, and which I thought was also the point where we started to climb to the summit. But as soon as I saw it I had my doubts, it looked different and there was no sign post. However we did a short recce, whilst the rest had their banana stop, to make sure.
When we reached the sign post we recognised it at once, it was just as we remembered it.
We were pleased to find that the herd of goats, which we had seen on previous visits, were here today.
These are particularly attractive animals, and we spent some time watching and taking photographs. Anneke looks like she would make a good goat herder!
There were not at all frightened by us, indeed they seemed approached us to see if we had anything for them. All except this beauty who kept his distance and overlooked the rest of the herd.
Despite our earlier delay we still reached the summit at 1pm, the appointed picnic time.
The weather forecast was cloudy, and indeed was correct as this photo shows.
However the cloud was all behind us. The view to our front was much better, and the sun even made an appearance.
I had anticipated that if we had any trouble finding the path it would be on the way back to the camp site. However we found it without difficulty, the path was very good and the weather kept fine.
Due to our extra recce the journey was slightly longer than usual. David provided the stats which are:
Distance 11.5 km
Time 5 hours 50 minutes
Elevation 504 metres