Temperatures were cold and conditions were extremely wet, after the Western Cape experienced two days of high winds and torrential rains.
The hike nearly got cancelled the day before, and even that same morning, because the rain was still coming down. But the teachers were still keen to go ahead, and the kids all turned up, so we went for it.
Altogether 18 kids and four teachers came along with several Jenman staff in one of our trucks. We started the hike at Constantia Nek and carried on through to Kirstenbosch Gardens, where we enjoyed snacks and the beautiful surroundings. Many of the kids had not visited Kirstenbosch before, and they were very impressed with the beauty of the gardens: open landscapes, mountain views, flowing waterfalls and outstanding African sculptures.
The hike took a couple of hours, as we stopped a few times to take breaks and enjoy the views of the city. The forest was lush and fragrant after so much rain, and we could hear quite a few frogs in the feinbos along the way. And even after the long hike through the contour path, which was quite strenuous for some, the kids got an extra boost of energy once we reached the gardens. With so much beauty and incredible open space, it is impossible for a group of 12-year olds not to feel like running around.
Amazingly, the heavy rain stopped as we started our hike, and it only started again after dropping the kids back to Retreat at 3pm. We had over five solid hours of clear skies – it was just amazing to have such good luck. Many thanks to the staff at Lourier for helping us make this hike happen!