Eco Club Outing to the Koo



Eco Club Outing to the Koo

Eco Club Outing to the Koo

Eco Club Outing to the Koo

Eco Club Outing to the Koo

Eco Club Outing to the Koo

Eco Club Outing to the Koo

14 November 2012

By Martin & Wilhelmien van Zyl

An invitation to a trip up into the Koo Valley from the Little Karoo village of Montagu, was eagerly accepted by 28 members of the Eco Club on the 14th November.

The journey commenced with a gathering at the popular Leidam tourist attraction and the gathering, travelling in 4 x 4 vehicles, eventually arrived at Simonskloof just before 10 am with the sun already beating down on the eager hikers. After a welcome and explanation of the path to be taken up one of the surrounding mountains (better known as ‘1113’), the party slowly made its way up a gradual slope onto the first plateau. There a few members decided that they had already managed their exercise for the day and decided to return to the ‘base camp’.

Progress on the track with many small loose stones was slow with the first water stop-over being reached just after an hour’s hike. Again a few members felt that they were taking a mixture of sun and climbing strain and reluctantly decided to retreat.

The summit of ‘1113’ was eventually reached by a third of the original group and the exquisite views of the Nuy Valley Gorge, Nuy Dam and all the surrounding mountains was reward enough for some hard hiking and tired leg muscles. The three very experienced sheep dogs that accompanied the hikers proved slightly less tired and they promptly proceeded to sit on the highest possible vantage points overlooking a gorge that dropped away some 1 300m.

After having exhausted all liquid refreshment so carefully carried, the hikers commenced the return journey at a slightly quicker pace to that of the ascent.

A picnic lunch was enjoyed by everyone under ‘an old oak tree’ believed to have been planted nearly 250 years ago. The hosts, Mareletta and Jurgen Wohlfarter, answered numerous questions from the weary hikers before they returned to their vehicles to proceed to Provenance, a herb farm, situated high in the mountains between the Koo Valley and Keisie Valley (a surprise visit planned by the hosts to complete an outstanding day in the ‘wilds’).

At Provenance, Eve Wilson, gave a short talk on the history and establishment of geranium-farming in the area while husband, Peter, gave a most interesting demonstration of how the oil of the geranium plants (cut 3-4 times a year) is distilled for use in Eve’s various products.

Members were treated to a much-appreciated, inexhaustible source of ice-cold lemon water and a variety of cookies all made from geranium recipes.

After an inspection of geranium-growing and some ‘smelling’ of the beautiful mountain varieties, the exhausted, but satisfied group of visitors, returned home.

The day’s outing was summed up by one of the members as having been ‘extremely exhilarating’ and a ‘challenge to those who don’t hike often enough’.

For anyone wanting information on Simonskloof and Provenance, the relative particulars are :

Simonskloof : www.simonskloof.com
+27 (0)23 614 1895 & e-mail info@simonskloof.com
Provenance : www.provenanceoils.co.za
+27 (0)83 292 3359 & e-mail eve@provenanceoils.co.za