16 March 2015
Start: 07:30 End: 14:00 Walking distance: 20km Walking elevation change: 501m Cycling distance 10+30km
Short 10km cycle to the base of Abel Erasmus Pass at which point we load the bikes onto the trailer and change into our hiking gear. The pass isn’t one of our 9 Peaks but it is too steep to get up there on a Buffalo bicycle. We are still sticking to our mandate and not using motorised transport, so we are walking 18km up the pass and collecting our bikes at the top. It’s a long, hot, steep walk. Puzzled by the many signs offering “Manekis”. Is it a type of fruit? Is it the name of the village? After passing a few vendors, we realise they must refer to the carved wooden men for sale – “mannetjies”. Most of vendors on the roadside appear puzzled at seeing two people choosing to walk up the hill, rather than the conventional means of car or possibly aeroplane. They still try to sell us heavy wooden Africana statues. I admire their entrepreneurship but decline on lugging a 20kg piece of art to the summit. I’m strange that way.