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Backpack Hiking - Serendipity Trails (Nylstroom) - May 2012

Someone once said this trail is very plain and relatively easy. Well they were wrong on both counts....
it is very pretty and let no-one say 12 km's a day is easy.

Serendipity Trails also provides 4x4 and quad bike trails. If you are the type that cannot stand these characters within a 5 km radius, you have been warned. The few 'unwanted' characters that we encountered, did not put us off .... in fact it gave us a sense of pride that we had not stooped so low as a leather clad seat, air conditioned, luxury SUV 4x4 vehicle, but still gave us the comfort that if anything happened to us, they would all race across the veld to rescue us.

THE TRAIL

The area is typical 'Bushveld' and very clean. Although it is by no means a walk in the park, is it not particularly difficult (by which I mean very steep up or down hill).
-The trail is very clear, and VERY well marked with white painted steel dropper rods.
-The trail crosses or runs along a number of 'mountain' streams that are fairly clean and drinkable. There are also a number of small pools where you can take a dip.
-There are many signs, but they seem un-organised sometimes to the point of being confusing. Many signs on the route to Bushbaby reads 'Serendipity', which is enough to confuse you after a hard day of walking.
-The map provided is fairly clear, but while on the trial, of relatively little use.... there appears to be several mistakes in that the streams are not where they should be, the contour lines dont make sense, and there is no indication of (at least) the main service roads. What appears to be a high point on the map marked with a circle and 1396 was nowhere to be seen. A North facing arrow can also help to make the map more clear.
-As said earlier, 12 kms a day is a 'hard day's walk', and towards the end of the day you start wishing the end is near. It would be nice if an indication of the distance could be placed especially as you get closer to the overnight hut.

THE OVERNIGHT HUTS

There is something enchanting to a hiker about an overnight hut that only has 3 sides and a roof..... no front. The overnight huts are simple and clean ...

Bushbaby camp
-Very nice double-decker overnight camp.
-Basic cooking equipment provided, including even a gas-cooker, and a comfortable toilet.
-There was no drinking water in the morning, and if we hadn't brought our own 20 liter container, would we have had serious problems on the hike!!!

Bergkamp
Very nice and natural overnight camp. In particular has two toilets which eases the following morning rush, and helps to get everyone ready to go a little bit earlier.
-As far as cooking equipment, did we only have the luxury of one kettle (without a lid), no pots and no pans...... how much management is required to ensure that these basic items are present?
-The toilets are of a unique design, I would call it a bucket toilet, .... no moving parts yet still the comfort of a conventional toilet.

CONCLUSION
All in all. a very nice 2 day overnight hike. Not to be considered during the hot summer months when the temperature gets up to 30-35'C, unless you are assured of drinkable water at least every 3 km's, and each person carries a 2 liter water bottle.

Pierre Myburgh

Sunset at Serendipity Trails



Hello World




Lonely Tree



IBR Marker




Leonie at 55



Saamstap Rooies





Pieter on top of the world



Goodbye Serendipity Trails