Eland Cave Rock Art

I headed out on the Friday to the Central Drakensberg. As the Didima campsite was closed indefinitely, I had to overnight at Monk’s Cowl campsite. In knowing to me the distance between Monks Cowl and Didima is over an hour’s drive.
After an unpleasant night at Monks due to rowdy visitors at an adjoining holiday home, I made my way to Didima at a speed of knots, afraid that I would miss David(our hike leader) and the other hikers. This would have been disastrous as I had not done this hike before and would definitly not have found the start of the hike (which by the way is adjacent to the rural village)
Anyway, a sigh of relieve when I arrived to find that David and fellow packers where still signing in. In total, we were 14 hikers. All the hikers were experienced and kitted to go!
We set off at about 08:45. It is about a 4km walk on the road until you reach the entrance of the Didima Property (Kzn Wildlife) Here you turn right into the Didima valley and start your journey towards the x river. Note to myself, ask the leader if there are any water crossings before embarking on your hike in order to be prepared(water sandals would have been good) It seems crossing rivers have become a challenge for me as I get older. My delicate feet were not used to the abuse it had to endure over the very rocky riverbed.
The hike was lovely and we made good pace. The ladies enjoyed a swim or two on the way to Leopard’s cave. Jumping from the rocks into a beautiful pool at Silt pool.
Then it was the final ascent to the cave. Wow, I am unfit. The final climb to the cave I would say is about a 30 to 50m ascent. I had to rest on two occasions, while the ladies came tra-la-la-ing past me. That kinda stuff is not good for the male ego and made me think, if I am battling now, how am I gonna cope on the GT…..
Anyway, moving along swiftly, we arrived at the cave. Leopard Cave is a nice large cave. The roof is very low and you need to watch your head. After a quick “find your spot” and pretend you you are not tired (yes me) Dave, James and I went to fill our water containers and to fin the so called Jacuzzi’s. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to see three perfect river baths, one for each of us. A quick bath was very revitalizing. We then headed back up that little ascent, but this time round, it was a piece of cake. Amazing what can happen if you are clean or is it refreshed?
That evening we proceeded to make our dinners. Everyone seem in high spirits and there was a lot of chatting going on. In true form, I forgot something, it was my groundsheet. Luckly for me, there was a lot of straw in the cave and I soon had a nice spot. I must admit, my First Ascent sleeping mattress is the bomb. I will cry if I ever have to leave that behind.

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