Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Holiday in Hogsback

The WAC Kids in Hogsback - our last trip...

Friday after Nyaluza the WAC kids h
eaded up to Hogsback in the Amathole Mountains for the weekend. I was really excited to get away for the weekend and this was our last trip together. It was a great trip, probably the best of all.

We stayed in a beautiful hotel. There were two people to a room so Grace and I were together as usual. We got a nice bathtub so we were able to relax in the bath, something that I haven’t done since leaving in February. It was nice to sit in the bath and read. We got to relax a little upon arrival. Then we got to go to dinner. It was AMAZING! It was buffet for starters and dessert and then you had a choice for your entrĂ©e. It was so exciting. Also, we had free reign on drinks and the wine list. We got a ton of wine and got to charge it all to Rhodes. It was beautiful. We were toasting up a storm since it was our last trip together. It was a lot of fun. We sat around the table for a few hours just laughing, telling stories and having a great time. Ashwin joined us later on and we just continued the party. It was great.

The next morning we rose early for breakfast (buffet again, delish!) and then headed out for a morning of hiking. We started with a walk to a waterfall close to our hotel. It was called 39 Steps. It was very pretty, but nothing compared to the others we saw during the day. Then we headed out for a long hike. We started by going to the “Big Tree,” a tree that’s supposed to be 800 or so years old. It was a big tree. The hike down there was a rock scramble so we were tripping all over the place. I had to slide down this big rock on my butt and for the rest of the day I was filthy. It was a lot of fun though. Then we headed to our next waterfall, Swallowtail Falls. This was a lot bigger than 39 Steps and the hike was a lot more intense. We sat at the bottom of the fall looking up and realized that we could go higher so we hiked up to the top of the fall. The view was incredible. We could lay on the edge of the fall and see the water go down to the bottom where we had been before. It was beautiful. From there you could walk back up to where we started. On the way we passed a field of cows. It was pretty random. Before lunch we drove to the Madonna and Child waterfall. This is the biggest in Hogsback. There were wooden steps most of the way down, so it didn’t seem that bad. When we got to the fall there were a lot of Rhodes students doing some sort of science class. The fall was big and gorgeous. The water was freezing. On the way back up we had to climb all of the stairs again. It almost killed me. It was so much harder going up than it was going down. It was pretty rough. After our strenuous morning we headed to a pub for lunch.

After lunch everyone wanted to go horseback riding, but due to my extreme allergy to horses, I couldn’t go. I got dropped off back at the hotel and go to relax and do a little work for school.

When everyone got back we got to have another delicious, wine-filled meal. It was even better than the first night! I was a happy camper. Again we sat at the table talking until the restaurant closed. It was a lot of fun. After dinner Grace, Sonya and I cuddled in bed and watched some really random movies. It was nice to relax and forget about school!

Sunday morning we had another buffet breakfast (yes!) and then headed out to do another walk and see more of Hogsback before we left. We went to Hobbiton. Since Hogsback is supposedly where Tolken got his inspiration for the Lord of the Rings (most likely untrue) there is a Lord of the Rings themed walk. Since I know nothing about LOTR this was just a pretty walk for me. Then we headed to a place called the Edge where there was an incredible viewpoint and a labyrinth. It was amazing. Grace and I sat at the edge of the cliff for awhile. It was beautiful. There we also go to do some shopping. Hogsback is famous for its jam so we were able to pick some up to bring home. Before lunch we went to the Eco-Shrine ( It’s this beautiful artwork set on the edge of a mountain overlooking Hogs 1, 2 & 3 of Hogsback. From there you could see the Madonna and Child waterfall. It was incredible. The artwork is about connecting humans and their environments. It was a beautiful piece that combined painting, mosaic, relief, sculpture and natural elements. I thought it was fantastic. In fact, I decided to incorporate it into a paper I had to write the following day.

We left the Eco-Shrine and got lunch at the Edge. It was nice to relax before heading back to student life. The weekend was fantastic, a great getaway and a nice distraction from all the work that we have to do here.

For more pictures with descriptions see my Flickr page