Inanda Dam Wall Outing – Trip Report
The February monthly outing started with the usual rendezvous, this month is was at Nandi Petroport on the N2 northbound carriageway. New members on their first outing , old members returning, greetings all round, Jennifer handing out the 4×4 decals and of course the benefits of Petroport; toilet facilities, hot chocolate, coffee and, of course, Steer King burgers and chips (9 in the morning,ugh!). The driver’s briefing with convoy rules was carefully explained by Kevin for the benefit of all and then a choice of route…short route via Kwa Mashu or the longer route via Verulam. Verulam came out on top and off we went, 13 vehicles heading up the freeway with headlights on, to the Umhlanga turnoff. Left turn and into the Verulam/Mt Edgecombe area then north east heading for the lower reaches of the Valley of 1000 Hills. As we headed further east houses turned to shacks and then sugar cane then shacks again. Evidence of the recent protests was evident all along the road, burned out boxes, trees, tyres and charred tarmac. There were a couple of sizable potholes for good measure but nothing really worth talking about in detail.
Our first stop was at the Mzinyati Falls, an unknown plunge waterfall right on our doorstep, it gave us all an opportunity to stretch our legs and take some pics. The brave ones got their feet wet and crossed over the “top of the falls” to get a better view, those who, like myself, hate heights stayed with feet firmly planted on the one side. We attracted some interest from the local kids who came along and readily posed for pics, a two minute drive around the lip of the gorge was rewarded with a great view of the full falls. The question begs asking “why is this kept secret?”
Our next stop was near the base of the Inanda dam wall with a water plume shooting out and a cooling spray blowing over us, cameras were clicking as the sun was now shining and the water was catching the rays making a great opportunity for the creative ones amongst us.
We now had an opportunity to engage 4WD as we got to the picnic site right on the banks of the Umgeni River. A small drop-off was safely
negotiated by all and out came the tables, chairs and braai stands. Fires lit, beers cracked sizzle of cooking meat and conversation flowing all around, kids playing in the water, not too clean but they didn’t seem to care. One lonely fisherman, a couple of local kids and a quick visit from two quite large Nguni cows lent atmosphere to the braai. All too soon it was time to pack-up and negotiate the drop-off in the opposite direction, which was quite challenging for a couple of drivers, and then the long steep climb out of the valley into Wyebank.
Not a strenuous outing, mainly on tar, but nevertheless a really enjoyable one so thanks Kevin for organising and leading and Trevor for being tail-end Charlie.
By Gordon Battersby (long time friend of the Club)