Coffee – check. Twelve new crisp maps of the mountain range – check. Game plan for how to get through the mountains – err, working on it…
It’s time to start all the prep work for the next phase of walking, taking place mid-November until early/mid-December, that will have me walking between the towns of Montagu and George. The plan is to walk the green, mountainy bit that you can easily see on Google Earth. It promises some Afromontane Forest, incredible jagged skylines, and many surprises.
This is huge– 12 maps end-to-end filled with of lots of unknown, very seldom-walked mountains. I’m guessing about at least another four weeks of walking to complete this, but really anyone’s guess is as good as mine. I’m just being flexible, going with the flow and rolling with the punches. But this what I came for: to watch the Rim of Africa grow further down the langenberg mountains and to hit the finish point for the very first time. We will be the ones to walk the land, find our way, scout for campsites, and see how passable this all really is… Slightly frightening but very exciting at the same time!
Ivan Groenhof, cofounder of the Rim of Africa and the guy who started it off by walking most of these mountains, is leading the charge for contacting government nature reserves and private land owners to arrange permission to cross and camp on the land. We are also going to be contacting local outdoor-lovers to see if they have ever spent time up in the mountains and can give us clues as where is best to walk. There is also more work to be done sorting food, equipment, transport, and stock-up points. So much work to be done before playing in the freedom of the mountains again!
But my next seven days are back into the Cederberg! A surprise, last-minute trip back to the starting area of the Rim of Africa. I will be spending more time out in the mountains to collect media for my work as well as support guide for ‘WildStory‘, a collaboration between Sue Hollingsworth, international storyteller, and Galeo Saintz, poet and Rim of Africa co-founder. I am really looking forward to the combination of storytelling in wild places, and I am eager to be back out under the stars!