The Blue Wildebeest Hiking Trail outside Badplaas cannot by any stretch of the imagination be classified as tough let alone difficult but it was just what the members of the Quo Vadis Hiking Club needed: an insouciant hike through the savannah on the escarpment overlooking Swaziland in the distance.
When I first started hiking 35 years ago, I would vehemently oppose any suggestion of doing an easy hike. About five years ago without so much as an official injunction, the hikes evolved from route marches into – how should I put it without deflating too many egos – little more than a walk in the park. I have firmly placed this lackadaisical attitude to rights. Our next hike will be a 3 day affair in the Drakensberg Mountains.
Main picture: Arthur the Greek’s sketch of the view from the hut
Apart from the scenery and the spectacular views, the company is always scintillating. This hike was no exception except that there was a novice by the name of Arthur the Greek. His credentials were not readily accepted as the name Arthur is too Teutonic. Nick the Greek would have earned him instant acceptance. Instead as he had to prove his heritage by being cross questioned by a panel on the origins of the Greek Debt Crisis.
That still did not absolve him from the traditional rite of passage by carrying a pack full of rocks. Instead he feigned a sore hip from doing too much Greek dancing at his daughter’s wedding. As penance he was made to sketch some scenes at the “hut” while we sauntered across the plains of Badplaas. [That does not sound as exotic as the words Serengeti].
The only wild animals that we viewed were a herd of bontebok with some being albino. Gabriel did claim that he had spotted two Blue Wildebeest as he crossed a rise but no independent confirmation was made.