It is time once again for the Write ... Edit ... Publish - February Bloghop: In too Deep ....
They had talked about this hike for weeks ... now the day was here - was she ready? She had no choice she'd committed herself.
The chitter-chatter with friends standing in the Wynberg, Cape Town drive-way making those early plans, she listened intently, worryingly at times, but asked one final question - after the others had left - that jump or dive into the canyon, as the river plunged down ... how far would that be?
She didn't much like swimming, even less jumping into water ... the answer didn't allay her worries ... 'about from the top of that tree - a huge ancient oak' - her heart sank ... that was some height - it can't be true can it ... now was the time to find out, the day had arrived.
Pick up at 6.00 am ... a light back-pack with lunch and drinks ready ... and off they set. There would be 25 or so ... a few cars all met up at the designated parking area in the Hottentot Hollands Mountains.
They drove up into Elgin, the apple centre of South Africa, a lush, verdant part of the Cape, surrounded by mountains.
The beautiful sunny South African day ... clear sunshine, beautiful views, warm but not hot - ideal for walking - it augured well. They all gathered, introduced themselves and set off ...
Across the low veld up into the higher reaches of the Nature Reserve ... she looked around her, at the new vistas and landscapes, the different grasses and bright wild-flowers ... just loving the feel of the area.
Out onto the plateau above ... where the babbling stream was gently easing its way across its rocky base ... peaceful quietude reigned, soaring birds of prey were pointed out ... the sun beat down, a cooling wind blew ... a lovely place for a picnic stop.
She could see just landscape with the gently sprawling river bed tingling its way along its own path ... nothing to interrupt the view.
Lunch was over, back-packs on, to now potter down the stream-side ... the lower they went, the darker it was becoming ... suddenly the stream 'fell over' a small mossy, slimy waterfall ... about twelve feet - not far ... yet she realised there was no way back.
Onwards with more small gashes as the river had started to cut back ... the trees, that had only been apparent as a dark patch in the distance as she'd look out across the landscape, came ever closer.
Down they clambered, chatting away ... she went along listening to the babble of water, as too the voices ... down and down into a cavern of trees - the river pushing forward, faster and faster as it tumbled along.
Suddenly all was distinctly darker ... the sun shone way above - it was colder ... there was an enormous black space ahead ... the trees continued on, yet the river disappeared ...
Now she was worried - this was really the situation she'd been dreading ... she edged closer - but no ways was she going to jump - yet what choice did she have ...
She did see people swimming away along the long length of the canyon ... others treading water below, having made the jump - a few like her, were standing very dubiously on the edge - plucking up courage.
One after the other they leapt off ... she watched them, and saw them come up ... yet she had to jump - or be pushed ... could she summon up courage ... because that's what it would take.
|Not to be recommended ... ours was straight down:|
this pool, I gather c/o Philalephia Magazine,
is exceedingly dangerous and they were recording
serious incidents in the area known as Devil's Pool
c/o Philadelphia Magazine
Horrors of jumping ... and it was 'miles down' ... she was really worried - fear abounded, her heart pumped ...
People were patient - eventually, eventually after talking and worrying, she did go or that push would have happened ...
She'd been told to keep her legs together, she plunged ... splodge, splish, splash, the chilly water encased her ... down and down she went - her lungs weren't used to this ... she was still with it - she remembered they'd said she'd come up ... but this was too much ... down and down ... chest pains ... down and down ...hurting, bursting ... in too deep ...?
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