How incredible to wake on Sunday morning to know that we had the most successful weekend and incredible support for our Big5Hike. It has been a fantastic weekend with an awesome team of people, all coming together to fundraise for Royal Drakensberg Primary School.
Our thanks extends to every hiker, every supporter, every corporate and every helper. I had been concerned about this being Year 5 and how tricky it would be to get everyone on-board and how difficult it would be to go out and ask for help to secure funding again…. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried.
My Big5Hike began just before 6am with Georgie, Les, a few of our office workers and some strong porters. We headed up Rustler’s Gap to the Mugg & Bean Coffee Station to get set up. It was dark walking through the Fern Forest and the thick mist made the morning feel quite warm.
In no time A Batch was on their way and through the Mugg & Bean station and off we went heading up Hollard Hlolela. It is a proper climb with large steps and the quads get a real work-out. Summiting via the nose of Hlolela is always a tad scary but the mist hid the big descents. We didn’t waste time and headed to Dezzo Roofing’s Battleship next. The breeze was chilly and the mist heavy. We then descended to the Treats station above Sugar Loaf Gap. A Bar-One replenished any lost energy and we headed up to Out in Africa Sugar Loaf. Then down again and the legs were feeling the burn as we made our way to peak number four, ClucasGray Cold Hill. We thought we could see a brief patch of blue sky but it was only as we went down the Devil’s Staircase and Cavern Gap that we eventually made our way out of the mist. What a different hike it had been. No grand open views but a stillness and quiet peace in the mountains.
Our lunch was a celebration of our efforts with Lyngrove Bubbles and the tastiest Wimpy burger in the Mooney Ford Cannibal Cavern! Our teams had done a phenomenal task in getting all the supplies to the right places and the pork sausages, cheese and biscuits, tea and fruit cake were also enjoyed. Feeling full and revitalised we headed along the long straight across Surprise Ridge to our final peak, Camel’s Hump. Then down, down, down to the Stables and up, up to the Front Lawn.
Awaiting our arrival were the Royal Drak kids who’d made each hiker a Big5Hike key ring! We enjoyed Notties Pale Ale and Craft Gin and then a few bubbles followed by some wine compliments of Vinimark and Meander Fine Wines at the Total Gateway Home Coming Party.
As the last few funds come in, we are grateful to the corporates who added to this event; Total South Africa, Melville Douglas, Clucas Gray and Colenbrander that made sure our hikers are well kitted out. Thanks to Dermalogica for the sunscreen, Harrismith Treats of the snacks and refreshments and to VDP for the complimentary Anura wine for all guests on arrival.
The support of Moya the dog, the 5hikes4education, the 2big5hikesin1day, the peaks and all the individual hikers has meant that we have managed to reach our target of raising R1m for education. It is an incredible achievement and something that is only the result of a concerned community of people coming together to support a common cause. So, we really do thank you all. We are overwhelmed by the success and are planning and scheming for Year 6!
With love and much appreciation,
Megan, Hilton & Lesley
PS Our Camel’s Hump received an anonymous sponsor too!