The Genadendal ("Valley of Grace") trail
description on page 129 of Lundy's "Week-end trails in the Western
Cape" was an accurate and fair description of this wonderful trail.
Reply to Arnell Botha: firstname.lastname@example.org
The accommodation, however, is what concerns me. I feel that accommodation
grades should not only take the fulfillment of certain requirements into
consideration e.g. toilets, hot showers, etc. to achieve these grades
but also important aspects like safety, cleanliness, hygiene etc.
The description "between the two is a kitchen/ablution hut with
hardly enough room to swing a cat" is true, but I wouldn't swing
a pig in it. On arrival the place reeked of gas and we awaited a member
of our group who is a representative of a very large gas organisation
to remedy this for us. The two plate gas stove was another hazardous
piece of equipment which after dismantling and re-assembling was side-stepped.
Thank god for our MSR.
We proceeded to braai on a drum which probably had been emptied a decade
earlier on grids which were probably bought a decade earlier. The gas
bottles were placed right next to the kitchen (try flaunting this regulation
in Cape Town).
The showers had exposed piping, intermittent hot/cold water and what
looked like being divided by hard-board (A really good excuse not to
shower). Exposed cement floors which looked slimy reaching out to the
unsuspecting ready to impart "athlete's foot".
The huts were designed for the horizontally compressed and after head-butting
it thrice, you automatically bent your knees on entrance and exit.
Please don't think we are novice hikers but we've bivvied on numerous
occasions. We were not expecting a 5 star establishment but we were also
not expecting to be placed under false pretenses.
The accommodation providers have created the impression of plainly milking
the hiking fraternity with no re-injection of capital into what could
be a facility comparable to Oom Barry's "Die Galg", "Dassieshoek",
or even "Arangieskop" which all received a grade 2.
If the deterioration had been that rapid and severe since first grading
then I apologise to all concerned.
Thank you, but no thank you.
Bookings and enquiries: Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve
Tel: + 27 (0)23 625-1621 Fax: + 27 (0)23 625-1674
For more information on hiking in this area visit the Linx Africa Trails
page at: www.linx.co.za/trails/lists/wc32list.html