The Mudslide before the Crack

My husband and I really do not have many days where we do absolute nothing. Life in general doesn’t allow for that. But when those days do come around, we certainly try to melt into them, as best we can, and just accept the fact that sometimes it is actually ok to do nothing. After all, our bodies do need to recover and heal from the everyday stresses.

This past weekend we were so graciously given a few days like this. I mean we were so chilled one would actually have to peel us off the bed. We only got out of bed when it was absolutely necessary. And boy did we need it!

At some point we had chatted to another couple who had just come back from a four hour hike. They made it sound like this was the one not to be missed. Of course, both my husband and I don’t like missing out on the good stuff, especially if it is ourdoors!

And then it came.

‘How about a nice afternoon stroll, you know to get us out a bit?’

My husband said.

Both of us outdoor junkies, obviously couldn’t resist. And so out of character, we both didn’t really check the distance, altitude climb and drop well enough to see whether we would make it back before dark. We pulled the map out, glanced at the route and that was that. It was afternoon already. We assumed four hours or less and our stroll would be done.

‘Just an afternoon stroll’, he said.

One thing we did get right, is that we always go out well prepared, just in case. Warmly dressed, with water, snacks and other safety gear, we set out towards the Mudslide. The first 8.5km all downhill into the valley. You know what that means? With every down there is always an up. And the down was rather long.

On reaching the turn for the Mudslide, we realised that the next 2km would be an almost vertical climb up the Mudslide, with a number of chain ladders to get over the cliff face. Follwed by the remaining 6km or so of an uphill drudge back to our starting point.

‘Just an afternoon stroll’, he said.

Barely able to breathe, we gasped for oxygen in short breaths as we climbed up and up. Zigzagging along the narrow path trying to gain as much ground in as short a time as possible.

This was supposed to have been a stroll. Nothing stressful. But we somehow found ourselves racing against the clock, to get back while it was still light. My own fears I guess! (Read more on My Story)

I have to admit that my husband actually managed to redeem himself by spotting a path that was not on the map, a path that would lead us back to our starting point without having to endure the Crack and head back down into the valley before climbing all the way out…again! It would mean a fairly long steady climb up to the contour path, but once there it was pretty much flat all the way back. Great recovery!

I for one, did not want to walk in the dark and we knew it would be cold. (My husband should have been a weather man, as he always knows what’s in store be it right or wrong)! And so we pushed on and believe it or not we arrived well before the sun disappeared behind the escarpment. Just a mere 15km stroll later. Only four hours of intense exercise.

‘Just an afternoon stroll’, he said.

I doubt he will ever live this one down!!!

Note: The route explained was indeed up the Mudslide and down the Crack. These are genuine hiking trails and not a play on words!

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