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May/June 2004 Newsletter

Hi Guys

So how do you like the new front page? Bet you did’nt even notice. I am going to call an extraordinary general meeting and fire you all. Not one of you sent in any thoughts as to what you want the newsletter to be. Where are the reports about a hike you had been on? Are you all asleep out there? What am I missing?

You have heard the saying “Two’s company three’s a crowd”? Well a “company” met Conrad on a Saturday to walk with him to Bonteberg in the Cape Point reserve. The “crowd” had a most interesting walk in a part of the reserve not often visited. I don’t think anyone will visit it soon again so you missed out again.

Our Easter visit to Simonskloof was spectacular. The place deserves another visit. Next time we will do a long hike from Simonskloof to Nuy. It’s a long 22km along the Nuy River gorge.

So listen up guys,don't disappoint me again. Please send in articles, reports, any thing re hiking. Don’t worry about spelling the computer takes care of that.

Have a good day now.

Peter

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HISTORICAL NOTES.

You probably all know by now that beer makes up quite a large part of my life. So when I came upon some historical notes about beer I thought you might want to know about it.

In the 17th century, beer was the most important drink in Dutch society. It was their favourite tipple, at the breakfast table as well as in their taverns. Apart from its dietary and nutritional function it served as the essential social lubricant, sealing deals, soothing and cementing relationships, and serving as an important part of the rituals of society. There were, therefore, both cultural and economic reasons behind the decision of the Heeren XV11 (rulers of the Dutch East India Company) to improve the quality of beer in the Cape by sending out an experienced brewer.

So Rutgert Menssink, his wife Gerbregt and his son Willem, arrived in 1695. Rutgert was given Papenboom, some 30 morgen between Rondebosch and Newlands, on the Liesbeeck River.The Cape government “gave” him all the necessary items to enable him to brew beer even two large brewing kettles. Earlier attempts at beer making. in the European style, had been tried with no success. Knowledge of brewing techniques was fairly widespread amongst the Dutch and a certain domestic production known as “sugar beer” circulated throughout the colony. Van Riebeeck himself had made beer in 1658. True malt beer was hard to make, mainly because of the difficulty of obtaining ingredients. Hops had to be imported dried. Rutgert had tried to bring some plants with him, but they rotted during the voyage.

By January 1697 the brewery at Papenboom was functional and Rutgert had produced his first brew of Cape malt beer. All was not well however. There were complaints that the beer was sour and undrinkable. The Cape authorities agreed that the beer was often “muddy and unhealthy, and hardly preservable for five days”

The years 1696 and 1697 had been years of harvest failure and on 26 July 1698 the brewery had to shut down due to shortage of material. Sometime in 1700 Rutgert died. His wife Gerbregt inherited the brewery . She continued brewing but the shortage of materials made brewing a troublesome and risky business and by the end of 1712 it ceased.

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WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS!!!!!!!!!

Mare Ascott, Ethnee Hepburn, Irene Upton, Merle Reynolds, Alex Reynolds, Farouk McWhite, Edwina Lovell, Vasco de Gouveia. May we wish you all great hiking.

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IAN’S SCARBOROUGH SCRAMBLE—8/5/2004.

A hike with a difference! We parked at Ian’s house and hiked from there (no shuffling of cars) into the Baskloof Private Nature Reserve and found the Jeep track on top of the mountain. We followed this track past the “hidden house” (a dwelling built into the rocks and well camouflaged) towards Ocean View. The fynbos was exceptional, there were a surprising number of flowers out for this time of the year.

Leaving the track we headed for Kleinplaasie Dam where we had tea and a chat. Democratedly we decided against peak bagging and left Grootkop for another time. A glowing braai fire welcomed us back-the doings of Peter P who had decided on a shorter walk. Julie and Anne R came especially for the braai.

The star-studded sky caused much comment and admiration. Perhaps it was more impressive because Scarborough had a blackout as the result of a power failure. Candlelight is so flattering.

A great hike, a great party, much laughter, much food, much wine, great companions. What better way to finish a special day?

Ed’s comment. —What was advertised as unlimited became restricted because the owners of the land placed a limit on numbers. There was a lot of interest in this hike and to those who were refused, Ian extends his apologies.

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TONY’S SUTHER PEAK. 23/5/2004

I am convinced that this mountain does not want us on it. I have tried twice, Derrick tried from the other side and now Tony has been refused. Each time we try, this peak covers itself with thick cloud. Tony had an alternate plan. He had us shuffel cars and started us from Constantia nek. Sue was not feeling so well so Brian took her up the Vlakkenberg path while the rest of us took the Three Rocky peaks route.

Parks Board has been very busy on the paths in this area. What was a sandy path is now almost a paved path, what with all the stones they have used. On a marshy area they have built wooden walk ways.

We were to have lunch at the manganese mine but Tony turned off the path. Yvonne, Tommy and I kept to the path. We three had lunch at the mine, I don’t know where the rest of them had lunch.

Back to the cars we left at East Fort and eventually back to Constantia Nek where we quenched our thirst next to the fire in the restaurant. Thanks Tony and all you others, it was a great day’s hiking.

Peter P.

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MID WINTER DINNER. 25 JUNE.

BOY O BOY O BOY!!! IT’S MID WINTER. SHORTEST DAY HAS COME AND WILL BE GONE. GET OUT YOUR WOOLIES AND JOIN YOUR CHAIRLADY AT DINNER AT FRATELLIES, MAIN ROAD RONDEBOSCH. (Opposite the Presidents house Groote Schuur). YOU MUST PHONE DENISE TO BOOK. FRATELLIES BOASTS A VERSITILE REASONABLY PRICED MENU. BOOKING STARTS ON 17TH JUNE AND ENDS 23RD JUNE. DENISE SAYS THERE IS A TABLE FOR 20. FIRST COME FIRST ON.

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DERRICK’S ORANGE KLOOF AND CAVEMANS OVERHANG. 30/5/2004

Tony Burton writes. Derrick, your walk was outstanding and must be recorded as one of the best day hikes I have ever done.” Room with a view” and what a view! Orange kloof has been restricted to hikers and so has kept an ace up it’s sleeve and presented us with a hike to be savoured and remembered forever. Sliding our slim bodies through cracks in the mountain was exciting, small boobs also helped. Thank you Derrick for taking our honoured group closer to heaven for a day. (I wonder if this is the same Tony Burton I know, slim body? Ed.)

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USEFUL HINTS.

  • When you go on a hike measure the portions you’ll need when you pack. This will save you carrying extra weight and space.
  • Mix some ingredients together. Mix raisins with your mueslie and powdered milk with your coffee.
  • To make muffins while camping. Cut an orange in half and eat the fruit-don’t damage the skin. Prepare some ready mix muffin mix and spoon the mixture into one half of the peel. Place the other half of the peel on top to make the orange whole again and wrap in foil. Cook in the fire.
  • Final tip. Avoid cotton clothing because it absorbs moisture and in winter can lead to hypothermia.

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TOMMY'S PORCUPINE RAVINE.16/5/2004

All of Cape Town’s hiking fraternity decided to start from Teresa Av. This is what it looked like with all the cars parked there. Parking was at a premium. All parked and correctly kitted out Tommy led the TCSA members onto the contour path. The path to Diagonal was eventually reached and we headed up. “Breath taking” view stops were taken regularly as it is quite a steep hike in places. The small rock scramble near the top was successfully negotiated. At the top we were met by Fritz who had started much earlier than the rest of us. The path to the Valley of the Red Gods was very muddy and there were a few mutterings from the ladies. Lunch was taken on the top of a small koppie with spectacular views. Our descent down Kasteelspoort was incident free. We were down by about 3: 30 pm. A very enjoyable hike, thank you Tommy. Peter P

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TONY’S TABLE MOUNTAIN CLASSIC 27/4/2004

Well if I had not been there I would not have believed it. Twenty six people turned up for this long walk. You all know who you are so I am not going to name you all. People just kept on arriving at Constantia nek. Jaap was there with MCSA members. He asked where we were going to ascend and when I told him we were taking the elevator, he thought I was joking. MCSA would never take the elevator.

Anyway back to my story. I rose early and attended to my morning hygiene in a state of small excitation because it was a big day I had ahead of me. Tony had tried this one three times before with no luck. The god’s did not favour him with weather,the cableway was'nt working, so with one thing or the other he had had no luck and this was to be his fourth try.

Once on top we strode off along the flat mountaintop towards Maclears beacon where we stopped for a drink. Old Jannie Smuts’ track was then taken and all went well till we reached the dams. We had reached the concrete road and did not want to walk on it so we turned off. This path takes one to Ash Valley but there is a fork and if one knows one takes the right hand prong and ends up at Victoria reservoir. But we turned left. Also we had not kept the TEC in sight so poor old Fritz had no idea where we had gone. By the time we noticed he and Corrie and Vic were missing , we were miles ahead. We waited and waited. After half an hour Brian retraced our steps found Corrie but not the others. Fritz found his way to the Magic Forest ,but of course we were all missing as we were waiting in Ash Valley. All’s well that ends well because after lunch we found the two men.

We followed the road back to Constantia Corner. There were too many tired people to go via Eagles Nest. To make it an extreemly enjoyable day everyone ended up at the restaurant for drinks.

PETER P

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