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Serendipity Easter Weekend Away

25 April 2018 - Jonathan Bydendyk
We set off on Friday morning, early, to meet up at Serendipity Eco Trails near Modimolle (Nylstroom). Traffic, although usually daunting over Easter on the N1 north, was relatively quiet but would pick up later in the day.

We arrived after making a stop off in town for as much firewood as I could carry on my already crowded roof rack. Serendipity is a little oasis, nestled in a ravine cut by a clear mountain river, it would turn out to be exactly what the doctor ordered after a pretty hectic start to the year. The campsite, River Camp 1 is in front of a small waterfall which added to the atmosphere.

Once everyone arrived and setup camp for the next 4 days, we got the fire going thanks to Steve’s gas fire starter, I guess you can’t expect dry wood in a place as wet as the Waterberg turned out to be that weekend, and braai’d some dinner after the first of many downpours.

The next morning we set out after a driver briefing on the 3 hour trail which runs along the top of the ravine and crosses the river in places, the going was easy so we opted to give the “extreme” section a go, which turned out to be a proper Landy adventure in the end. After getting down a rocky pass, where a juvenile night adder made himself know by hissing and protesting all the photos being taken, we crossed the river and drove on to a very interesting section, where crossing the river again meant really picking a good line. We got everyone through, except mine and than the heavens opened!

After half an hour of torrential rain we realised we weren’t going to make it out of the ravine. The river was filling quickly and the exit was a step rocky section with steps that would give a heavily modified vehicle with 33s a run for it’s money and by now it had turned into a waterfall. The only option was to turn the vehicles around. Not the easiest of tasks, with Chas’ 130 doing a difficult but well executed 7 point turn in the narrowest of sections. We did however all manage to turn around and get out eventually and back onto the trail where it was unanimously decided, over the radio, to take the shortcut back and get some hot tea and dry cloths (I personally opted for something a bit stronger than tea).

The next day we left for the 1 hour trail, this time with some serendipitous experience under our belts. The one hour trail is one of the nicest trails I’ve driven, lots of river crossings, beautiful scenery and enough technical difficulty to make it exciting. We stopped off half way at a swimming hole and Emlyn braai’d some boerie for us all while the kids (and adults) explored.

Over all, although very last minute, it was a fantastic weekend. Thank you to everyone who attended and thank you to Serendipity for their hospitality, we will be back!



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