30 years Kloofing in the Nuy River Gorge

The year 1988

We were just two 18 year old Swiss youngsters in the midst of our apprenticeships: Stephan a Lumberjack and myself an Architectural technician. But the opportunity of adventures way down in South Africa was too great to turn down! So we booked a 8 hour train journey to Luxembourg and the cheapest flight with Luxair to Cape Town. Stephan forged himself a 1.5kg Dundee-style knife, in case we were to encounter angry Lions – Needless to say the flight attendants had a good chuckle when we boarded “sword and all”.

Equipped with a Survey General map of the area, food for only two days and PEP store blankets for “sleeping bags” we explored the NUY RIVER GORGE on route to my Granddad’s farm, Simonskloof here in the Koo Valley. The adventure took three days, hiking old jeep tracks, then endless river crossings, bivouacking on the sandbanks cooking like cowboys on a open fire, the pot coffee and baked beans were missing though. The following day the bushwhacking and boulder hopping continued only to grind us to a halt at a rather magical rock dam half way up the gorge. We camped a second night, running very low on food but filled with an air of epic-ness.

A real adventure

In the morning of day three, after another cold African night wrapped in a thin blanket, we gathered drift wood to make a raft for our backpacks – not knowing that they actually do float, if you wrap them in a rain cover or wet-pack its content… After a 80m swim through icy mountain water, we scrambled several more hours to finally reach the towering wall of Keerom dam. Form there it was a quick 5km hike on Jeep track to my Granddad’s house.

And then some…

After a week on the farm helping with repairing fences we hit the road to the East for a more civilised hike along the well established Fanie Botha hiking trail.

However the Nuy River Gorge was deeply ingrained in my young soul and so a life changing adventure was born!

Now it’s your turn: http://www.simonskloof.com/kloofing/

Wild Weekends

Wild Weekends - cover page LRAt the beginning of the year, the two “Girls Gone Wild” visited Simonskloof for a Kloofing trip down the Nuy River Gorge for the Sunday Times Travel Weekly.
All satisfied, with a glass of bubbly (it was Claire’s birthday too) in hand and reflecting on the past adventure, a crackling fire and a starry Karoo night sky above, they mentioned to me, that there might be a chance to convince their editor to include this awesome trip and location in their upcoming book.

A few month later, there you go: Check it out!
What a stunning collection of local weekend adventures! …and on pages 112-115: Simonskloof’s Kloofing trip 🙂
Wild Weekends - Simonskloof page 1
A perfect (x-mas) gift for any adrenaline addict or outdoor lover. Enjoy, I definitely am!

Thanks Claire Keeton & Marianne Schwankhart!!!

To view more pages visit us on FaceBook.

September 2009

Gee-Whiz guys, it’s been seventeen months since our last newsletter, what’s happening to time and space?

Jurgen and Mareletta

All is relative they say?! It better be – ‘cause it’s the only excuse I have for keeping so quiet here at the end of the Koo valley! Well no, there’s a better one: WE got married 🙂 🙂 on the 21st of June 2008 – Winter Solstice down here in sunny South Africa – what perfect day for a medieval style wedding! Not quite barefoot, but under the big old oak tree in a beautiful purple dress with a bouquet of white Arum Lilies in her arms just like Mareletta wanted it. Yet all quite simply and easy going, the spirit was high and food and laughter was a plenty.

The next day we were off on honeymoon to a “secret” place in the Knysna forest – where exactly I can’t tell you – it was so nice you might never want come to Simonskloof. 🙂 A week later, way too short a break, back at Simonskloof, duties called me again, whilst Mareletta headed to Cape Town for her “mid-weekly” work at Loud, her company: www.loudadvertising.co.za
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