We were away for the long week end – a retreat into the bush between Parys and Venterskroon. That Saturday morning we decided to take the hiking trail and discover a bit of nature; so we checked the different routes in the booklet and decided to take one of the short routes.
As we went out the route was only marked with the yellow beacons – part of the long road – so we followed it a while, passed the red course (short route) but eventually we had to cross a river over some rocks. It didn’t seem to be very strong rocks so we retraced our steps to rather follow the red route. Going down we came at river crossings again and again and again, but it was better than the first one. This hiking trail was no joke – up and down – up and down the mountain.
At places the spider webs were spun across the little road so we picked up branches and hold it in front of us – fighting open a road between the bushes until we came at a place where there were no more beacons. We decided to go straight on and check it out, but the road became rough and my foot got hooked on a tree root and I fell – flat – face down. So no going forward; we turned back. We tried another route to the left but after a couple of meters; it was also a dead end. Eventually we saw the beacons on the other side of the road but way up to the top. Oke, we’re on the road again.
Another problem arose once more. We came to a T-junction: left = Main route and right = Lodge. Which one should we take? That was the end of our short “red route”.
We don’t know whose lodge it is so we decided to go the main route – the white route. Now this is problem nr 3. The white route and yellow route is 11km – the longest hiking trail according to the book at the lodge. Not what we intended for our day. Should we turn back or where should we go? It is a very bushy and rocky mountain – not the place where you would want to get lost. Main route is supposed to take you back to the beginning, isn’t it?
Up and up and up – then down and down and down. Just as you think you are turning towards the lodge the trail changes again and up and up and so it went on for more than an hour. Eventually we got to the top with a beautiful panoramic view – just as promised in the booklet. See far and wide and way down to the lodges. Still we have a long way to go to get down there again. As we descended on the other side of the mountain we had to use “crutches” as we slipped quite a lot and we needed the extra support to stay alive.
At the top of the mountain after 2 hours I asked: what will our spiritual message be for this trip?
- As you clutched a branch in front of you to ward off the spiders – so you will need the Sword in front of you to ward off evil.
- Know your beacons and the road or you will get lost. If you know God’s Word and use it wisely you will not get lost at the crossroads of life.
- Don’t be tempted to take the other roads when choices are given. Take your map always with you wherever you go.
- It is a real struggle sometimes to get to the mountain top but what a great view you will have when you reached it! Just sad it cannot remain forever…
- Downhill can be very slippery if your eyes are “still focused on the mountaintop experience” and not on what is right in front of you.
So, enjoy the mountain top experience, but it is the time before and after that stuck in your mind – the struggles that help to form you. Make wise choices and use the correct equipment for a wonderful mountain top view!