Autumn Excursion to Hobbiton-on-Hogsback

Last week, Awarenet invited 15 of its learners to Hobbiton-on-Hogsback, an outdoor education center situated in the Amathole mountains 1,180 meters above sea level. The weekend was a welcome time away from long and exhausting days in preparation of the matric exams for the learners, providing beautiful views as well as physical exercise and education about nature.

Despite the weather not being on the group’s side on Saturday, everybody dared to take a ride on the 100 meter zipline, sliding through rain and fog. Abseiling also took place, the participants withstanding the unpleasant conditions, while enjoying the unusual fashion of moving. Luckily, at least the wall climbing exercise took place indoors.

Towards the evening, the sky even cleared up a bit. This was the time for a night hike to happen – some star constellations became visible, and even catching a glimpse of the Milky Way was possible. During the hike, this was pretty much the only source of light. It was a joyful and unique team experience to walk through the forest, exploring the underground only through the feeling under the feet, holding each other hand by hand to prevent tumbling and to stay together.

Most of the Sunday was dedicated to a hiking tour. While the sun was lighting up the landscape in beautiful colors, the path was still quite wet from the rain of the previous days. However, everyone accomplished the challenge to maneuver in these conditions and make their way to the Madonna & Child Waterfall. It was worth the effort, as the tons of water coming down provided an amazing perspective!

The last point of the activity program was a very unique one: after climbing up a quite shaky pole, the goal was to reach a swinging handlebar, only accessible by taking a big jump from the top position. No matter the proper safety ropes – such a stunt requires a lot of courage, and provided a thrilling adrenaline kick as a grand finale of this weekend. As it felt the fun time ended way too fast, the learners as well as the Awarenet team look forward to the next excursion to come.

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