April 30, 2016
My sister and I met my parents at the Red Cafe for brunch. The food was excellent! Despite somewhat cooler weather, we sat on the deck outside. They offered us blankets in case we were cold. We then met up with Heather’s friend and his friend from Switzerland and headed to the Hogsback area for the weekend. It’s about a 2-hour drive from Grahamstown on very windy roads. We saw our first babboons on the drive, as well as plenty of free-range cows and goats. It’s definitely a pretty rural area.
My sister had made lodging arrangements for us, but was unable to get beds at the hostels right in Hogsback, so we ended up staying at Elundini Backpackers, about 30 minutes from Hogsback, instead. It was pretty rustic, but we really enjoyed it. The views were amazing! The four of us (my family) got a rondavel to ourselves, and the others stayed in a dorm-style rondavel. It was a pretty chilly day, but we piled on the layers and were okay. We had planned to do a shorter hike in Hogsback, but decided it would be tough for us to get to Hogsback and hike before sunset, so we did a short hike right where Elundini is. We hiked along the ridge and took in the amazing views. It was perfect hiking weather- just like a crisp, cool, sunny fall day in the northern United States.
After our hike, we were quite hungry, and dinner wasn’t going to be served until 7:00 or 8:00, so we brought out some snacks- cheese and crackers, as well as fruit and played some cards. The friends we were travelling with didn’t know how to play Pitch, so we taught them. The dinner was served family-style at a long table with all of the other guests. It was “lasagna”, but was really more like goulash- meat, pasta, and tomato sauce with a bunch of other vegetables, as well as steam-baked hearty bread and salad. It was delicious! After dinner, we hung out a bit and made plans for the next day, then tucked in pretty early. The rondavel huts were a bit cold, but with some extra blankets, they were quite comfortable.