Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Looking back towards Cape Town from Waaihoek. You can make out Table Mountain.                  Ian Ian

The Witels is a 5-day self-support kloofing/canyoning trip. It’s a place where magic seems to happen.

The team - Chris, Alec, Skip, Dave, Jay, Laura, me.              Ian Ian

This was only my 4th trip down this river and in that time I have noticed that the place can have profound influences on peoples lives. For my friends and mentors Alec (The Vegetarian Hunter) and Poly Moly (The Roti World Champion) both mentioned in previous blogs, this is a reference point for them, their measure of time. Both blokes are sixty and have over 50 Witels trips between them. Surely the annual promise of the place helps keep them bouncing about like spring chickens. It simply has to. Then there is my perhaps dearest friend Moose, (who is instrumental in The Urban Hunter Gatherer video blogs) who decided it was time to have offspring, while on the Witels. His delightful boy Mathew, is now my Godson

Too much fun to be had to care about cooking      Ian Ian
Oh yes! The food part of the blog. On trips like this people either cater for themselves or maybe team up with another member of the party, so it’s a kinda ‘each man for themselves’ thingy. Laura and I paired up on the chow front. We threw a list together and split the buying load. True to form we didn’t really think things through too well and ended up with a MOUNTAIN of food that we had to carry up the MOUNTAIN. On the first night our enthusiasm for good food was bubbling over. We made pasta with dried porcini mushrooms (left over from autumn foraging missions), delicious dehydrated olives Alek’s wife Gill had processed and given to me, chorizo and sun dried tomatoes, all finished off with a little parmigiano. Ian Ian and Laura snapped away with their cameras knowing I was going to do a blog. Well, that was pretty much the last time any major interest in food took place on the trip, apart from jamming our faces full of whatever was easiest to get to in our bags, so as to reduce the weight of our packs. All those dream images of frying freshly caught brown trout, never remotely came to be; I mean how could they, when you don’t even unsleave your fly fishing rod that you bought? You see, this trip was not about food, but about the greatest amount of fun that a person could ever have. Laura, Ian Ian and I for various reasons, aptly became known as the delinquent bunch. We were the last to leave camp and very definitely the last to arrive at the next.

Plenty of boulder hopping.                                                          Ian Ian
I have these endearing images of looking back and seeing the hugest smiles plastered on the faces of Laura and Ian Ian. I mean, was it possible to have even more fun than we were having? I think not… I can’t remember when last my happiness levels were last peaking as much as on this trip

The Delinquents              Ian Ian

A final word on food, but only coz itz a food blog. Our last meal, lunch on the final day, was chunks of torn cheese on chunks of torn bread (we were too lazy to even get the pen knife out of our packs.) This Neanderthal meal tasted every bit as good as our big effort first night meal. It just goes to show, that sometimes it’s not about food.
May the magic of the Witels carry into our everyday lives.

Awesome Awesome Awesome                                                                                                                Ian Ian

It gets pretty chilly                                Ian Ian

Make a chow, get it in and go have even more fun.                 Ian Ian
Just another waterfall                                                                            Ian Ian

The Hunter Gatherer resisted temptation     Ian Ian

The Lovely Laura squealing her way down a rapid. Ian Ian

Thank you Alecs, for allowing the delinquents on your trip. You are a very fine leader.

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