Second Forest Run scouting outing

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After spending another day out on the prospective new Forest run route on Wednesday last week, I shot off to Jo’burg and then the Drakensberg (more on this in my next post).

I spent most of my outing scouting another section of the area. The lower down trails are regularly used and are maintained; those up high haven’t been used for a long time. I’ll need to do some trail cleaning work on these. I did manage to connect this section with the one I played on a few weeks back. I’ll be out there again next week – I’m looking for a more gradual descent to the finish and one more connecting option.

Here’s a look at this second section of Forest Run.

There are a few sections with open dirt road, like this. Not a lot… These are to be really enjoyed for fast, non-thinking running.
Heading into a forested section.
A route following old mine diggings.
Apparently, this track is built along the original gold cart track commissioned by Paul Kruger. The cart would take the track through the hills to collect gold from the many mines and deliver it to Potchefstroom.
Ruins. There are a number in the area. Some ruins show European influence. After the miners left, it seems like the buildings were used by local Sotho inhabitants.
Many of the mines look like dongas or a long ditch-like water course. Here there are proper rock-dug tunnels.
Another mine tunnel.
It was a plumbago party out there yesterday with plumbago flowers in bloom all over the place.
A view from above.
And lookie what I found! Actually, what my shin found. Eeina! Stinging nettles! This plant met its end. I was off track and looking for trails to connect the two sections. Fortunately these seem to be rare out here and this was one of two plants I saw (after getting stung!).
An old reservoir. Empty.
There are a number of settlement ruins out here from the old Sotho inhabitants. Archaeology students come out here each year to dig and map these late iron age settlements.
On the return route from a high viewpoint – a welcome sight of the Vaal River.

I’m not yet sure how everything fits together. I’m out in the area again on Thursday to run a few other trails I’ve heard of and some I’ve seen on Google Earth. I’m not sure what will still be there – an adventure ahead!


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