VOLMOED HIKE – HEMEL EN AARDE VALLEY HERMANUS

The hiking club met at the Wine Valley at 07h30 and travelled in groups to Volmoed in the Hemel en Aarde Valley.  The turnoff is to the left after Camphill and Plaas Kombuis and before La Vierge.

Daleen paid our donations of R10 each and received a route map for the hike.  Most of the group took the Way of the Cross Route to the top of the mountain.

A small group, including myself, split from the rest at the pine trees and followed the less strenuous route back towards Volmoed where we decided to do the Waterfall Trail as none of us had previously taken this trail. We crossed over the lake bridge and followed the green feet along the edge of the lake until the Grotto area which looks just like a big open cave.  Above the grotto area is a prayer hut.

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We crossed the river at the new bridge and followed the path up and down along the river bend passing some falls on the way to the main waterfall.  It was well worth the effort on reaching the waterfall situated in the ridge of the mountain. We had to take care crossing to the river to the waterfall.  As the Onrust River makes its way from the heights of Babylon's Toring through De Bos Dam it tumbles down into this little valley with a waterfall and lovely natural rock pool, setting the scene of tranquility and natural beauty that are the hallmarks of this Retreat and Conference Centre.

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After relaxing and taking in the beauty of the waterfall and the area around it we made our way back and took the bridge across the lake admiring the flowering waterliles before making our way back to the reception and parking area at Volmoed.

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The area around Volmoed is beautiful, lush and green with self-catering chalets.  It is a conference and wedding venue and has a chapel in the grounds. You may see some of the 70 species of birds which have been observed, so bring your binoculars. Numerous species of fynbos can be seen on the hillsides around the property.

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ABOUT VOLMOED

It all started in the early eighties when Bernhard and Jane Turkstra felt called to establish a place that would minister to people who felt shattered by their life's experience. After sharing their vision and buoyed by the prayers of their supporters, they formed a Trust and moved onto the property in April 1986. The property has always been known as Volmoed (meaning full of courage and hope) and the previous owners asked that the name be kept – and what more appropriate name for a place of healing and wholeness! The valley first came to prominence as a place of healing during the 18th century when a leper colony was established here, and more recently when Camphill (next door) opened its doors where adults with intellectual disabilities enjoy quality of life and meaningful work.

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