Grindstone Cave & Lower Injasuthi Cave Loop

06 Apr 2016 19:51 #67700 by Papa Dragon
On Friday 1st April, Smurfatefrog and Papa Dragon from KZN, met JulieMK and saros from upcountry somewhere?, at Injisuthi camp, at about 17h30.

A bit of carbo-loading, snacks, and last minute prep and faff, we headed off along the path to Grindstone Caves. It wasn't long and we were walking in the dark, but the path was easy to follow with our headlamps. After about 4 ks, and a bit of an uphill slog,we reached the first Grindstone Cave. In the dark, we couldn't findthe second one, so decided to set up camp, sloping floor, waterfall and all..

Smurf and saros holding up the roof, and Julie getting thirsty..



After supper we went for a walk, found the second cave, and the did some stargazing and chilling on the rocks above our cave. In hindsight we should have moved, because the second cave is much nicer, bigger and more level..





The Grindstone

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06 Apr 2016 19:56 #67701 by Papa Dragon
Breakfast the next morning, and headed off on the trail between the 2 caves towards Marble Baths. A bit of uphill slog, some flattish, and then a long drop with 2 big cutbacks to Marble Baths, along a mostly very good and easy to follow path. Cloudy weather, great to hike in, but it was a bit chilly for swimming at Marble Baths, although most of us took the plunge.







We went up to check the Marble Baths Caves, there was a piece of plstic used as a groundsheet left in one of them.



Smurf checking out the amenities




A fairly long break and some warm lunch at Marble Baths, and the we were off to Lower Injasuthi Cave. The path is fairly easy to follow, a couple of ups and downs, and some rocky river crossings. We got to the pools before the cave just after 15h00, and decided to have a swim before going up to the cave, The water was cold, but very refreshing, One of my favourite pools, but I don't seem to have any pics of it.

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06 Apr 2016 20:00 - 06 Apr 2016 20:10 #67702 by Papa Dragon
Saros enjoying the view of the escarpment from the path to LIC.



Lower Injasuthi Cave



A pleasant evening in the cave, a lot quieter and more level than the night before, and then all too soon time to come home.

An aside the cave was not in great condition, lots of rubbish around, and a lot of toilet close to the cave on the escarpment side. We picked up the rubbish, but were not prepred to do anything about the other.

The way back, the first section of the path is the reverse of the Marble Baths turnoff to LIC section,
and then a good easy path all the way back to camp. Took just over 2 hours if I remember correctly.

The Arrow on the way back



Bit of scenery on the walk out



Thanks guys for a relaxed, fun Little Berg hike. Looking forward to the next one...

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Last edit: 06 Apr 2016 20:10 by Smurfatefrog.
The following user(s) said Thank You: elinda, Stijn, JonWells, DeonS, ghaznavid, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, Macc, saros

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06 Apr 2016 20:12 - 06 Apr 2016 20:39 #67703 by Smurfatefrog

Papa Dragon wrote: we reached the first Grindstone Cave. In the dark, we couldn't find the second one


berg.co.za says they are 20m apart... we walked at least 100m before giving up. Turns out they are 150m apart

Some pics from my side

View driving in


Last light heading up to Grindstone


First light from Grindstone


The better westerly cave


From the top of the ridge above the cave


First view of Marble Baths way down below


The first cutback


The second cutback


Almost at Lower Injisuthi cave

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Last edit: 06 Apr 2016 20:39 by Smurfatefrog.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, diverian, elinda, Stijn, DeonS, ghaznavid, tonymarshall, Captain, Macc, saros, Papa Dragon, Biomech

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07 Apr 2016 07:45 #67709 by tonymarshall
Thanks gents,

Nice write ups and pictures.

That grindstone in the second cave intrigues me. Since it has a square hole going right through it, in my opinion it isn't a grindstone, which would typically have a circular, bowl like depression in it, and definitely not a hole going right through. I wonder if there were once grindstones at this cave to name it after, and if they have been removed, or if this stone has always been misidentified as a grindstone. I can't think what that stone would have been used for. The San used similar stones mounted on sticks as digging tools, the stone being used to add weight, but this stone seems a bit large and heavy for that.

Any thoughts on this?
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07 Apr 2016 08:46 #67712 by Biomech
That loop is great fun. The initial slog up to Grindstone was once done by my wife with a child carrier with child inside in 30 degree heat. Not an easy ask! The little waterfall was very welcome that day!

I have also wondered about that "grindstone" with a hole in it. Hardly useful for grinding grain, but perhaps pulping roots or plants etc? I am shooting in the dark here, admittedly!

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07 Apr 2016 17:45 #67730 by saros
A few pics of the hike from my side:

View of Battle Cave:


Smurf, PapaD, JulieMK:


Beautiful Valley:


"Beach" Cave:


Stunning:


Champagne Morning Glow:


Marble Baths:






PapaD suspended in motion:

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07 Apr 2016 17:49 #67731 by saros
A few more:

A few paintings:





Sunset:


Lower Injisuthi Cave

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The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Smurfatefrog, tonymarshall, Macc, Papa Dragon, Biomech

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07 Apr 2016 19:03 #67734 by john mark 1

Papa Dragon wrote:
An aside the cave was not in great condition, lots of rubbish around, and a lot of toilet close to the cave on the escarpment side. We picked up the rubbish, but were not prepred to do anything about the other.


Some years ago, I went to Lower Injisuthi Cave for the first time and the toilet issue was at once apparent. In fact, it was plain disgusting. Some of it was around the trees right by the front of the cave! :evil: The smell and sight was so bad that we told the rest of the group to not even bother coming and looking at the cave and instead we just chilled at the pools.

I've never actually returned to this cave, probably for this reason. Sad to see that nothing has changed from about 8 years ago.

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07 Apr 2016 19:36 #67736 by Papa Dragon

john mark 1 wrote:

Papa Dragon wrote:
An aside the cave was not in great condition, lots of rubbish around, and a lot of toilet close to the cave on the escarpment side. We picked up the rubbish, but were not prepred to do anything about the other.


Some years ago, I went to Lower Injisuthi Cave for the first time and the toilet issue was at once apparent. In fact, it was plain disgusting. Some of it was around the trees right by the front of the cave! :evil: The smell and sight was so bad that we told the rest of the group to not even bother coming and looking at the cave and instead we just chilled at the pools.

I've never actually returned to this cave, probably for this reason. Sad to see that nothing has changed from about 8 years ago.


It was not so bad that it was grossly unpleasant, or would have chased us away. The worst was probably the ablutions done fairly close to the cave on the escarpment side. I didn't go down that way at all, but apparently wasn't good, though it wasn't noticeable from the cave itself.

It appeared that a fairly large group had stayed there recently. One wonders whether this is a lack of education or consideration. I don't like someone else's rubbish in a cave, though this is generally not much of a problem to pick up, and leave the cave better than one found it. However, this is not the case with human waste.

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