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Posted on: Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Gravity Adventure Festival – a weekend of adventure

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Kogelberg Reserve

Kogelberg Reserve

This past weekend I left work and headed straight to a friends house to pick her up and off we headed to Betty’s Bay for a weekend of adventure. Arriving in the dark we eventually found the turn off to the driveway and in we went to our supposedly ‘haunted house’. Although we never encountered said ghost (fondly named Emily) she was frequently the topic of the weekend’s discussions and often took the blame for missing things or eaten food!

Besides going for a break from the city we had a few friends who were taking part in various aspects of the Gravity Adventure Festival, an annual festival is held in the surrounding area of the Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve and what a beautiful setting this is. This was only a few kilometres down the road from our accommodation.

We had near perfect weather, what has happened to winter this year? And after a relaxing night on Friday evening it was an early Saturday morning start for some of the other house guests. We had two participants in the Short Trail Run of 4km (which actually turns out to be 5.7-ish) as well as two in the Long Trail run of 12km with quite a hectic race profile. These events began at 09h00 and 08h30 respectively.


Gravity Adventure Festival


While I wasn’t there to witness them, because of a lazy morning spent watching the beautiful view from our balcony as well as a little scenic drive to the Kleinmond harbour to see what there was to offer. We did get to the Palmiet campsite, the festival hub, in time to watch a bit of the prize giving and check out some of the food stalls and what was on offer and we did take part in our own activity of sliding down the slide – I am very adventurous!

Next we decided to make our way to the bridge where the kayak activities were finishing up and we decided not to drive to the spot but to take a leisurely stroll along the river. There was after all a path to walk along and we weren’t deterred by hearing that it was quite a long walk. Hindsight is an exact science and perhaps it would have been better to take a car as our jeans, non walking shoes and poor choice in beverages were not exactly ideal gear to get us to our destination. Needless to say we took a couple of wrong turns and after eventually finding ourselves on the right path we made it to the bridge.


Gravity Adventure Festival


We found our spot (a rock) to perch on and settled in to watch some the final leg of the sprint races (on kayaks), one man paddle canoes basically for those of you, who like me are not au fait with adventure racing. Sitting with just the tips of our toes in the river, because the water is absolutely icy, we waited for our friend to come paddling down the rapids. After watching each sprinter fervently to spot Clyde it would be when I turned around to have a chat that I missed his sprint down the rapids and only caught the tail end of him paddling to touch the buoy at the end.

We decided against walking the trail back and instead took a walk along the road, after a very steep climb out of the riverbed. Then we took the short drive into town to purchase some braai supplies at the Kleinmond Spar and headed back to our accommodation in Bettys Bay. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing around, then heading to the “Castle” for the second half of the Province Bulls game and back home to get the braai started.


Gravity Adventure Festival


After far too much to eat and quite a jolly evening spent with everyone it was off to bed for a well deserved night sleep. The following morning we devoured our eggs and bacon fry up and went for a walk on the rocks in front of the house. This is something I really haven’t done in years and we had a great time scrambling up and down and trying to find some rock pools with living creatures. With a squeal of excitement we eventually found one with two sea anemones’s and watched the battle between a sea snail and an anemone – we were all surprised to see the sea snail win. And we had a quiet giggle to ourselves that this rock pool held our (five twenty-something’s) attention as tightly as it would have if we were young children. Nature really is magnificent if you take the time to look!

With a lovely t-shirt tan and happy memories I leave Betty’s Bay and the Gravity Adventure Festival here in the Cape Overberg Region until next year. Perhaps by that time I will be fit enough to take part in one of the events – but probably not. I really do prefer the spectator sports!


Gravity Adventure Festival

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Tania Stephenson


Tania loves to cook and create magic in the kitchen for family and friends (or even just herself). Be it finding a new recipe or making a tried and tested dish from her recipe folder - the kitchen is her sanctuary. Find her hanging out with friends round the braai or curled up on the couch reading the latest crime drama. With a spring in her step and a song in her heart you’ll find her supporting local artists in theatre, music and dance – from a hip hop competition or the latest musical on stage at Artscape in Cape Town. Enjoying all things culture she likes to share her experiences and delights with those around her.

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