canyoning with neo

my life in (river) water

it was a great day to start my december break.

travelled to the dutoitskloof and found a gorge which we could go canyoning (kloofing in s.a.) in. it was my friend guido, my son neo and i. for a part of the day we were also joined by my buddy hermie and a friend of his named cobus.

started out at about 08:30 and made our way up the gorge to the waterfall which marks its beginning. the walk there was mostly on a trail and once there we all swam out to the waterfall which is impressively high and runs into a beautiful pool at the bottom.

neo sitting at the waterfall pool

once we’d said goodbye to hermie & cobus  [who had a lunch appointment to get to] we lazed around the pool, dried out in the sun, had some sandwiches and filled up with fresh river water before heading back down. we decided to rather make our way back down the river, rock-hopping from boulder to boulder and rock to rock. it was a great feeling doing something i love with my son. neo is 7 years old now and i was blown away by his stamina and agility.

according to guido’s gps, the walk back was almost 6km’s long which neo did entirely without shoes, hopping and jumping from rock to rock in his bare-feet. he’d taken off his shoes at the pool and opted to not wear them at all on the way back.

two worlds

we also encountered some wildlife. lots of tadpoles and frogs, some baboons, a few lizzards and then some beautiful rainbow trout, which were easy to spot in the crystal clear pools. the  ‘highlight’ was probably when neo spotted a snake,  which i had not seen and stepped over, and was suddenly more visible as it hurried away. dont know what kind of snake it was and it was not very big, but did provide some excitement as guido and i had to manage the situation in order to avoid neo becoming completely spooked and refusing to carry on, halfway down a gorge.

my son did great though and within a few minutes we were on our way again. though i must admit that from thereon out, i did look more carefully where i stepped and generally scanned the rocks more consciously.

it was a long, but very rewarding day, we were in the gorge for almost 8hrs. guido was a great friend to have along, not least of which for how he helped with neo; catching him, helping to carry him over difficult terrain and generally just for his easy-going relaxed attitude. i reckon we will definately be doing more canyoning trips together.

guido tucking under

the day belonged to neo though and i think we are both going to bed tonight feeling like we’ve shared something special. and what more can a father want…

my son
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4 thoughts on “canyoning with neo

  1. Thanks for an awesome day neo & charl. We are quite fortunate to have many interesting rivers that still need exploring. To a life in water… cheers

  2. Awesome, Charl. Days like that your son will remember for his whole life.

    When we’re young, we think they will happen all the time. “When can we go again, dad?!”

    But the reality is, life happens quickly. Things change, and we don’t always get to go back, experience them again the same way.

    Thanks for the great reminder to cherish every moment of this incredible life I’m blessed with, and with the ones I love.

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