All are welcome to join Mpumalanga Heritage on Saturday on a conducted tour of the first section of the old wagon road, starting at Lydenburg and going as far as the old mining sites of Mac Mac.
All will meet at 08:00 at the Lydenburg/Mashishing town library in Viljoen Street where a new Jock Trek 1885 waymarker was recently erected. This was to mark the beginning of the old wagon trail at the old Lydenburg marker square. The transport wagons departed from here, past the old Lydenburg gold fields, to the harbour at Delagoa Bay. From Mac Mac the route passed through Sabie, Spitskop and down the escarpment at a place recently marked as Delagoosberg; the top of the modern R537 pass between Sabie and White River.
This half-day excursion will be conducted by Dr Gerrit Haarhoff, and will be based on his book Forgotten Tracks and Trails of the Escarpment and Lowveld. Though the book will only be launched in August, copies will be on sale to all who join the outing.
No less than nine Jock Trek 1885 way and place markers significant to this part of the route will be visited. New discoveries like the actual Paradise Camp outside Graskop, the exact position of the old South and North Camps at the original diggings at Mac Mac and the overhanging rock described in the book Jock of the Bushveld will also be visited.
The outing will end at noon at Pilgrim’s Rest during the annual heritage weekend organised for July 20 to 22.
Accommodation is still available for those who want to join for the full weekend. Contact Lela Smyth at the Royal Hotel for all your accommodation needs on 013-768-1100, Brummer Tours on 082-522-1958 or Pilgrim’s Rest Tourism Information on 013-768-1060.