Dear Prospective Peregrino
There will be at least three pilgrimage adventure walks this year. Each group will consist of a maximum of 12 people, including the leader and the driver. Please read through this letter very carefully so that you fully understand what the Indlela is about, and also what it demands. It has its own particular character and cannot be all things to all people, but when Indlela and pilgrim find each other, something special happens. Remember that this is a Pilgrimage Adventure, which means that we are not cocooned in over-organization and there is plenty of space for the unexpected to take us out of our comfort zones and to open up new experiences and insights into ourselves, into the world, and into life.
Crossing Over (Grahamstown – Gamtoosvallei)
Indlela 12: Arrive Sat 22 July, walk 23 July – Thurs 3 Aug (George + ?)
Indlela 13: Arrive Sun 23 July, walk 24 July – Fri 4 Aug (Jan & Goonie)
Kom Nader (Gamtoosvallei – Knysna)
Indlela 14: Arrive Sat 5 Aug, walk 6 - 18 Aug (Jan & Goonie)
This is not just another hike. It is a pilgrimage adventure and we walk it in this spirit. There are NO prescriptions, however, on what we experience and what we believe. Atheists are as welcome as born-agains! We’re here because we’re all humbly trying to make sense of what life is all about, and celebrating what we encounter and what we discover! At the same time, the Indlela does have some structure to help foster this approach e.g. the first two hours of each day are walked in silent solitude, and at the end of the day we share our experiences together. The Indlela Guide that every participant receives describes what to expect each day in terms of routine, physical route, accommodation etc as well as possible pilgrimage approaches.
Crossing Over participants must make their own way to the Monastery for the start and arrange to travel home from the end at the Gamtoosvallei (Patensie). Kom Nader pilgrims need to find their own way to the start at Gamtoosvallei, and then home again from Knysna. There are many opportunities for lift sharing etc and once we know who is in each group we will pass on names and contact details so that you can make appropriate arrangements. We will also give you names of Indlela friends in Grahamstown, Gamtoosvallei and Knysna who are willing to help you sort out accommodation, car storing, etc.
Each group has a vehicle and a dedicated driver, and they transport our gear from one overnight spot to the next. Please note that the drivers are unpaid volunteers who come along to support the Indlela Project and also to get some of their own quiet time. So unless there is an emergency, we do not expect them to ferry anyone feeling a bit tired or sore!
While we take every precaution to ensure our safety, please understand that we cannot take responsibility for every unforeseen circumstance. You are also expected to be sensible and responsible. If anyone is not able to continue for whatever reason, we will make sure that they are safely settled somewhere, and then it will be their responsibility to arrange to be picked up by friends, family or whoever. Your possessions are also your responsibility. Each group will have a basic First Aid kit for exceptional circumstances, but you must bring your own personal medicines and whatever you need for normal hiking ailments e.g. blisters, chafing, scratches, headaches, diarrhoea, sore muscles.
The Indlela is not intended for the physical elite, but it IS demanding. If you are looking for a very gentle stroll with plenty of time to rest and meditate – which is indeed wonderful! - then please find another pilgrimage. You will spoil the experience for yourself and everyone else if you are not prepared for the demands of the Indlela Adventure. The fitter you are, the less strenuous you will find the daily walk and the more open you will be to experience what is around you and within you. Bear in mind that you will be averaging about 25km per day, EVERY day, and on the Kom Nader section you will be doing over 30km towards the end. You will need to have done a number of training days of this distance before the Indlela. On the other hand, you will be carrying only a light day pack, and you will have the whole day to pace yourself. You will also ‘grow’ into the distances as the walk progresses.
You will be given dinner-bed-and breakfast every night. One of the delights of the Indlela is the range of overnights, which will vary from a cold hard church floor to a luxury bed! Often there will not be enough beds for everyone, and you might have a choice to either share a double bed or sleep on the floor. Ablution facilities also vary from luxury baths to a spade and the open veld. The food will also vary greatly, from a 5-course dinner at a hotel to a pot of veggies that we cook up for ourselves in the Baviaanskloof.What will not vary is the generosity of spirit of our hosts and the humble appreciation that we show to everyone who is helping make these pilgrimages possible.
When you walk out each day, you may leave behind your Indlela bag (to be sent to you), a sleeping bag and a hiking sleeping mat. We need to be strict and cooperative in this because of limited space. You will have on you comfortable walking shoes and clothes, and a small pack for your warm top, waterproof, food, water, hat, first aid kit, etc. for the day. In your Indlela bag will be the rest of your stuff e.g. change of clothes, toiletries, notebook, snacks for other days. You will be sent a more detailed list once you are registered.
The entry fee of R6 000 per person covers each section’s 13 days of dinner, bed and breakfast, support vehicle, the leader and driver, etc. Pilgrims doing both walks one after the other, get a discount of R1 000 overall, and those doing a particular section for a second time get a R1 000 discount for that section. I expect a pressure on places, especially after an article on the Indlela appears in Weg/Go! in April 2017 and only the required deposit will secure a place.Participants supply their own lunch-time snacks for each day. There are also some shops along the way for replenishments. Kom Nader pilgrims will sort out their own accommodation for the final Friday night in Knysna and pay for whatever they order at the celebratory dinner.
There will be regular updates on Facebook. If you haven’t already done so, please go to the home page on the website of www.indlelayobuntu.com and click ‘like’ on the facebook sign. Otherwise search for ‘indlela yobuntu’ in facebook and click ‘like’.
If you would like to be part of one of these pilgrimages, please let me know and I will send you the registration and medical forms which you can email back to me. Please note that the overarching Indlela journey begins in Grahamstown and a participant must do the various legs sequentially.
082 921 2690
Indlela 1: George’s solo recce walk, Grahamstown – Uniondale, June 2011
Indlela 2: Recce trail run (Grahamstown – Knysna), September 2013 [Leader George]
Indlela 3: Pilot walk, Crossing Over, June 2014 [George]
Indlela 4: Trail run, Grahamstown – Knysna, September 2014 [George]
Indlela 5: Walk, Crossing Over, August 2015 [Max & Dalene]
Indlela 6: Walk, Crossing Over, August 2015 [Fransa & Jan]
Indlela 7: Pilot walk, Kom Nader, September 2015 [George & Goonie]
Indlela 8: Walk, Crossing Over, August 2016 [Jan & Goonie]
Indlela 9: Walk, Crossing Over, August 2016 [Dom & Helen]
Indlela 10: Walk, Kom Nader, Aug-Sep 2016 [Fransa & Cheryl]
Indlela 11: Walk, Kom Nader, Aug-Sep 2016 [George]