Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hankey's berg window at Vensterhoek

Every time I visit the Gamtoos Valley and drive through Hankey, I look up the cliffs on the western side of the town at the Bergvenster (Berg Window) thinking that I must really make a plan to climb up there one day.  That opportunity came when we spent a Shot Left weekend in Hankey staying at the The Milk House.  I told the Damselfly that I'm heading up there come hell or high water.  She asked why and the answer was twofold.  Firstly because I've never been up there and secondly because there was a Geocache I wanted to find.

The Bergvenster is a natural arch that has been created by weathering of the Enon Conglomerate in the area.  Problem is that there isn't quite a highway or even a proper set of steps going up there.  We parked at the Phillips Tunnel and headed up the path nearby that leads to the top.  The path is rough to say the least and washed away in some areas which meant somewhere along the way we ventured off it without even realizing.  Our chosen "path" did take us to the top though and we only had to backtrack a short distance along the ridge to get to the window.  The return trip was a little more successful in following the path although it did take a lot more hopping and sliding that our original one had us do.

Huffing and puffing to the top of anything always makes you hope it would be worth it and this surely was. WOW, what a view!  The second photo in the post is looking through the window towards Patensie in a westerly direction while the second one has the family looking east towards Hankey.

This last photo is a panorama from inside the window towards Patensie with the Gamtoos River in the foreground, citrus orchards in the middle and the Cockscomb Mountains way off in the distance.  Would I go up there again?  Perhaps not soon as you need an hour or two for the return trip, but I would highly recommend somebody making the trek up there to enjoy the view if they are able to.  


  1. That looks like quite a climb. Love the views, and the family shots.

  2. What a climb.....but absolute worth it!! AMAZING views!!