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 How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.

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6pdr

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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:50 pm

Guest wrote:
HI Littlehand
not sure on that one myself and i was there did not go the full distance by foot cheeted and used the van to go by road to the otherside of the river at a rough guess but would not like to swear to it around 4 miles i would love to know also
When I was at Fugitive's Drift I hired a guide and made the trip.  Afterward, tired and lamenting how long it took to complete the journey, Nikkie said it was about four miles and I had done it in approx. average time (meaning well over an hour; certainly not just 45 minutes.)  It was impossible for me to believe that a rider would not have to dismount in some portions.  The going got quite rough coming downhill at the last.
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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:30 pm

Ive walked it on a couple of occasions, I dont believe a horseman could do it under an hour. And thats allowing for less bush and growth than is presently there. There arent to many places where a horse could out distance a man and certainly on the back end of Mpethe descending into the valley it would be quicker to let go of the horse and 'leg it'.

 It should be born in mind that the present 'tourist' route is not nessesarily the route taken by the fugitives, they were pretty spread out across the climb, probably over a distance of 200 to 350 in width.

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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:49 pm

Springbok wrote:
I dont believe a horseman could do it under an hour

What about if one was being chased, Life or Death situation.
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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:12 pm

John wrote:



What about if one was being chased, Life or Death situation.



Yes, well, there are a number of variables...on foot vs. mounted...being 20 years old like Smith-Dorrien or 50+ like some of us.  Fitness...injury...weather...adrenalin bursts...but I agree with Springbok.  I don't know if I was taken the tourist route or not (it certainly didn't feel like it at the time!) but the vegetation was only a slight impediment compared to the the very rough ground...especially towards the end.  The British must have been the greatest riders in the world to have remained mounted the entire way, and S-D does say they had to dismount in some areas, not to mention being slowed by others at one particular bottleneck. 

As for the location of the coffin rock...my guide reiterated what Rob Caskie said but it was difficult to reconcile it with my expectations.  I kept looking for a rock that was shaped like a coffin and there was one...but it would probably have been submerged that day.  That entire issue is most confusing and as usual, Ian Knight's reasoning is most persuasive.
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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:59 pm

Hi 6pdr
The distance from the NMP memorial on the Isandlwana battlefield to  Coffin Rock, on the Mzinyathi is 5,37km....as the crow flies.  Asking how long was the trail the many figitives took, is difficult to answer, as they fled by many paths, but probably not less than 8,2 km as these meandered across the terrain, heading generally south westerly and  all terminating at the rivers edge.
What has changed over the years is that the natural growth has increased considerably in density in the area, but the riders of the time did do the journey in less that one hour, but had considerable difficulty traversing the final  steep inclines down to the rivers edge.

regards,

barry
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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:23 pm

barry wrote:
Hi 6pdr
...but probably not less than 8,2 km as these meandered across the terrain

Meandering is what I remember alright...and lots of it!  For those of us who don't think in terms of meters, you're saying the distance as the crow flies is just slightly under 3.6 miles but probably more like just under 5.5 miles -- depending upon the specific route taken -- for the average "fugitive." I suppose a mounted man could keep to that pace but nobody on foot, which goes far to explain who survived and why...   Thanks for the specifics Barry!
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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:52 pm

Hi 6pdr,
I see that you refer to a Nikki as your guide. The knowledgable Nikki von der Heyde, no doubt ??

regards,
barry
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PostSubject: Re: How far roughly is the distance from Isandlwana to Coffin rock.   Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:46 pm

barry wrote:
Hi 6pdr,
I see that you refer to a Nikki as your guide. The knowledgable Nikki von der Heyde, no doubt ??

regards,
barry
Barry,

Sorry to confuse. My guide for that particular walk was a young (early 20s?) Zulu who said he had a grandfather (which is feasible given the sprawling nature of Zulu patrimony) at the battle. Unfortunately, I do not remember his name. I probably misspelled, but the person making the comment about the time spent was David Rattray's wife who was sitting with us afterward. There were some hardcore hikers at the lodge who wondered whether they should take the same trip -- and I said yes, but that they would probably cover the ground a lot quicker. In any case I was quite parched by the end of the walkabout and the staff at Fugitive's Drift lodge were ready, willing, and able to to slake that thirst with a wide variety of enjoyable beverages! Later on I asked Rob C. some follow on questions.  The hospitality, atmosphere and expertise there were memorable.  - 6pdr
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