Grade A+2 (+/- 6 hours) ‘A seldom used path off Corridor Ravine winding its way beneath the south face of Corridor Buttress into Oudekraal Ravine offering some amazing vista spots and then onto Grootkop with its breathtaking 360 degree views and mystical shelter spots, crevices, cracks and caves’ is the message sent out by our president…
After my volunteering stint, I was on a go slow yesterday morn before taking my daughter to karate and then grocery shopping. When we get home I had a week’s load of laundry to do, lunch for today, koesiesters for the hike and pumpkin bollas for a thikr. As I spring-cleaned on Tuesday (the hottest day in over a century, Cape Town being the hottest city in the world that day), it was not one of my priorities to clean as well. It was also my nephew’s birthday so had to show my face there as well. I did manage to take a 2 hour nap But this morning I overslept and had to rush. My son dropped me at our president’s house immediately after morning prayers where another member came to pick us up. My usual lift had other commitments. We got stuck in traffic because of the Argus Cycle tour but no biggie (traffic delays and detours were to be expected)
We arrive at Kloof Nek carpark where we wait on others delayed by traffic and 12 of us eventually make our way to Theresa Avenue in Camps Bay where we start our hike at 7am.
The start of this hike is deceptive. One would think it is an easy winding path leading up to the pipe track but it actually works your calve muscles and I am told, you feel it in your shins as well.
I’m in a ‘push myself’ buzz again so leading the way until I’m distracted by picture taking again. The fauna and flora and a tree hugging the mountain J
Appreciating its beauty even more after the destruction this week on the other side of the mountain. For the first time (after hiking the pipe track numerous times) I notice the dates on the pipes. 1919 and upgraded 1929! It’s really that old?! One was 1945 and the most recent ‘upgrade’
First time that I also notice a concrete ‘building’ with a ladder which was probs some drainage back in the day.
Also notice a row of cairns on display where our pressie duly decided to build another one.
There are also new chains along the route and dutifully took pics of these as well.
After all our picture taking, we were far behind the rest of the group and they were waiting on us. We even received a phone call because they were waiting that long 😛 We had a new guy today who only started hiking 3 months ago so enjoyed sharing our ‘vast’ knowledge of hiking with him ^_^
Even told him that he is fortunate to do this particular route as many people who have been hiking for decades has never done this route. They don’t even know of it as it cuts off at Corridor Ravine. All our yacking delayed us once again and the group had to wait on us once again lol…They were snacking when we reached them.
We veer off the pipe track and make our way to Oudekraal Ravine. This is a route we do not do often so always mesmerized by the scenery, fauna, flora and mountain! Not long into the route and another snack break (what’s up with that? We don’t usually take snack breaks)
2 of our faster hikers went ahead and not long after, I followed them. This Ravine is one of the steepest with loose gravel and as the wind is pumping, I put my buff over my mouth and nose, my red scarf turned around my head for easier breathing (I’m wearing something red in support of our heroes)
When it’s this windy, standing up straight is difficult as the wind will push you down so to remedy this, hiking up bending over is recommended but do strains the back. Here I concentrate on balance, my breathing and the wind rustling through the fynbos and reminded that other parts of the mountain no longer have any fynbos. The other 2 faster hikers wait on the group ¾ of the way up and I join in the wait.
I also had to take a loo break and venture off on my own along another path. I get back and we are still waiting. One member went to check why the delay and I go back down as well. A member went the wrong way and our pressie went off searching for him.
They eventually join us and up we go again. Pressie didn’t want to take the normal path and wanted to try an unknown route and off we went searching. Normally I would absolutely love this type of adventure but I’m tired, couldn’t take an afternoon nap as there was the Thikr to attend and blogs to finish. Then there’s still the pics to transfer to pc and sort but that can wait for tomorrow. This detour was a major delay as we had to find our way up and around and further up. Looking for cairns or any visible paths which is of course grown over. Nonetheless I enjoy the new route with new scenery and chatter. The A grade has now become a B lol but one never complains about scrambles 😛
In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned some fynbos with an absolutely divine scent and we have a horticulturist with us who names the fynbos! And I’ve already forgotten what it is lol. Nor can I remember the other one with delicious aroma. There’s even a fynbos which smells like bbq big corn bites. I kid you not. We didn’t come across them today though.
All the previous times, Ive done this hike, it was overcast and never got to see the views and today’s forecast was morning clouds. The morning was clear but slowly the clouds came over and I was like oh bugger! I don’t get to see the 360 degree view yet again! Sigh but I was in for a pleasant surprise when we eventually reach the peak of Groot Kop in the afternoon! What was supposed to be a 6 hour hike up and down, took us 6 hours just to the peak lol Before we reach or rather find the peak, we had breakfast (which was closer to lunch time) lower down and someone unknowingly goes and sit on the remains of a dead animal. Some fur and its tail remained so cannot say a carcass. I had to take a pic of course.
We reach the peak shortly before 1pm and only stopped to take photos, lots of photos and look at the burnt parts of the mountain ranges. We can see Chapmans Peak, Hout Bay, Vlakkenberg, Tokai, Silvermine but Muizenberg is covered with clouds. (Table Mountain too but we weren’t focused on that).
We start our way down and the faster hikers goes ahead while I wait at the crevice meaning to take more pics inside but yet another delay as 2 of our members were on a go slow. I go back up to the peak not seeing them and go down again and lo and behold, these 2 members took another route to the crevice. Yarre! The descent was a slow one as a member had issues with his knees and we still had a long way to go. We waited for them at certain forks showing the ‘newbies’ the various routes and the ravine we came up from a different angle and they couldn’t believe they went up that! (that as in the pic)
The new guy’s phone was dead and he had to make a phonecall. We had to wait on pressie with his power bank which didn’t charge his phone for some reason and tried swapping sim cards in another phone but that didn’t work either but we eventually gave up.
During this wait, another member and one with the sore knees went ahead and were soon followed by the older couple (I forgot to mention we had a married couple with us who are definitely above 60! I didn’t ask their age) and they did very well on this hike. I eventually passed member with the sore knees and caught up to the older couple and another member and hiked at their pace as I had to wait for my lift to come down anyway. They couldn’t pass member with sore knees.
The four of us waited on the pipe track and when 2 other members joined us, they said that the rest will take a while as sore knees is in so much pain and really struggling. My knees were also sore coming down and I thought this prob was in the past with the end of my volunteering stint I hope with a few days rest off my feet, it I will be back to my old fit self again. Older couple kindly offered me a lift home and off we went!
This 6 hour hike turned out to be 9 hours J I was late for the thikr starting at 4pm when we only finished the hike at this time and I still had to shower and stuffs and sugar the bollas. I was of course very late and people were impressed that I was wearing stilettos after hiking 9 hours J ended up having lunch and supper at the thikr 😉
That’s how I roll baby 😛
I normally walk with a walking buddy on a Monday but cancelled on her as I have to rest these knees of mine as I’m volunteering with the SPCA on Tuesday in search of injured wildlife up our mountains.
Being unemployed doesn’t have to be boring 😀
Now for much need sleep (after I’ve published this of course) Ciao for now
PS I normally upload my pics to album first but will do so tomorrow as still have to upload 2 other blog pics plus 2 albums as well!
PS…As per my previous blog, I didn’t get to volunteer today but there will be other days…(the universe forcing me to rest my knees and I am not hiking tomorrow either)