Rhodes Memorial to the old Fire Lookout

Wow! It’s been 3 weeks since my last midweek hike and I feel wonderful! Who else can say that they feel this way in the middle of the week? Hiking does that. Activates the happy hormones and my hormones be happy!

The only schlep about hiking is trying to figure out which route to do with a 3 hour time limit, taking into account the time it takes traveling to and fro. With the Silvermine mountain ranges still very much in a fragile state, pickings are even slimmer. Also, I have to consider mugging hotspots. Thieves are so darn inconvenient sigh. I assume that muggings happen early morn before people make their way to work? Well, I very well hope so….

Well, today I chose a hotspot as Mowbray Ridge/Knife’s Edge is a route I haven’t done in over 2 years even though we didn’t go to the peak but to the Old Fire Lookout which is good enough and I loved it! Scenery I haven’t seen in a while, mountains I haven’t climbed/scrambled in 2 years and I was in my element.

stunning view!
stunning view!

My lift picked me up shortly after 9am and we were stuck in traffic :/ seriously?! That time of the morn? People! Petrol be going up to R2 a litre and there is such a thing called as lift clubs and I dare to suggest it, public transport hehe.

We arrive at Rhodes Memorial car park at 9:40 and duly check in with Mountain Tracking and Safety with an ETA at 12:30pm and my planned route. I have my stun gun in my pocket.

We get out of the car and it feels desert hot! Sheesh but the weather was cooler in the southern suburbs and we make our way up to the contour path and take a minute break when we reach the foresty parts with shelter from the sun.

Shade! glorious shade!
Shade! glorious shade!

It’s eerily quiet today but do pass a lone woman sitting on a log waiting on her friends. I quietly pray that she wasn’t waiting on her friends to let them know that there are 2 female hikers in the area…

better not have 'friends' waiting on us
better not have ‘friends’ waiting on us

We eventually also pass a lone trail runner with her doggie. We didn’t see anyone else on our way up.

Thankfully, a slight breeze started up when we reached King’s block house and the cannons and now I am more alert of my surroundings and arm my stun gun (lots of hideouts for muggers here) and my hiking buddy asks where we gna sit for breakfast and I laugh at her. I said the old fire lookout and not the blockhouse haha.

King's Block house
King’s Block house

We still have some scrambling to do! 😀 The contour path from here can take you all the way to Kloof Corner at Kloof Nek car park J but we go up from here and do a little climbing and scrambling which my hiking buddy hasn’t done in a long long time so she got a lekker full body workout hehe.

scrambling
scrambling

My first time hiking Knife’s Edge/Mowbray Ridge, I froze! It was a clear day and I could see everything! This was when I still suffered from acrophobia and my legs were jelly! I refused to move and was close to tears. If it wasn’t for the hike leader and his patience and guidance, mountain rescue would’ve had to be called in or I would’ve slept right there! After this incident, I was basically forbidden from doing any scramble routes and I didn’t care at the time anyway as there was not a chance in hell that I would do such a thing again! Until….BOOM! no phobia \o/ and now I thrive on these kinda routes J

Signal hill in the hoekie
Signal hill in the hoekie

One of the awesome things about this route is just before reaching the blockhouse, you only have the view of the southern and northern suburbs BUT then suddenly, you see the ocean, CBD and Signal Hill J

Panoramic view
Panoramic view

We reach the fire lookout and the area I wanted to sit had loads of ants! Bal buiters called by some but as I’m English speaking, I refer them to testicle biters hehe…have no idea why they got that name lol On Sunday, I picked one up and had it crawl on my finger and was told that it will bite me and my reply was ‘its fine, I don’t have testicles so I’m safe’ hehe

The plan was to have breakfast at the Fire Lookout and take the contour path below Knife’s Edge and make our way back to Rhodes but I was ambitious thinking we can make it in time so headed back down the same way we went up.

Old Fire Lookout
Old Fire Lookout
Panoramic View
Panoramic View

On our way down, we encounter a group of 14 veteran hikers (only 1 of them being male) in their 70s and 80s who started at Constantia Nek at 7:30am and ending at Rhodes around 12:30! I am in awe of these people! Told them that because of them, doing this hike in 30-40 years time is on my bucket list and will think of them as my inspiration 😀

Veteran hikers
Veteran hikers

We completed our hike at 12:20 and looking forward to my next hike which may or may not be on Saturday 😛 doing Platteklip through Echo Valley to Ash Valley and ending at Constantia Nek. This route is lift back to Platties dependent. I have no idea what’s in store for us on Sunday but just know it’s going to be a good one 😀

Until my next hike, ciao for now.

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Rhodes Memorial to the old Fire Lookout

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