A few months ago, Instagram_sa featured a photograph of the Bos and I was in awe! I even commented something along the lines of, I don’t comment on pics often but I just had to say this pic is absolutely stunning! I screenshot the pic and shared to our club chat group and requested a repeat of this hike as I couldn’t get to join them last year. I didn’t know much about this hike, only that it is long and hard. There are several factors to consider before Anwar chooses a route, so I waited, keeping the screenshot on my phone.
Last week, I asked Anwar when we are doing this hike to which he replied maybe Sunday and I just rolled my eyes at him as maybe is not a definite but I was cautiously excited. He normally posts our Sunday hike details on a Friday but this message came through on Wednesday already 😀 whoohoo!
Meet at Constantia Nek 4am for 4:30am, grade B4, 7 hours one way – check Facebook HPHC page for further hike details…that’s a first, he normally don’t refer to the page for hike details and I go look…
Saturday night, at 23:45, I set my alarm for 2:45am and my other alarm for 2:50am in case I oversleep ^_^ which I almost did if it wasn’t for my second alarm. Zombie Fatima got to Anwar’s house at 4am and attempt to sleep on the backseat of the car but he wasn’t about to make it a smooth drive to Constantia Nek car park and Peter is there already. It is still very much dark! I’m jumbling my words, that’s how tired I am and have my second cup of coffee for the morning \o/ plus trip with my flashlight to the nearest bush 😀
Anyway, after parking some cars at Sandy Bay, we make our way to Hout Bay and 12 of us exuberantly start our hike at 5:20am after a group photo with an ETA of 13:30. Rashaad is back with us yay! It’s only his second hike in 3 months and he chooses this one. His wife says he suffered from a case of FOMO :P, even though his shoulder is not fully healed yet but it’s getting better each day J
The weather was perfect! High mist blocking the sun but not blocking our views 😀 Some locals were already up at this time of the morning and we wave with friendly hellos and already taking photos at the start of hike hehe and the rock hopping begins. Peter states that we are in paradise. Hiking with Hikers Paradise Hiking Club is really hiking in Paradise J and this is only his second hike with us haha. We see the occasional seal and a whale or two in the faaar distance and the viewgasms begin at almost every turn and I’m in love with this route! And what is viewgasms without photogasms? 251 of them I uploaded onto Facebook 😛
When we are not walking along narrow paths (wide enough for only one person), we are climbing up and over boulders, rock hopping or bush-whacking. Walking like ducks or crawling on all fours, getting smacked in the face by branches and enjoying each struggle haha!
At one time, there was a rock vibration and Shaheen and I look at each other with wide eyes and butteflies in our tummies! O_O We eventually got use to the sound as there were many more to come.
My battery life is already on 65% this early in the hike and I can’t not take photos! O_O Shaheen suggested I put my phone on flight mode but I’m thinking, I can’t, what if my kids have an emergency and can’t get hold of me. They reminded me that even if there was an emergency, there is nothing I can do about it this far away. Made sense so with much guilt, I cut-off the outside world O_O
Our first break (besides regrouping) is across from Seal Island and OMG! The stench! Shoooo! Worse is that I have a strong sense of smell and this area is mixed with seal poop, probably carcasses lying about plus birds! And whatever rotting marine plants. Mind over matter, I eventually ignore the smell and enjoy the adventure and spend some time there.
It’s time to move along as it’s vital that the tide doesn’t catch us. If this happens, we would have to be airlifted out of the area and that is the very last thing we want! If that happened, it would have been our own fault…
Moving away from Seal Island, the stench is actually worse! I had to control my gag reflexes. Even so, I still stopped a few times to take photos of bird eggs 😀
We are high up now and very carefully descend a cliff. The soil is loose, the granite/sandstone is jagged and crumbles when you attempt to hold on for stability so each step is slow and deliberate. We round a cliff and help each other up the first small scramble and the jagged edges of the granite is starting to hurt my hands and curse myself that I didn’t bring my gloves which I had in my hands the morning but put it back in my drawer!
We swiftly make our way up which looks like a sand dune but of course it’s not sand so let’s call it a stone dune haha and down we go again and the tide is coming in so have to hurry now and some of us get wet but we fortunately all safely make it around the boulder and we are thankfully past the danger that high tide brings ^_^
Up another cliff of boulders and down the long jagged eina inducing granite cliff. My hands are red and dented by now L Anyway, it’s up another cliff of bush-whacking and loose terrain and John having to keep my foot stable so that I don’t slide down as there is nothing to hold on to.
Traversing a cliff and looking across to the other side, I think to myself, takes a special kind of crazy to do what we do and mentally shake my head at myself.
Breakfast! Was had at around 9:15am and we stayed in that spot for close to an hour I think. Eating, drinking, chatting, laughing and being merry. Loads of photos, catching some rays, removing our boots (also because Anwar and myself purposely got caught in a crashing wave haha) so had to dry off.
Up another cliff and down a very dangerous descent (I think the most dangerous as sandstone could crumble at any time) and this is where Habiba had a slight scare as well and had to take a moment to compose herself. On the other side, Rashaad is making his way up a cliff and don’t know who to focus on. (Meaning making sure others behind me is safely down or not fully recovered Rashaad is safely up – as #2 my priority should be Rashaad haha – inside joke) Anyway, he is up, I’m making my way up and we hear a baby seal crying which seemed to be have washed up into the sun. Some of us watch from on top of the cliff and the rest go to the baby seal’s rescue. Myo (also known as doc) picks up baby seal and puts it in the shade closer to the water in hopes that it goes back into the sea.
Off we go for more scrambling, sheer cliff traversing, bush-whacking, and crawling and its getting hotter now that the mist has completely cleared. I’m tired, hot and restless and just want to see the elusive shipwreck now thinking it will be around each corner we see. And it’s not. Grrrr. I state that the Wreck is no longer there! Someone moved it but onwards we trudge with Rashaad leading us and basically reccing now as the path is less clear and having to guess which way as Anwar is sweeping.
We stop for a regroup and I look further up and because I’m restless, I just wanted to see if the shipwreck is at least visible from the top and when I get there, I jumped up and down for joy and screamed like the girl I am! I could not contain my excitement and now too impatient to wait for the group and with Shameema in tow, we go to the Bos! 😀 arrrggghhh I could scream again now! 😀 Walking along the very clear path, I notice lots of mole hills and think where there’s so many mole hills, there’s mole snakes and I think I even said this out loud when suddenly! Out of nowhere, a snake slithers very quickly across the path and into a bush and I scream out in fright like the girl I am 😀 I whip out my phone wanting to take a photo of said snake but it wasn’t about to give me the satisfaction of coming out of the bush and as my goal is said shipwreck, I lose interest and patience with said snake so off we go.
Finally! The moment I’ve been waiting for has arrived! The very arduous journey was worth all the pain and effort for what my eyes were beholding right in front of me! The entire wreck is in full view and I could cry tears of joy! I’m content enough just to look while waiting for the rest of the group but I do have my Instagram inspired photo in mind and they eventually arrive. Only Baptiste and Peter joined me in search of the spot where the photo was taken. We explore and look around and Baptiste sees the vantage point and I have a Eurekagasm (I may be overdoing the gasms :P)
Anyway, I explain to Baptiste what I have in mind and ask him to take several pics of me hoping to get THE ONE! I don’t know what happened to Peter and to be honest, I didn’t even notice that he wasn’t with us anymore. After various poses, it was Baptiste’s turn to pose and I click away. There was this strange path which looked different to the rest of the rock. It’s as though molten lava flowed there millions of years ago or something but now I’m thinking that it could have been made by the salvage crew lolz.
Eventually it’s time to return to the group and I hear them calling my name and when they saw me, they ask – did you enjoy that? To which I replied – can you see the big smile on my face. I was so very grateful that I gave Anwar a long tight hug for sating my hunger for this hike 😛
Next goal is the cars at Sandy Bay and with the sun beating down on us almost unbearable and just like when one goes on holiday, you look forward to the destination, have a ball of a time but on the journey home, you just want the way back to be over already. Bos is no longer in view, we have one more scramble to descend and the stone is hot to the touch. I’m restless so part the group and attempt to catch up with those ahead and I’m alone. Stop to quench my thirst, reapply sunblock and onwards I trudge. It felt like desert heat. I see steps going up and I groan. Take another turn and there’s more steps going up…gawd, I felt as though it was my first never ending Platteklip hike and I push myself. I knew I shouldn’t as I was over exerting but I didn’t care. I wanted it to be done and the faster I go, the sooner it will end. I’m huffing and puffing and only stop to quench my thirst and settle my heart-rate. I see a blockhouse and I hear voices and meet up with the faster group. They make place for me in the shade and I plop myself down. Rashaad says I look how he feels lolz And we wait for the others.
Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long but the route is still uphill T_T My thighs are heavy in protest but I continue to push and I now know where we are as Ive done part of this route before (Sandy Bay to the other shipwreck) and eventually reach the jeep track. Finally! Flat ground and now I’m motivated by the promise of cold refreshments in Peter’s vehicle. I’m ahead and don’t care who is following me or not. There’s a fork and I don’t know which way to take so just went with my first choice. We reach another fork and I just assumed it’s the route to the cars and this is when my thighs starting cramping T_T oh gawd, let it end!
We’re now on sand dunes and I think to hell with it, I’m running down. We reach a clearing and again not knowing which way to go with no sign of the cars. I again go with my first instinct and gratefully see a gate. It’s the start of the route via Sandy Bay. We reach the paved road and yet again not knowing to go up or down and I choose down. I see the cars around 14:30 and I wanted to cry lol I have never been this happy to see the end of a hike before.
The rest catches up and Peter brings out a crate of refreshments and we chug it down 😀 I get up and my thighs go stiff. We jump into the vehicles but not before asking Anwar for deep heat and I take off my pants in the car. I tell Baptiste to keep the pillow by his head because my ‘ourah’ was open and he is not allowed to look and he obliged hehe. On our way back to Hout Bay, I rub my thighs out with deep heat and it’s decided that we going to have lunch at Fish on the Rocks.
The place is full! No place to sit so I go scout a table and sit with others waiting for them to finish hehe. Each time I get up from the table, my thighs pull stiff with cramps and had to walk it off every time T_T
After a while and WTF (Where’s The Food) we feast and regale the events of the day and the pain of the hike (not my thighs) is forgotten but not before describing how we feel. Peter cleverly stated that we are ‘wrecked’ haha
What a day. What an amazing hike. What an amazing group of hikers we were. Later the night, Shaheen says that she’s looking at her photos which make her want to redo the hike. I say that looking at my photos, I’m thinking ‘are we nuts?’ This hike was treacherous! To which she replies ‘no we are blessed…and nuts..blessed nutters’ How true are these words. We are truly blessed to do what we do, especially on this hike we were blessed that there were no unfortunate incidents.
I am not hiking next week as my daughter will be having her grading at Gashuku camp :p
Until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you for taking the time to read my very long adventure!
PS…now for the hardest part of this blog, choosing which photos to upload!