The original plan was to do a ladies only hike last week Sunday but they cancelled on me so planned to take our beginner hiking group on this hike but as there was no response within 30min, I decided to sign up for Harkerville instead and postponed Woodstock Cave to today.
I didn’t know who was going to join us or not and didn’t expect a big response as people are away for the holidays and spending time with their families. In this month, I met woman who has been online friends long before Facebook and said that she lives my hikes through my photos hehe and would love to join us but on an easy hike and gave her the details.
This morning, one of the ladies who requested this hike pulled out as she has the flu We wish her a speedy recovery. In my delayed state (holiday mind) I searched for incense sticks and vicks but couldn’t find any so asked Muneera and Nashita to bring with (not telling them why we need it hehe)
So it was only the 5 of us (Nashita, Muneera, her daughter Yumnah, Taahirah and myself) jumping into Nashita’s car and off we go to Rhodes and waited for Mubashir (Taahirah’s fellow volunteer at the Aquarium) and started at 6:45am with an eta of 10am.
Muneera and her family would normally stick to the Silvermine type of routes with little to no inclines so this was their first ‘hike’ in a very long time although Muneera has hiked Platteklip. With the hiking details, I did state that there is a bit of a incline at the start and up to the cave, nothing major.
Yumnah was struggling and as per hiking etiquette, we hike at the slowest person’s pace. Taking several breaks to slow down her heart rate, taking slow sips of water and snacking on raisins. We advise her to pace herself with encouraging words as she wanted to turn around and go home before the contour path already 😛 I eventually notice that after every break, she has the energy to go on but burn out very quickly and then tell that I’m going to pace her and with me leading now, I slowly pace her to the contour path without having to take breaks hehe and she is now smiling, talking and laughing as she didn’t know pacing herself meant taking it slow 😀
We didn’t even have to take a break going up the shortcut to the Blockhouse which she very much enjoyed! After a short break, we take the path to Woodstock Cave and tell her she can up her pace as it’s a flat path now. When we get to the Zigzag leading up to the Cave, I take the lead once again eyeing the shortcuts but decide not to take them as it is too steep and slipper for beginners and Yumnah’s feet are hurting as she is wearing Chucks with absolutely no cushioning for her soles and feeling every stone she walks on.
We reach the cave around 9:10am and my ETA to back to the cars was at 10am so over our time and my plan wasn’t to stay long in the cave as it reeks of urine! People sleep there and deep inside the cave there are blankets and stuff.
I light up the incense sticks which mostly helped with the stench and we could enjoy the views, have breakfast and enjoy each other’s company with several photos taken as well. Yumnah is in high spirits and finally talked to Taahirah and Mubashir and got to know each other. When the incense sticks burnt out, the smell of urine was overpowering and it was time to leave. I notified Mountain Tracking and Safety to extend our eta to 11am as we were only just leaving the cave at 10am.
Now I have to tell Yumnah to slow down as she was way ahead with Taahirah and Mubashir with the ‘Mommies’ lagging behind hehe. I tell the teenagers to stay in sight reminding them that this is a mugging hotspot so not safe for them to be that far ahead.
We take another break at the canons with lots more photos and Mubashir notify his dad that we will be at the car park shortly. His dad was going to join us but his sinuses was bothering him so kindly dropped his son off to join us who also coincidentally is a member of Ommiedraai haha
Nearing the cars, I get my hiking club who did Devils Peak via Mowbray Ridge, over Minor peak hehe. They started at 6am and finished the same time as us haha and checking out safely off the mountain at around 11:30am J
Next week I’m taking a group of people on a not so easy hike and I planned to do Platteklip (I miss Platties) but checked the weather and it’s going to be too hot for them so have to think of another route.
So until my next hike, ciao for now.
PS. It’s after midnight and as I wrote two blogs this evening, I’m only publishing it tomorrow night with photos hehe
PPS its Tuesday so only publishing today haha