A few weeks ago, Aunty Mariam asked me to take a few youths on a hike. It didn’t have to be easy and confirmed hike for today telling her that I will give details closer to the time. I originally planned to do Platteklip but with the current heat wave, I decided against it. It had to be in a forest and opted for either Newlands or Cecelia Waterfall. It was only on Friday that I decided on Cecelia Waterfall via Rooikat giving that little bit of extra workout. Also because the sun would be on our backs going up and we would be in the forest going down as the sun gets hotter.
My cousin also asked to join and set the time for 5:45 to start at 6am and screenshot directions to Cecelia Car Park as it’s easy to miss if you don’t know where it is. I’m at the car park promptly at 5:45am and message Aunty Mariam that I’m there and my cousin messages me saying that he running late but on his way. At 6am I message him saying that I will wait at the entrance so that he doesn’t miss it. Aunty Mariam, Uncle Haroon and Muneeba arrives shortly followed by my cousin and the youth group messages Aunty Mariam that they are at the car park but turns out that they were at Constantia Nek. The taxi they hired dropped them there and left so Uncle Haroon went to fetch them.
After quick introductions, I tell them to please not litter and to stick together as it’s easy to take a wrong turn and I’m not gna be looking for anyone lolz. I check in 15 of us with Mountain Tracking and Safety at 6:30am with an ETA of 10:30am. I am leading from behind with the youth group ahead but they stop and wait for me to give them direction at each fork. I gave them the leeway to hike at their own pace and to enjoy it and gave instruction to stop at certain points when my fellow sweepers were lagging far behind.
Side note, my cousin is not a beginner hiker as he normally hikes with his wife and children and sometimes his mother and sticks to the easier routes. He will be doing the Otter trail next year so need to do endurance training with harder hikes.
It’s time to go up Rooikat and this is where one of the young ladies really struggles but we encourage her to take one step at a time. Pace herself. We were all first time hikers and it’s always the hardest. She is doing well. More than half of Cape Town is still sleeping and she is on the mountain breathing fresh mountain air. She must be proud of herself and she has photos to prove it. Once the hike is done, she will feel a sense of accomplishment despite the struggle and when she get to the Waterfall, she will forget about the pain J To give her even more encouragement, I tell her that it’s all downhill to the waterfall once we get to the top of the hill…I can’t very well tell that that there is another uphill before we get to the waterfall hehe but she did the last uphill at a very good pace.
Two older hikers were coming down and we had an ‘argument’ about the route I chose and told them that I have my reasons. Just because I am a woman, and younger, they think I know nothing. I probably hiked more routes than them. Case in point: on another hike, I was chatting to a veteran who hiked Skeleton Gorge close to 200 times, other international hikes but has never done a Buttress, Ledge or Traverse. I’ve done hikes, thanks to my hiking club, veteran hikers have never even heard of as they stick to what they know. I’ve hiked in all weather conditions with various terrains and done a few beginner hikes, I was the leader in my previous hiking club so I do know a little bit of what I’m doing. Ok rant over lolz
Anyway, going downhill, we hear screaming and I say: the youth found the Waterfall haha and they are really enjoying it. We catch up with them and they are under the water and after some photos, we didn’t even sit for breakfast but snacked here and there as they were way too hyped up to sit down lolz.
It’s time to make our way back to the cars with again me leading from behind and the teenagers again wait at every fork waiting on me for direction but at one point there was a call of nature and we were taking a bit too long, my cousin phone me and tell him that they did take the right turn when they didn’t wait this time but they were waiting further ahead. At the last fork, they waited again as they didn’t know which way and reached the cars checked out at 10:05. We really made good time J
Edit: Oh yes! one of the young ladies legs were shaking sooooo much that we had to laugh lolz
The teenagers’ boisterous ways and humour made for a very fun hike and they probably don’t know how far sound travel in the mountains and how much I heard hehe.
I will gladly take them on another hike and they requested Wally’s cave. For now though, I need a hard hike with my club. Besides Harkerville, I haven’t hiked with them since the Bos 400 Shipwreck and that was on the 06th December. Just yesterday, we are at a braai and was asked why am I shunning the club which I’m not of course as I did tell them I will only see them on the 10th Jan as I will be taking people on easier routes.
My daughter did not join us today as she went to Ratanga Junction and after waiting in the queue for about an hour and being told that The Park has power issues which will take the whole day to resolve apparently, they spent the day at Canal Walk instead.
Until my next hike, thank you for reading, ciao for now J
PS after the hike, they informed us that the taxi they arranged charged them a ridiculous price of R900 to drop them and pick them up again! Seriously high way robbery and taking advantage of a Youth Group man! grrrrr!!! Anyway guys, I know you will be reading this and I can arrange cheaper transport for you should you need it.