Yesterday was my son’s 20th Birthday so had to do a quickie hike. I woke up tired and emotional and wanted to cry when he lead me during morning prayers (which he does every day but yesterday he was no longer in his teens)
Anyway, driving through to Platties shortly after 5:30am, I see a group of guys walking in the dark along De Waal drive and think that they do not have good intentions at that time of the morning… There’s quite a few cars in the parking already and I check in with Mountain Safety & Tracking 6am/1 pax/Platties/eta 8am and that I will update them when I reach the top.
I’m barefoot with boots in my bag as I’m never coming down the mountain barefoot ever again. The air is warm and dry and grateful that I took 2 bottles of water instead of one as I originally planned and not long up the path, I have a huge fright as I thought I saw someone in the bush. I couldn’t see properly as it was still dark and I didn’t have my flashlight on nor was I about to check.
With my heart racing and my imagination working in over-drive, it is not a good start to my hike and hiking supposed to be food for my soul and silently rush up and with a sigh of relief, I see a couple ahead and pass them. I’m so very tired and have my first break on the contour path and drink half my bottle of water O_O
I don’t see anyone else in sight and wonder where everyone is but do pass another couple but not before answering why I’m barefoot sigh. As I am tired, I am cranky and not in the mood to answer the same questions and grateful I can now hike in solitude. I am also grateful that there aren’t much litter on the path 😀
I’m taking forever to get to the half way mark and this makes me even more crankier lol and after huffing and puffing, sore lower back, blowing of my nose, water breaks and almost feeling my heart thump against my ribcage, I actually thought of quitting right there and turning back. I then answered myself…’are you nuts!’ so onwards and upwards I trudge and had some guy coming down calls me a veteran for hiking barefoot and if I do it often. Meh…
The sun is coming out now and see smoke coming from behind Devil’s Peak and send a photo to the Tracking group who in turn reported the fire…another advantage of being in this group :P. I think those guys on De Waal drive could have been responsible for that fire grrrrrr!
Get more people coming down and I get a huge fright when 2 Tahrs moved from the bush right next to the path and take photos and videos of course. I then see a couple picking up litter and thank them. They replied ‘wish more people would do it’ I replied ‘ True dat’ but in my sarcastic cranky mind, I was thinking, it would be better if no-one litters sigh but nevertheless, less work for me 😛
I then hear loud talking and look down to see who is making that noise and think, there goes the tranquillity sigh. And they are closing the gap and not wanting them to pass me, I pick up my pace and eventually reach the top at 7:15am.
Take a 10 minute breather before heading down again but not before asking those same guys to take a photo of me and getting my barefoot in the pic and he took a couple of photos and told him to stop coz he is making me feel like I’m posing for the paparazzi lol. Had to explain to him the barefoot as well. They started 10 minutes after me and said I’m not allowed to pass them going down (being a girl lol)
I’m putting on my boots when a group comes up and after a struggle induced profanity lol they greet and I notify tracking that I’m heading down. I then almost run and think ‘OMG I love my boots!’ and now I’m enjoying my hike and think that I don’t have to pick up litter when I see a lollipop stick and think that I am not going to pick it up but then I bend down to get it anyway. I get a well done and I see you have boots on now from the couple I passed before the half-way mark going up lolz. I see the traffic of humans coming up and think that’s going to be a hellava lot more Good Mornings! The couple picking up litter is still at it and I pass them as they are really digging into the bushes but I think they skipped the bottle tops and cigarette butts as this is mainly what I’ve been picking up. One guy stops me and ask if I’m coming down already after being on top and I say yes, he then ask me if I’m the girl with the Mercedes we got down at the carpark and in shock I say yes (assuming he is going to say that the car was broken into) but he says well done and they only started 30min after me as they were waiting on their friend.
After many many many many good-mornings, I get the couple I passed right at the beginning of hike only at the half-way mark and give them a well done J Many hikers are shocked after they ask if I’ve been to the top and already coming down and my standard reply is that if you start at 6am, you can come down already. Some ask me how long to the top and have to look up and have to guestimate the time at their pace. I then hear the helicopter and see that it’s taking 2 helicopters to put out the fire L
Finally reach the bottom at 8:10am and there’s a guy selling water and have a giggle at a little girl having a conversation with this guy (it also warmed my heart that this girl is oblivious to the colour of his skin) After giving an American couple directions up Platties, I rush home to make soup, chocolate eclairs (which came a flop), Fresh cream cake, Oreo pudding and peppermint pudding. Gratefully, my sister-in-laws offered to make the salads and Rooster brood for the braai J
Until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you for reading J