And this time, Hiker Paradise Adventure Club completed the route without incident! Yay to us!!!
If you didn’t know, last year this happened https://myhikingmylife.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/blinkwater-ravine-turned-rescue-mission/
We were meant to redo this hike as soon as Rashaad’s shoulder was healed but everything at its own time and today was the day. I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive especially since there was a 10% chance of rain today eek! Thoughts of anxiety attacks was running through my mind and even packed anti-anxiety meds in my bag 😛
So anyway, 13 of us (10 of us were involved in the rescue last year) met at Kloof Nek Car Park at 7am and made our way along the Pipe Track and I am with the leaders 😛 My latest fitness activities making me stronger and for once, I actually had muesli for breakfast instead of my usual koesiesters. Shortly into the walk, we were joined by newbie, Karl who is a rock-climber 😛 Oh yes, a few had to take detours as there were lots of traffic because of the Spar Ladies run.
Of course I had to take lots of photos so weren’t ahead all the way to the start of Blinkwater. After group photos, we make our way up the overgrown path with lots of smacks to the face from branches and getting snagged as well and basically had to hike up, bending over. It is also extremely humid up this path so sweating buckets! I reminisce at each significant spot of the last time we did the route and I think we are all doing the same as we weren’t our normal boisterous selves.
I notice that the route has cairns now so people are doing this route more often than previous years and we take our first snack break just before 8:30am (I know this as Nadeema’s alarm went off haha)
We carry on and take photos as the usual spots and Anwar asks us to guess what. Shaheen asked him if he is getting married to which he replied, I can’t answer that. Thinking he is going to let it go, he says again, guess what? It had to be something that we could guess correctly and realize, that as before, it was again the Four of us together haha! Coincidence much 😛
We pass the spot where Nazeela and Nazeem were airlifted and then the spot where Rashaad was airlifted. I see the tree and say, we are close to the scene…
Some of us (the faster hikers) get there and we stand there in awe as we hadn’t realized the rock was that big! Also the space was so narrow and couldn’t fathom how all us of squeezed into that tight spot to get Rashaad and Nazeela out! How did that rope not break by the weight?! We have discussions where we were all standing when it happened and I cannot fathom how I managed to jump back down so swiftly to avoid the impact! O_O As the others make their way up, I see the rest of the group making their way up so wait on them.
Rashaad wanted to retrieve what was left of his rope but it’s no longer there L Someone took it L After several photos and more discussions and Shaheen pointing out where the rock fell from, I realized why I had the time to jump back down to safety as I was standing right next to Nazeela and if I didn’t get out of the way, it would’ve gotten me.
I am quite fearful making my way up the path of destruction! I am so scared of every rock I hold onto for support! My heart is racing and my limbs are shaking and I have butterflies in my tummy! Gawd! That was not pleasant at all! Shaheen, Rashaad and Myo now get to complete this hike for the first time 😀 Yay for them! The rest of us, besides the newbies, have done this hike a few times already J
Now that that the nerve-wracking section is behind us, we are more boisterous and we could hear the rest of the gang up in the overhang/breakfast rock haha! Up a short scramble and we are elated! We feast and drank and made merry! The faster hikers departs shortly after as they waited a while for us and we stayed much longer enjoying the views and each other’s company 😀 I love these people J
We get up as other hikers were making their way up and as our muscles has completely cooled down, it was so hard going up! Our thighs were protesting and we struggled lol. Anwar decided that we are going to go down India Venster so onwards we trudged. OMG that was hard!
Rashaad and myself wait on the rest of the group at the India Venster fork and we wait, and we wait some more! Where are they taking so long? Maybe they went ahead and we go check. Nope, they are no-where in sight! We wait some more. And we wait. Until I said I’m going to go back and check and eventually see them coming! They were distracted by a huge Protea at a cave that we passed but I wasn’t interested to go look as there were thorn bushes and I was tired of being pricked haha!
Off we go and were soon far ahead again as Shaheen has I forgot what problem with her knee so has to take it slow but we do wait at certain points. Down the scramble and wait for them again above Kloof Corner Ridge (below the cable car – I don’t know what this spot is called lol) After many, many, many photos, we go down and pass a pregnant woman and her partner going up O_O She is strong woman!
As it is now very hot, we don’t wait on the others but they do catch up with us as a man resting was blocking the path and I didn’t want to be rude and ask him if he could let us pass. We distracted his struggle with chatter haha. He had 4 drinks the night before haha! Down the staples and chains and Rashaad and I are again far ahead, without realizing, until we looked back and saw how far behind they were! It was too hot to wait on them as there were no shade and we pass a guy Earthing 😛
We didn’t even wait at the usual spot as we just wanted to get down with the promise of paying tourist prices for an ice-cold fizzy drink at the Lower Cable Car Station haha! Also to use the ablution facilities! And we wait, and we wait some more until eventually the rest arrives and have their blissful fill of ice-cold tourist prices fizzy drink. We are not done yet, our cars are parked at Kloof Corner car park so off we go with tired legs sigh.
I think we were done at around 14:30 only and didn’t check the time.
Its 20:30 and I am still on a natural high for completing today’s hike haha! Have stuff to do before I upload pics and publish this blog.
Ciao for now and thank you for reading! 😀