It’s not often that I can hike both Saturday and Sunday so when I am able to, it has to be easy hikes as I have stuff to do weekends. So when we agreed to make the Outreach hike on the 23rd July, I told the Easy hike group that our next hike will be on the 24th and route to be decided closer to the time.
Momeena requested Cecelia Waterfall and I agreed weather permitting as it’s quite cold with no shelter should it rain. I told Sanparks Volunteer Ranger Saaed the route suggestion and he said we should do it and as I needed his assistance as people confirmed attendance early on already, I had no choice but to go ahead despite weather conditions haha.
After the Saturday rains, the sun decided to make an appearance and it was cold! Sanparks Volunteer Ranger Saeed picked me up and we had an issue with Robots that were not turning Green for us despite being there for a while that I got out the car to press the Pedestrian buttons. Even that didn’t work that eventually he drove through the red robots and we had other hikers following us. Should you receive traffic fines, I am prepared to write an affidavit confirming this is what happened Sunday morning around 7:15am.
Anyway, we get to a Cecelia Forest carpark and it’s almost full! Llewellyn, my Rock-Climbing Sensei decided to join us today, friend from high school (I matriculated 20+ years ago so you can only imagine how chuffed I was that she joined us – well she and her friend joined us on our Sunset Wally’s Cave hike during the summer holidays hehe), few of Nazeema’s friends, few of Saeed’s friends in addition to some of the usual suspects we were a big group. After group photos, 21 pax, Cecelia Waterfall with an ETA of 12pm was checked into Tracking and we merrily made our way up and when I noticed that Saeed was sweeping, I had to run ahead to lead haha.
We regroup at each fork and the group is doing well pace wise. As it’s quite cold, we don’t stand still for very long as I left my jacket in the car and I’m not a fan of overdressing just to remove extra clothing when my body heats up whilst hiking. The contour path is rather muddy under the foresty areas and take longer breaks at the river and after a particularly steeper hike up J Also to give the group a chance to take photos and selfies of course hehe
With me leading at a comfortable pace, I got to take photos without holding up the group hehe and my spirits are high as I’m activating my endorphins after last week’s fail of a rock-climb and I’m 2 days in a row on the mountain ^_^
I help the group across each stream as the newbies are all wearing takkies and it will not be pleasant should one of them fall into the water. We surprisingly arrived at the Waterfall just over an hour later and quite chuffed that they are doing so well. I then decided that instead of making our way back the same way (crossing the streams again), we can go back via Rooikat for a change of scenery and to be I wanted to be in the sun. We normally have breakfast at the waterfall but after several pics, the group got wet and were now cold. I also decided to stand directly under the waterfall so now soaked. We were to have breakfast in the sun. Someone wanted to have breakfast at the Round Table and ok (not knowing where this is but assumed it’s in the sun) I’m leading again and wanting to get dry, I pick up my pace so that I could stand in the sun as long as possible. By the time the group caught up with me, I was still dripping.
The group went ahead and its then that Saeed told me that the Round Table is actually the Carousal. I’m like what?! Madness! The Carousal is 3-4 hours away. I phoned Momeena and told her this and that idea was immediately canned. We are to have breakfast in the sun somewhere that had enough space for all of us. The particular spot I had in mind was already occupied by a man and his dog and I know some in the group are afraid of dogs so had to find another spot. Next spot had too many thorn bushes but next spot was big enough accommodate all of us but unfortunately not in one big group so sat at various places.
Now that I’m sitting still, I’m cold and as the sun isn’t very warm, my quick drying clothes taking long to dry. I scratch in my bag for my jacket (which I always keep in my bag) and it’s not there! I cannot think why I would have taken it out unless I made space for something else and forgot to put it back in. Nasheta kindly offered me her jacket and Llewellyn kindly offered his jersey but I chose the jacket and as I am use to awkwardly removing under clothes without taking my top off, I could put on her jacket first and then remove wet top. Without having to go behind a bush hehe.
As it was still early, we could sit there for a bit but then had to go find a bush to answer nature’s call and as I was up already, I gave them a 5 minute warning J Down the path we go and ran up the last hill and still regroup when necessary.
Back on the Contour path a funny story was told when some were posing for what they thought were a selfie but the photographer was actually taking a photo of the view haha! You know who you posers are haha!
We pass a useless Cairn that people were adding to and someone wanted me to explain the significance of Cairns but said that that one serves no purpose. It’s on a clear pathway nor are there any forks as a trail marker so Sanparks Volunteer Ranger kicked it down. I’m not sure why he did that and I haven’t asked him.
Still regroup at various forks and took a photo of someone’s set of keys that were lost at the 400+ year old tree and Anesh (that I met on last week’s climb) was hiking as well ^_^ The group is now slowing down their pace and some are even strolling. They clearly do not want the hike to be over so taking as their own sweet time lol. Understandably. Everyone was smiling and chatting and laughing the entire way.
At the Car Park, I high-fived them all and checked out of Tracking at 11: 10 – way earlier than our ETA ^_^
It’s not often that I thoroughly enjoy easy hikes but I too am looking forward to the next one which will be Newlands forest to the Carousal (Round table) or from Rhodes Memorial to the Carousal. I love the views from Rhodes direction and it’s mostly in the sun. Date to be confirmed later 😀
Thanks to each one of you for making such an easy hike one of the most enjoyable experiences on the mountain J
Due to time constraints, I’m hoping to do a trail run next week even though my heart is aching to do a solo Platties 😛
Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now and thank you for reading (this long blog today hehe)