Gawd I so needed today! My weekend slowly regressed from Friday morning with the news of my Uncle’s passing, especially the circumstances around it. I will refrain from going into detail out of consideration for my family, specifically my cousins so please keep them in your prayers that God grants them strength and acceptance that it is His will.
My irritation levels were so high by Saturday, that it was safer that I stayed away from people and because my son is ill, I had to be home early after whatever mountain adventure I chose to do. I wanted to do a trail run in the forest but I also wanted to summit a peak. The routes I could think of was too unsafe for a solo runner/hiker so eventually settled on Lion’s Head.
Funny story. In the week I chatted to a homeless guy and after a few Q&A, he is homeless because he killed someone and after I posted this on Facebook, friends commented that they would have walked away. In response, I said that I didn’t fear for my life having this long chat with him as I feel more fear on the mountains. And yet, I continue to do solo hikes. Some people’s drug of choice are anti-depressants etc but for us mountain lovers, nature is our drug 😀
Anyway, left home after morning prayers and got my club members at Kloof Nek car park around 7am (40 minutes before sunrise) and made my way over to Lion’s Head choosing the trail-running path instead of the road. What I did not expect was mist and as fast as my unstretched and cold leg muscles could carry me, I ran the path as it was still dark and feared something would come out the bush and harm me. Fear is good though, it makes me even more aware of my surroundings.
Oh yes! One of my Instagram followers started this thing called Leave the Couch Together. He’s a trail runner and blogger of www.leavethecouch.com so started http://leavethecouch.com/introducing-leave-the-couch-together/ for newbie trail runners. I wanted to join because ‘Safety in numbers’ but one of the requirements is that I should be able to run for 5km without stopping. Uhm. No. lol. Also, how am I to take photos if I can’t stop… 😀
Anyway, it’s past the trail-running path and make my way up Lion’s Head and there’s quite a few cars there but not a lot of hikers about. I only stop to take photos and to blow my nose. The views of the mist covering the city around the mountains are spectular and of course had to take photos of the sun rising \o/
As I don’t have a hydration pack, I can’t do longer trails but when I saw someone run with their bottle in their hand, I thought to myself that I could do the same! So there I was with water bottles in both hands, I was faced with a conundrum as no forethought was put in as to how I was going to go up the chains with these bottles. I can do the little climbing and going up the ladders with the bottles as I am use to doing certain scrambles with my phone in my hand. So what to do? I put the bottles down the front of my t-shirt as I was wearing a moon-bag so the bottles wouldn’t fall out ^_^
Passing the Tree and looking up, that’s when I saw the line of people still going up and some coming down. The reason for so many cars in the parking lot. I summit at 8am and finding a secluded spot was futile. Not even summer yet, and it’s like a mall during festive season up there sigh. Why I’ve been quite a few times on Lion’s Head but haven’t summit in a while. Too many people hehe.
Anyway, I did find a spot for myself and sat for 5 minutes before walking around and taking pics and then going down again. Oh yes, I did check in with Tracking and updated them when necessary (as a Solo hiker) It was slow going down with the amount of people still coming up so decided to take the longer/safer way down instead of waiting my turn down the chains. Also, I could run a bit. Funny story: I ran past a group and stopped dead in my tracks as I didn’t know where the descent was LOL! Tourists! Yes TOURISTS! Had to point out the way down! How embarrassing is that?! The last time I went down that way was when we did the Rescue training at night so didn’t see anything anyway.
I had to tread really carefully as the path was wet at certain places which made for really slippery rocks and the last thing I wanted was to even twist my ankle. I ran when I could, walked when I had to and I’m back in the thick mist again. I asked other hikers going up what they did with the sun.
I made a U-turn at the path going to Signal Hill and ran most of the way. Being extra extra careful with so many loose rocks. Some being slippery from the mist. I nearly slipped and fell a few times but yay me for excellent balancing skills lol.
At the cannon, I put my phone on timer and took a pic of myself hehe. I ran/walked the rest of the way to the start of Lion’s Head and then over to the trail running path and back to the car just before 9am.
On the way home, I’m basking in the glorious endorphin induced hike/trail run mood when on the M5, driving 100km/ hour, won’t this idiot driving a Kia Picanto, come over from the left lane that I had to swerve, hoot and brake at the same time! Not only was he nearly the cause of an accident, but idiot continued to drive 80km/hour, holding up the rest of us that the cars behind me all over-taked and gave him long looks. When I finally over-taked him, I gave him my middle finger! ASSHOLE!
Then I was seething again all the way home sigh. Lucky that mood didn’t last long and was back to basking in the glorious endorphin induced hike/trail run mood 😀
Except, now I have a cold *rolling my eyes*
Until my next mountain adventure, thank you for reading and ciao for now.
PS..Photo cred to David Nel in the rock-climbing group who sent the below this morning
PPS – I find that people who hike Platties a lot friendlier than people who hike Lion’s Head. The friendlies excluded of course.