With a guilty conscience for not picking up the litter last Sunday on my Hike/Trail Run on Lion’s Head, I decided to return and asked Shaheen to join me. Meet at the Car Park at 7:30am to drive up and down looking for space to park! Sheesh, don’t people go to the malls or sleep in on holidays anymore???
Lion’s Head is probably the busiest mountain on this planet and with so many humans comes trash bags of litter unfortunately. I only saw yesterday that a hockey club actually did a Clean Up on Sunday (today being Tuesday and a public holiday) so assumed there was not going to be much litter but what the hey, I get a hike in as well J
Anyway, I check in with Tracking only at 07:45 with an ETA of 10am as we were distracted by the sun rising and had to take a gazillion photos off course.
It’s slow going, keeping an eye out amongst the bushes and immediately pick up sweet wrappers, bottle tops, lollipop sticks, straws, a trillion cigarette butts and tissues, napkins, toilet paper (with gloves! Shaheen was thoughtful enough to bring along as we don’t normally pick these up – you know, bodily fluids). We go down at the benches and pick up several plastic water and energy bottles, beer bottles (even an imported beer) and other wine bottles and chips and sweet packets. We take turns going down to get bottles that were thrown down from the path and we didn’t even reach the steps yet (still on the winding gravel path) when our bags were already filled and with the conundrum of carrying these full bags up the mountain.
As several people were thanking us for doing this, Shaheen suggested we ask someone to take the bags down for us. One man was so jubilant in his gratitude, that he bellowed kisses and bear hugs for us 😀 Fortunately! 2 other ladies were doing the same and we asked them. Not only that, they taught us a trick of removing the plastic bottle tops and crushing the bottles! Viola! More space in the bags \o/ They also got the idea from Shaheen to use gloves to pick up (gross) litter AND they had this nifty stick (trash grabbers) to pick up hard to reach places 😀
At one spot, there were so many bottles down below, that both of us had to go down it. What we noticed is when we see one bottle, there has to be at least one other hidden close by. Seriously, each time we think there’s only one bottle, there is at least another one in the bush.
We were so focused on the dirt that we forgot the beauty surrounding us that we took some moments to appreciate. So many flowers blooming! Whites and yellows and orange and pinks. Spring is a coming! And let’s not forget the views! The city, the ocean, the harbor, the sun and in the distance, mist still covering the suburbs in the North.
The jubilant guy is coming down with bottles he picked up and thanked us for the inspiration to do the same! \o/ 😀 We are thoroughly chuffed!
There are queues going up and down the ladders and chains and have to wait our turn. SIGH! But I do thank everyone for the patience as I remember once an argument broke out when people became impatient lol
Shaheen goes down one spot and calls out that there is a discarded panty in the bush lol. I said take a photo of it 😀
We eventually on reach the peak at 10:10 and update tracking and to extend our ETA to 11:30 and gratefully sit down to quench our thirst and eat koesiesters. We have our compulsory photos on The Rock and look down to see trash lying about. Go down to get it and walk around picking up so many cigarette butts that I told Shaheen I’m not picking it up any longer – there’s too many!
It’s a bit of struggle going down with full heavy bags and as its peak hour human traffic, we opted to go down the longer route to even more traffic! I find a black bag which had a hole but Shaheen made a knot and put her heavy breaking bag innit.
One guy gives a thunderous applause for our good work and another guy asked us if it was a group event and said no, we only decided to do this yesterday as individuals. He has to look on the hiking groups on Facebook for Mountain Clean ups.
We were wrong thinking that there wouldn’t be any litter on our way down considering that we picked it all up on our way up but alas. Said to Shaheen ‘didn’t we just clean there this morning?’
Finally down at 12pm and get Sanpark Rangers Aslam and Fierdous with their crew about to patrol the mountain for wayward hikers J
Photos cannot capture just how much trash we picked up and in these pics below, imagine the pile of bottles it would have been if we didn’t crush them. And this is besides the 2 packets we emptied to give to those women to take down for us.
Tis sad that there has to be events for Mountain and Beach Clean Ups but alas, if we don’t have this, who will? Not those who litter off course because they probably don’t even pick up after themselves at home – their mummies do that for them. There were bottles we didn’t pick up at precarious places which weren’t worth risking our lives for.
I am not hiking on Sunday due to family commitments so until my next mountain adventure, thank you for reading and ciao for now J