Solo Trail Run – Kloof Corner to Silverstream

When I woke up 4:40am this morning, I actually didn’t feel like going to the mountain O_O  I was tired because…life.  Told myself: “Fatima, nothing a mug of Black Insomnia – the world’s strongest coffee, won’t fix’

Dropped my son off (he marshaled today’s ARD 10km race), came home, made morning prayers, sugared koesiesters and drank my coffee and I’m out the house at 6:30am to catch the sunrise at 7am.  Except you can’t see the sun rise from Kloof Corner car park haha.

Get out the car and its warm already and check in with Tracking at 7am, my route and ETA of 9am.  Up Kloof Corner I go and stop to take photos of flowers, run up the zig zag path and stop to take photos of sun that’s already risen and of course, Lion’s Head.  I am surprisingly alone on this route and as it’s not a mugging hot-spot (yet) I’m not concerned about my safety.  Also, I had my whistle around my neck.  Plus, the route is pretty exposed so don’t think it will become a hot-spot.

According to the time stamps on my phone, I went up the steep section in a minute haha.  I carefully run the narrow contour as there are lots of loose stones and protruding rocks so on high alert for these as I don’t want to twist my ankle, trip and fall down the mountain.  There’s also wet sections so walk for a while until my soles are dry.  Water and Sand = very slippery shoes.

I walk the more exposed sections with steps as one wrong move, I’m down that mountain and still no-ne in sight.  Not even passing trail runners.  Still not fearing my safety ^_^  but have to put my camera phone on time in order to take a selfie at the trickling waterfall but that was a fail hehe.

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I didn’t have to take breathers and drank water while walking and only stopped to take photos (of course) and answer the call of nature in the most sheltered spot I could find 😛  This time, I remembered my sunglasses as I’m facing the sun and bugs are flying about in the heat.  I also kept a lookout for snakes but some other rodent with a bushy tail ran across the path.  Initially thought it to be a Dassie but remembered Dassies do not have long bushy tails and Meerkats tails are long and thin.  After some Googling, it turns out that it could very well have been a Mongoose.

My intended route was until Platties and if I had enough time, I would go to Silverstream.  I get to Platties at 7:57am and as I spent a lot of time taking photos along the route, I went to Silverstream (passing hikers at Platties) and arrived at the Waterfall at 8:03.  Running is so much faster than hiking lol.

Lots more photos and attempted selfies on timer and only one runner ran past with her dog as I was posing lol.  Finally sat down to eat my koesiester and enjoy the quiet solitude and the views with only sounds of the birds and the streams.  Bliss!  Utter, utter bliss!  I didn’t want to move but alas, I had to return to reality.

More people on the mountain now and giving way to passing hikers and runners and their dogs.  More photos of flowers and was absolutely livid when I spotted a packet with a Styrofoam container.  I wasn’t going to pick it up (and run with a packet of trash and my water bottles in both hands) until I noticed the broken pieces and realized that one of the animal species on the mountain has eaten into it!  It hadn’t actually occurred to me before that our animals are eating your litter!  Styrofoam!  These are harmful to not only humans, our environment but also toxic to animals!

So I ran the rest of the way with this packet sigh and there’s no bins at Kloof Corner car park which means I have to take this dirt home with me sigh

I wanted to run down Kloof Corner but my knee promptly protested so walked the rest of the way but not before a dog came running up to me and I just knew that he was ‘aggressive’ and stood dead in my tracks as it barked at me.  The owners apologized and insisted that he was friendly and it was a friendly bark but I didn’t believe them.  I was thoroughly not impressed that I didn’t even respond or smile at their apology.

Anyway,  I get to the car park to this (below pic) and complained to the car guard to which he responded that I was the one who parked crappy and told him if he was actually there this morning, he would have known I was the only one there!

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Checked out of Tracking at 9am ^_^

Sigh…will not be doing any mountain adventures for the next 2 weeks because….Life sigh.

Until next time, thank you for reading and ciao for now.

 

 

Solo Trail Run – Kloof Corner to Silverstream

Doing it for the kids – An Outreach Hike

About a week ago, a friend asked if I or anyone I know will be able to take some underprivileged school kids on a hike and as it planned for a Saturday, I could not assist (my kids have karate) so asked in my hiking club chat and Shaheen volunteered.  Long story short, I could assist after all which worked out great as I could not hike today.  I spent my morning in a mall and felt quite claustrophobic sigh.

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The ones with their hands up, has never been on the mountain before and Miss Shaheen giving her brief ^_^

Anyway, we meet at Kloof Corner and Shaheen briefs the kids about mountain etiquette and opted to sweep and asked me to lead the 29 kids from 2 different primary schools and the rest of the adults were in the middle.  Only about a third of the kids have been on the mountain previously so felt pretty chuffed that we could do this for them 😀

 

Anyway we start around 8:30am but not before Shaheen checks us in with Mountain Safety and Tracking and make our way up Kloof Corner.  I did not know how to pace these kids so started out slow.  They were in hurry so upped our pace ^_^.   It only occurred to me then that I have no idea what knowledge I could share with them!  I can’t name the fauna or flora or the birds!  But I can tell them about Lion’s head and some history behind it.  I can tell them that Table Mountain (flat part) was formed under sea level hundreds of million years ago.

I am also annoyed by all the doggie poo piles but relieved to see no litter at all 😀  I can’t remember any anecdotes from the kids but they were quite amusing to listen to and I was surprised by their intelligence.  We took several water breaks and to keep the group together but the kids weren’t really struggling so challenged them up the steep stretch to the contour path and then they were huffing and puffing and moaning away but they loved it!  I tell them a bit about the routes up the 12 Apostles and point out where the Bos 400 is wrecked and they are loving the views!

 

We had a snack break on the contour path and took several photos of them with Lion’s head in the background but silly me didn’t take the posed photos with my own phone *rolling my eyes* I showed them other fancy pics and had to Bluetooth it to them 😀  After group photos, we now made our way to Platteklip and oh yes!  I taught them ‘Mountain Side’ where hikers/runners pass, we make way for them with our backs to the mountain and I could teach them about ‘Hiker’s Friends’ and lucky for me, another friend informed me why exactly (besides the constant annoyance of being pricked) is that their roots grow to about 5m and quite strong to hold on to J And I told them that King Proteas can bloom to a size bigger than my head.

I show them the route up Kloof Corner Ridge and tell them about the chains and climbs, I tell them about India Venster and the staples and point out the steep climb up Devil’s Peak.  I give them a chance to take photos and wave at the passing cable cars overhead and they are happy J  We see different species of lizards and the kids are enchanted!

I see a Cairn and explain to them what it means and the teacher suggest that they build their own in memory or Uncle Cecil who passed away and previously took some of them on hikes.  R.I.P Uncle Cecil.  Then!  One of the girls (she won 7 academic achievement awards last year) takes out a pizza!  O_O I had to call Shaheen to come and check!  She brings a pizza on every hike that they go on!  Who does that?!  I thought I was bad for bringing koesiesters on hikes but this kid outdo me with a pizza haha!

We then get to the section that is a waterfall in winter and was asked to take them on a Waterfalls hike 😀  I then cautiously climb down to get a bottle thrown in a bush and all along the way, they would pass their empty bottles and packets on to me that soon they would pick up any litter they see J

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Regroup

Passing hikers and trail runners were amused by the kids especially when they were shouting Mountain Side 😀  It was another break at Platteklip before heading down to Tafelberg road.   Lotsa tourists asking for directions up to the Gorge and I show the kids how high up it is and the zig zag path.

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break on Platties

Going down and them nearly falling on top of each other (not literally!) I tell them single file, no-one passes anyone as just one can fall and push everyone else in front of them down the mountain.  I also had to tell them not to jump down the path as it shocks the ankles, twist it and I’m not carrying anyone down lol.  (ok I would but I’m not encouraging these kids)

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going down Platties

We reach Tafelberg Road just before 11am I think and part ways but not before the kids ‘sing-song’ out their thanks to Miss Shaheen and Miss Fatima for taking them on the hike.  I burst out laughing, not because it was funny but because I haven’t heard it in years!

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End of the hike group photo

Their transport was only set to pick them up at 1pm and as Shaheen had another commitment with other kids at 1pm, we didn’t stay around and walked back to the car at Kloof Corner.

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Classic cars

We very much loved taking the kids up and we are now wanting to do Outreach Hikes on a regular basis.  In fact, we are hoping to take an orphanage on a hike next month 😀

Until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you for reading.

Doing it for the kids – An Outreach Hike