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.

 

 

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Solo Trail Run – Kloof Corner to Silverstream

Trail Run – Constantia Nek to Skeleton Gorge

These annoying minor injuries come back to haunt you every so often and on Thursday my left knee niggle came back to taunt me.  I don’t even know how I originally injured my knee or shoulders but one day I need to have it checked out.  I’m just afraid that the physio will tell me that I can’t do any activities for a while and that will suck my soul from me.

I couldn’t do the intended B+ graded hike today which sucked as I haven’t done a hard hike in over a month! (The last time I did a B+ graded hike with a sore knee, I ended using crutches for a few days).

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Sooooo, what am I do to.  I can’t sleep in on a Sunday as I need to connect with nature and recharge my soul hehe.  I was in no mood for an easy hike as I did one last week so the next better option is trail running ^_^  Was in no mood for Lion’s Head circular contour as that mountain is just too busy, plus I did that trail twice already.

I know!  Constantia Nek contour to Skeleton Gorge and back! Nice and long and relatively flat!  So after extra prayers for my safety (as Constantia Nek is a mugging hotspot but not as much as Rhodes, Newlands forest or the Pipe Track I think) I checked in with Tracking at 7:25am with an ETA of 10am.  I didn’t want to start too early (sunrise) when hardly anyone is about as I loathe feeling unsafe. Also, I had my whistle around my neck just in case.  Who I was going to whistle for, I don’t know.  If I was thrown off the path somewhere, I could whistle for help can’t I?

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Anyway, I walk up the path from the car park and intended to start running from the start of the trail but there were dogs about so carried on walking until I thought it safe from dogs.  I run a little walk a little and I didn’t even reach the gate yet when my knee started to bother me.  I contemplated turning back but I didn’t drive this far to turn back.  I contemplated walking the route but I didn’t come for just a walk.  Sigh.  I carried on and hoped for the best. (Rolling my eyes at my own stubbornness)

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I run a little and walk a little and stop to take photos of the stunning views, drink water and blow my nose.  I also slow down when there are dogs about but I start to observe their behavior around their owners and passing trail runners.  I noticed that these dogs are not interested in runners.  Not even to sniff them.  I’m not afraid of dogs per se, I’m afraid of dogs biting me lol.  So I continue to run (when I’m not walking) and when walking the route, those minuscule gradual inclines is nothing but running them is another thing! Seriously!  It’s surprisingly hard and can only run a few metres when I have to walk them all and there’s surprisingly many along the route hehe.

I didn’t intend to take so many photos but I did.  44 on a trail run is quite a lot I think J  I stopped about 40 times to take photos lol.   This is besides the blowing-my-nose and water breaks.

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I’m surprisingly above the reservoir in Kirstenbosch Gardens around 8am and pretty chuffed with my time considering.  Nursery Ravine by 8:10 and I’m like whoa!  I’m not as unfit as I assumed hehe.  I reach Skeleton Gorge 5 minutes later and there’s another guy having a break there as well.  I asked him to take a photo of me and ignored his not too chuffed expression on his face \o/ I’m all smiles and thankful to him and didn’t get one smile in return from him 😀

I update Tracking that I’m at the Gorge and will leave at 8:30am.  I sit down and eat my koesiester and enjoy the solitude and quiet surrounding me. The only sound is the water flowing down the streams.  Ahhhh utter bliss!

After some photos, I reluctantly leave and the trail is getting slightly busier.  I didn’t intend to take more photos but I got distracted by some flowers and again the views from the other way haha!

I still run walk as I’m not fit enough to just run yet and have to walk every decline with steps which is the case from Skeleton Gorge to just passed Kirstenbosch.  I would have loved to run those steps but I didn’t want to land awkwardly on my knee.  By the time I got to the 400 year old tree, I was feeling the impact so concentrated on putting most of the pressure on my right knee.  Again the long gradual miniscule inclines are a killer!

With even more people about with even more dogs, I wasn’t the slightest bit worried so didn’t need to walk past them when I was running.  Until.  One big overly friendly dog jumped me!  I saw it coming though so could brace myself for the impact.  If I hadn’t, he would have gotten me to the ground lol.  His owner reprimanded him and apologised profusely just for overly friendly dog to jump me again!  I wasn’t the least bit annoyed J I have never seen so many breeds of dogs!  My favourites are the Huskies and German Sheppards.

At almost the last turn at Constantia Nek, strong cold winds suddenly started to blow.  Where did that come from?!

As I’m running the last bit, at the start of the route, I see this woman gesturing for her dog to stay, she walks on for a bit and then gives her dog permission to follow her J  she saw me smiling at that and smiled back and told her that was so cute!

Back at the car park and the path right next to Orangekloof, I see a pile of rubbish L  I didn’t have gloves or a packet or I would’ve picked it up.  I don’t pick up litter when I’m trail running L

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I check out of tracking at 9:14 and really chuffed with my time.  I actually estimated 2 hours but added extra 30 minutes for the just in case and I actually had no idea how long the trail would take me as I’ve only done the route with beginner hikers with several stops to regroup.

Due to time constraints over the next few weeks with Eid coming up and me moving into the separate entrance of our house, I won’t have the time to do hard hikes which will hopefully give the chance for my knee to heal again SIGH.

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I may do another trail run next week as my goal is to run the top of Table Mountain.  I’m thinking up Constantia Nek to Cable Station and back 😀  I need to buy me a Hydration Pack as running with 2 bottles of water is definitely not enough and not ideal but we make do with what we have for the moment J

Also need to get me trail running shoes AND rock-climbing shoes so I can do more of that.  Where will I find the time (and money) to enjoy all my mountain hobbies?  I don’t know SIGH

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

PS.  Since around lunch time, I’ve been limping with a knee guard haha…..SIGH

 

 

 

Trail Run – Constantia Nek to Skeleton Gorge

Newlands Forest Carousel

On our last easy hike, we agreed that our next hike will be to the Carousel/Round Table but date and route to be decided later.  Cecelia Waterfall Down Rooikat

Starting route would be weather dependent.  From Rhodes Memorial, we will see city views and from Newlands Forest, we will be sheltered from the elements.  With today’s weather prediction of heavy downpours, definitely Newlands and with some concerned about the rain, I kept my eyes on 3 different weather sites lol.  Rain is only to come around 10-11am and we will mostly be in the forest so shouldn’t be too bad.

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Lilly

My sister in law also decided to join us today with my nephews but they were in no mood for a hike and the last time she joined me on a hike was in 2009!  Tarturas Cave really put her off lol and had to reassure her that today’s hike will be easy.  I only take this group on easy hikes.

In the week, I saw on Facebook that Hikers Network and Leave The Couch Together trail runners were doing the same route which meant the route is going to be full!  I asked the group if we should change the route but they said no.  We get to the car park and it’s full!  Had to go park in the other parking bay (for the first time!)

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I check 11 pax, Newlands Carousel ETA 12pm in the Whatsapp Tracking group but I expected us to be done by 11am.  I lead, Momeena swept and we merrily make our way up chatting up a storm.  Oh yes!  There was only 1 young male with us today.  Girls Rock!

As we were mostly newbie hikers, I take a little detour to the bridge for them to take photos and a photo shoot ensued.  The younger ones took photos/selfies every few metres lol.  They didn’t come for the hike but for photo opportunities 😀  As they were enjoying themselves, I leave them be but it did slow down our pace tremendously 🙂 I would not be surprised if they took 1000 photos combined ^_^

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I of course also take several photos but there’s not many flower species in Newlands Forest so took several pics of mushrooms.  After all this time, I still don’t know if its edible or not *rolling my eyes*  I do know that people do come to this forest to pick mushrooms but don’t know which ones haha

In fact, everyone was smiling, laughing and loving the hike, the scenery and each other’s company and I felt warm and fuzzy that I could do that for them and again remembered how far I’ve come as a hiker….in case you missed my Introductory Blog Introductory Blog Post – Hello World (which I only wrote on Saturday lolz)

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We eventually get to the Carousel which was occupied by some veteran hikers frying eggs lol.  In jest they said that they booked the 9:30am slot and I asked them if they take orders so the one woman said that the guy does take orders (for fried eggs) but not very good at it haha

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We chilled there for a while, chatting, laughing and eating and then Hikers Network arrived and made space for them (not all of them as they are a huge group).  I asked the one lady who is Pamela and this lady happens to be Shamima who hiked Jonkershoek with us.  I eventually introduced myself to Pamela (she’s a Facebook friend hehe)

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When it felt like drizzle, told the guys to pack up before it starts to pour and go down the Littlewort path (or one of them as I know all the paths meet up somewhere).  They were very appreciative when I told them it’s a shortcut ^_^

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Momeena says that it’s the first time she goes down the route and she’s loving it.  I looked at her expression and only saw contentment.  Oh the warm and fuzzies!  Everyone is still in high spirits.

I decided to take a fork I haven’t done before, all because it was there lol (and all paths meet up somewhere and I knew I wouldn’t get lost)

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When we got to the stream, the only guy in the group explored a bit and I decided to check it out as well and wanting to take a photo of the area, not looking where I was stepping, I slipped and as I am falling down onto my buttocks, in slow motion, I see my phone fly in the air and land in water!  I have a Sony Xperia M4 Aqua which was water resistant and could take photos underwater before I dropped it and the screen cracked.  I haven’t checked to see if it was still water resistant x_x  My phone was too slippery to check if the functions were working x_x

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I got to the group and told them what happened and the one asked if my phone is still wet.  (To save them the embarrassment, I shall refrain from mentioning names lol) but then another turned to me and dripping with molasses thick sarcasm, she replies ‘No, her phone fell in water and it’s drrryyyyyyyyyy’  We all burst out laughing at that tone!  (sorry, I had to retell it lol)

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Close to the end of the hike, it only then started to rain and to tell them to pick up the pace as we are all going to get wet.  Some went to the loo and I threw out all the litter I picked up along the path to take a photo as taking just a photo of the filled packet wouldn’t do the pic justice.  So much litter in Newlands forest which use to be a pristine route!!!! I even took a small packet thinking that I would not have picked up that much litter! GGGGGRRRRRR!!!!!!!

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Anyway we are done around 11:30am and then only did the rain seriously come down.  A few of us still stood around and chatted and in no hurry to leave until I started to get wet as I gave my rain-jacket to my sister in law.   I didn’t want to take out my poncho just to run to the car hehe.

Newbie hiker (Nasheta’s friend) regaled the tale of how she kitted herself out for the hike and cannot wait for the next one ^_^

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Checking out their stunning photos on Facebook and see again all the smiles in the photos (not posed ones) how much they enjoyed the hike and their thanks as they tagged me.

I want to thank each one of you for making the hike what it was.  It gave me so much pleasure to see the pleasure in your faces and chatter.  I only organise and lead the hikes but you guys make the hike 😀  Special thanks to Momeena for doing such a great job sweeping – the warm and fuzzies in full effect!

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Sisters in law O_O

Until my next mountain adventure, thank you for reading and ciao for now 😀

Newlands Forest Carousel

A Woman’s Day Lions Head Sunrise and Mountain Clean Up

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???

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October 2015

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

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No caption required

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 😀

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Bad light picture quality sorry

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

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Wait your turn guys

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!

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Yay us!

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.

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So many people O_O

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?’

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Enjoying the view

Finally down at 12pm and get Sanpark Rangers Aslam and Fierdous with their crew about to patrol the mountain for wayward hikers J

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Shaheen went down

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

 

 

A Woman’s Day Lions Head Sunrise and Mountain Clean Up

Solo Platteklip Gorge recovering from a Cold/Flu

After last week’s hike/trail run, I caught a cold with flu symptoms but I don’t think it was from Lion’s Head but from my cousins the Friday before as half of them are sick.  I wasn’t planning on doing a Solo hike but my lift to our club hike overslept (again) so had to make alternate plans with Platties being my goto hike.

Long story short, I only get to car park at 7:20 and get an old hiking buddy.  We chat for a bit and off I go to answer the call of nature and check in with Tracking at 7:25 with an ETA of 9:30.  It’s been a while that I start hiking Platties when it’s already light and the sky views of the sun rising was simply spectacular!   And so was the weather J  but still no Earthing today as I don’t want to catch Pneumonia or Bronchotis so keep my boots on \o/ (this time)

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Fareed and I are having a fat chat and I initially hike at his pace but eventually go ahead and only stop to take photos and blow my nose.  I’m going at an easy breathable pace as I don’t want to cough my lungs out nor give my heart that extra strain.  Excessive exercise while sick can give you a heart-attack.  Even my cousins warned me about hiking with the flu but I have hiked while sick before and felt way better afterward.  I know not to exert myself and besides, I’m pretty sure that breathing in the scent of fynbos has medicinal properties (don’t quote me on this!)

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New path to the thick bush

With the cable car closed for their annual maintenance, there are not that many hikers which means not that much litter.  I considered picking up the litter going up but that means carrying it up and down again so left it so long.  Shortly after the halfway mark (I assume it’s halfway)  I see another old hiking buddy sitting on the path \o/  I stop and chat with him for a bit while Fareed is catching up but I shortly leave both of them.

Now 2 other ladies and myself are ‘playing tag’ as we pass each other whenever we take breathers and I notice that the path higher up is quite eroded (or Sanparks is doing some maintenance) and also notice that people are making new paths towards bushes and a netted ‘sack’ of rocks which is going to fall should there be a significant downpour.  (Saeed, I forgot to notify you of this so please do your thing ^_^ )

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These rocks are going to fall soon’ish

I see a familiar couple who was also picking up litter on the route once but they were not picking up litter today.  Also saw the guy who always does Platties barefoot and before I thought him nuts but now I smile when I see people Earthing 🙂

The sun only made its appearance about ¾ of the way up and now I’m breathing heavily and mentally thank Shamiel for the extra tissues as I’ve used all mine up by now.  Hikers who passed me on the way up is already coming down and this still slightly annoys me (faster, stronger, fitter hikers lol) Well, they are more trail runners than hikers but still)

Finally peaked Platties at 8:40am and another lady and myself take photos of each other as she’s waiting on her buddy.  I’m hiking on my own so not waiting on anyone really but I do actually wait for Fareed and Shamiel to give them koesiesters.

Fareed is up first and gave the koesiesters to him with coffee.  Shamiel comes up shortly after and walks around like someone who lost his lungs somewhere hehe.  Fareed ate both the koesiesters so nothing for him unfortunately.  The other ladies wanted to go down the cable car as one of them is also sick but informed them that the cable car is closed for annual maintenance and there was a notice on the board at the start of the hike.

We ask another hiking acquaintance to take a group photo of us before I make my way down again at 8:55.  (Later than expected and knew I won’t make 9:30am ETA when I felt the kink in my knee again with the first step down!)

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Old hiking buddies!

Anyway, down I go down slow and pick up the little litter that there is but it does slow me down even more.  Another hiker asked me if I clean up Platties every Sunday and said only when I’m doing Platties.   I do still pick up litter but haven’t mentioned it as the routes I’ve done of late has been pristine (except Lion’s Head which looks like a rubbish dump in some areas but as I was trail-running that day, I wasn’t about to run with plastic bags and litter)  Maybe I do a Lion’s Head clean up tomorrow seeing as it’s a public holiday and sure to be even more litter as I read that there were so many people on Lion’s Head yesterday that one hiker said that he only went as far as Wally’s Cave.

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There are still many people coming up which slows me down even further as some do not give you way so have to wait on them to pass.  There was a large male group singing in baritones but that made me smile that they are so happy and boisterous cheering their slower hikers along.  Another hiker asked if I hiked from Constantia Nek to do be almost done so I said no, I’ve been up and coming down already because I started at 7:30am.  Similar Q&A to other hikers only just starting.

I’m nearly down when I picked up a broken glass bottle and picked up each shard.  The sun would just have to get that shard in the right light and start a mountain fire and then we blame it on arsonists.  Well litterbugs can be considered arsonists.

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Not even half the bag – I’ve filled 2 bags on this route already

Anyway, I check out of Tracking at 09:51 and there’s still groups only about to start – tourists haha

The Cable Car is back open today J

Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now

PS – I do not endorse solo hikes especially after there was several mountain related crimes reported yesterday.  My solo hikes are at my own risk which I am well aware of despite having myself tracked via our Whatsapp Tracking group.

 

 

Solo Platteklip Gorge recovering from a Cold/Flu

Orangekloof Hiking Trail

I last did this hike in June 2013 with Tim Lundy and actually wrote a review about this route https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/ShowUserReviews-g2427457-d3803208-r162804879-Cape_Town_Hiking_with_Tim_Lundy_Tours-Kenilworth_Western_Cape.html It was through hail and thunderstorms so wanted to return on not a rainy day.

I can’t remember who suggested this hike in our Easy Hike chat group but we had to book this permit 2 months in advance!  The permit is free and only allows for 12 people (including your guide which is a must) and only 1 permit is allowed per day.  That’s how restricted this area is and why you have to wait so long for a permit.

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Group photo (obvi)

Anyway, after group photos, I checked 12 of us in Tracking with an ETA of 13:30 and merrily made our way along the jeep track with Saeed (our Sanparks Volunteer Ranger as our guide) leading us and Aslam and Johty (spellcheck) sweeping (both of them doing the Ranger course).

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Protea

I of course at the back most times busy taking photos lolz.  We regrouped several times and of course had to take photos at the waterfalls and oh yes!  One of my Instagram followers and blog readers and her husband joined us today ^_^

We then took the fork up to Disa Gorge which is a new route for me as we did the circular route back in the day and I am in awe with the views.  We stop for breakfast at the first communication pole (just above the path down to Woodhead Tunnel) and we feast on various delicacies.  As we were busy getting ready to go down to the Tunnel, a hiker (who shall not be named) came along and we are all surprised to see this hiker as I am in possession of the permit and we are 12 hikers so said hiker is in the area illegally.  Said hiker chose the wrong day to do Orangekloof as we had 3 Sanparks Rangers with us so said hiker will be getting a fine as Sanparks Ranger gave said hiker the option to turn back but said hiker chose to go ahead instead x_x

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Breakfast

Anyway, we make our way down to the Tunnel but not before crossing a bridge which became wobbly after some weight and Saeed decides to shake it as well!  Most of the planks has fallen away with rot so carefully and slowly crossed over.  Kareemah’s husband has a phobia for heights so told him he doesn’t have to cross but go under it haha

We get to the Tunnel and I am in awe!  I cannot describe how beautiful the area is with Gorge and all!  Volunteer Ranger Saeed gave some history about the area but I wasn’t paying much attention as I was too mesmerized by the views of course.  What I did hear was that the Tunnel itself leading to the Pipe Track is as long as Lion’s Head is high (from Sea Level) and the Tunnel is closed due to some rock falls.

We make our way back up the same path and make our way up to Woodhead Dam but not before taking several more photos at the bottom of the Dam!  Sanparks Volunteer Ranger Saeed wanted to go the ‘Surfboard’ on top of Kasteel’s Poort which I was totally up for as it was a clear sunny day which would make for the perfect photos but we took too long at the bottom of the Dam so had to can that idea.  I sorry Saeed L

But anyway, we get to the top of the Dam which happens to be 119 years old today!

After several more photos, we make our way along the boring Jeep Track (sigh) and I rush along until I got distracted by a Mountain Roach! I took some photos and wanted to poke it with a lollipop stick I had but I was too scared!  I had it like a mm away but couldn’t poke it lolz until Achmat (Muneerah’s husband) picked it up and had the thing crawling on his hand!  This freaked the bejesus out of me!  I screamed and ran away but came back as I wanted a photo of the thing crawling on him but couldn’t get myself to get close enough lolz.  I made quite the scene but fortunately Sanparks Volunteer Ranger in the making, Aslam, took the photos for me lolz.

We had another break at the water fountain and as this is the boring Constantia Nek trail, I wanted to get down as fast as possible so rush down until I get distracted again by a mole.  As I wanted to take a photo of the mole, a bakkie comes along and the mole ended up as splattered and gore road kill :/  no photos.

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Refreshment Break

Down I go (leaving the others behind yet again) and see a Savanna bottle down a path and contemplated whether or not I should go down and get it as its quite steep but climbed down anyway as who is going to pick it up?  This was the second time on the hike that I had to climb down from the path to get the bottle but this time I had no-one around to help me but I did make it up safely again hehe.

I get to the bottom of Constantia Nek at 13:00 and wait for the others to come down and watched 2 dogs get into a fight and the owners trying to control them.  The 1 dog got a hiding!

Anyway, I check out from Tracking at 13:25 and how’s that for timing!  Saeed said 6 hours and we did it in 6 hours haha!  We had a first time hiker with us as well and he did amazingly well!

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Litter from Orangekloof grrrr

Before parting ways and thanking each other, I take a photo of the litter I collected.  Now the thing is, I didn’t bring a packet with for litter as I didn’t expect there to be litter in the most restricted and serene trail in Cape Town!  Sanparks Volunteer Ranger in the Making, Johty was kind enough to keep the litter in her bag 😀

Sanparks Ranger Aslam Levy (not in the making but for real) course leader will be proud of his new students.  They were knowledgeable and took their job seriously.  Saeed did test them here and there and could answer all of his questions.  Their assistance was greatly appreciated thank you!

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Refreshment Break

Orangekloof is a phenomenal route!  Hope I don’t wait another 3 years to do this hike again!  Thank you to all those who made it all the more awesome!  So awesome that I even wrote this blog before nightfall haha!  (just uploading pics takes forever (3 hours!) and it’s always a struggle choosing which photos to upload lolz)

I’m not hiking next week so until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Orangekloof Hiking Trail

Not just another solo Barefoot Platteklip

I was supposed to take the group on an easy hike yesterday but due to the storm the previous night (and because no-one confirmed that they will be joining me) I cancelled the hike.  The storm freaked me out that I didn’t want to risk doing a Solo Platties so asked the usual suspects if they were hiking and they said no.  Sigh I would have to do Belle Ombre with the club and that is my least favourite route.

I was relieved to wake up to rain but no wind so thought yay!  I can do a barefoot Platties in the rain 😀  So with an extra prayer for my safety and for God to watch over me, I put on my rain-jacket and rain-cover before I left the house and the skies were clearing.

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Where is everyone?!

Driving along Tafelberg Road, there is very little cars O_o  I get to Platties and there is only 1 car!  I’m like u-oh!  As I’m checking into Mountain Tracking & Safety another car pulls up and I’m relieved but when I get out the car, she left as well :/ Also notified them that there was a bit of rockfall in the road just before the parking (mostly likely from the overnight storm) and when I got back, someone cleared the worst from the road, thank you whoever you are!

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view of the Lion 

Anyway, I reminded myself that I made an extra prayer this morning so should have faith in my prayer and I start at 7am with an ETA of 9am and that I would update the trackers when I’m on top.   The first thing I noticed is the Waterfall which was dry last week but in full force today ^_^  I got to walk barefoot in the stream as well which was cold!  Soon I could no longer feel my toes lol.

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Don’t go chasing waterfalls – lies! go chase it!

I must admit that I was quite fearful being alone on the mountain even though many a times I wish I had the mountain to myself but I’m paranoid about being mugged, or worse L  So do not enjoy the first stretch up to the contour path and take my first breather.  I am doing well pace wise (had an early night as I Marshalled at the 2 Oceans Marathon the day before so quite rested) but as I am in a constant state of awareness of my surroundings and continuously checking if there are others coming up or down, it does slow me down.

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cold, oh so very cold!

As I am alone, I decided to check in at the halfway mark notifying them that I am alone, that I have my rain-jacket on, that I am barefoot and that my boots are in my bag and that it’s going to rain soon but it doesn’t.

I get into the thick mist and it gets darker and more ominous.  Each foreign sound makes my heart race even faster than it already was and water dripping onto the rocks is not making it easier on my nerves.  I assumed there was a tahr close by as well but couldn’t see anything.  I’m hoping there wasn’t a hungry caracal in the area either and again remind myself of my extra prayer for my safety!

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horror movie in the making

I knocked my big toe but didn’t feel any pain as my toes were that numb from the cold lol and disappointed at the same time that I didn’t get to hike barefoot in the rain but did get to walk in streams 🙂

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breakfast for 1

I eventually reached the peak and check in just before 8:15am and I see a message from someone in the group and I am grateful for her message which made me feel slightly more at ease and not so alone.

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Thank you Lynn!  You have no idea how much I appreciated your message!

I have some water, coffee, raisins and a koesiester and put on my boots and notify tracking that my ETA remains the same but will be taking it slow as the rocks are wet and slippery.  As I get up, the first step I take, I feel a kink in my knee so was forced to take it easy anyway.   It wouldn’t bode me well if I fall and injure myself as help is faaaarrrrr away.  The cable car is closed and I am in thick mist plus the gusts of winds were quite strong.  I do a mental check of what I have in my bag should anything happen.  I left my survival bag at home.  I have my space blanket to keep warm plus extra jacket so won’t get cold.  I don’t have emergency rations so the little raisins and water I have left will have to do….and just then!  (no I did not fall lolz) but I do see someone coming up!  Not only that!  It’s someone I know and almost shout that I am so happy to see AJ!  After a short chat and photos we part ways J

I’m happy now and in my excitement I forget to take it slow, I slip and fall on my caboose!  Fortunately, the impact wasn’t my on my coccyx but unfortunately I broke my fall with my hand and felt the impact on my wrist.  I must be the most minor accident prone hiker out there!

Anyway, I’m at the halfway mark again and update Tracking that I’m still alone but not far down I see a group of 2 guys and 2 gals so felt a bit safe and they asked how far still so told them that they not even at the halfway mark yet.  Not long after a group of 4 scary looking strong guys but fortunately, they ignored me.  I don’t know why but I actually counted the amount of people (25) going up which were mostly tourists who also asked me how far still and tell them too, not even halfway yet to which they replied, ‘why did you have to say that’ and I said, I’m sorry I’m an honest hiker haha

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I see this footprint and think that someone else was also Earthing until I realised its my own lol

With much relief! I check out of Mountain Tracking at 9:15am.  Oh yes!  I forgot to take a packet for the litter so only picked up as much as I could carry in my pocket and didn’t reach into any bushes to get the bottles and cans.

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stupid litter

This was yesterday’s hike, I’m going to start writing about my Maiden Trail Run I did today ^_^ and once again, thank you for reading J

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the Gorge!
Not just another solo Barefoot Platteklip