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

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

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

Porcupine Ravine

We were supposed to do Cairn Ravine today but due to adverse weather conditions, we as a group decided against it and chose another route and after some more deliberations, Plan C route was chosen haha being Porcupine Ravine.

With several of our regular hikers having other commitments today, 8 of us started at Kloof Nek car park at 7am and made our way along the Pipe Track, with me ahead, hiking at last week’s pace haha.  We then passed the route we intended doing, passed the other route we planned on doing and then made our way up Diagonal.  The last time I went up this route was in December 2014 so it was a pleasant revisit J

John, his daughter and a friend was ahead, I was in the middle and the 4 rock-climbers were sweeping.  They can’t walk and talk at the same time ^_^   While waiting for them along the path, I see what looks like a light on the other side of the ravine but it can’t be a light???  John ask me why don’t I go look and see so tell him you don’t have to ask me twice.  It turned out to be a light!  O_O  why????????? (edit:  after some research, this device is a  Temperature and Humidity Logger)

Anyway, I stick to climbing the ravine instead of walking up the path and pass the Jubilee turnoff and I’m getting cold so put on my removable sleeves.  Oh yes!  It was raining along the pipe track so had my rain-jacket on but removed it when we started up Diagonal as I was getting too hot.

We have a coffee break at what I call The Pulpit as I can’t remember what that particular spot is called and we snack.  Further up we go and the wind is pumping and it’s cold!  This is when the cramps hit me!  Geez!  That was not pleasant.  I had really held up the group while I was crouching in pain and Peter gave me some pain meds.  When it at last subsided, further up we go but when we go to the top, I was hit by another wave of cramps and John and his posse went ahead as they understandably couldn’t wait around for me any longer. …I is sorry L

Finally!  The cramps are gone and I’m back to my old self and I’m still ahead of the sweepers hehe and it was decided that we are going down Platteklip instead of India Venster in case I’m hit by another wave of cramps and that can’t be good if it happens when we go down the chains.  I’m the only one who loves Platties ^_^  I then tell them, see you at the bottom haha  and down I go with my packet strapped to my side and pick up the litter *rolling my eyes* Even picked up a broken glass coke bottle sigh

There was a man with a whole bunch of girls (I think he was a teacher taking his students on a hike) which we got at top of Blinkwater already and we kept ‘playing tag’ all the way down Platties continually passing each other at breaks or when I went to scratch in the bush for bottles which hikers attempted to hide!  I found your glass beer bottle you ^*%$

I then wait at the contour fork as I didn’t know if we were going to go straight down to Tafelberg road or along the contour to the Lower cable station or to Kloof Nek so waited, and waited, and waited some more!  45 Minutes later the sweepers caught up with me *rolling my eyes*

Anyway, we took the contour path to the lower cable station and I’m mostly alone (because the sweepers can’t walk and talk at the same time) ^_^ and see another glass bottle (this time Hunters) and I very carefully climb down to get this -_-  The next plastic bottle I see down the path, William was kind enough to go get it ^_^  The bag is filled to capacity and its getting heavy and repeatedly had to alternate my arms as it was getting lame. It may not be that heavy if you are just taking a walk but try doing that going down a mountain!

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stupid litter!

Peter ran ahead and when I got him at the Cable station, he promptly took a photo of me ^_^  and then proceeded to buy us ice-cream which was greatly appreciated as it was around 3pm and we didn’t have lunch…nor did we break for a proper breakfast feast like we normally do so I was starving!  We raided Shaheen’s Tupperware of healthy snacks!

With another walk still to Kloof Nek where our cars were parked, I didn’t bother checking the time as I was cramping again but didn’t let the others know 😛  After going for coffee, Anwar eventually dropped me off at home shortly after 5pm.

It’s now 21:17 and I’m not even tired considering that we had such a long day.  I love long hikes 😀

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

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I uploaded this photo on Instagram  andI love Cape Town shared it on Facebook which received over 2000 likes and over 500 shares 😀

 

 

Porcupine Ravine

Another Barefoot Solo Platteklip Gorge

Yesterday was my son’s 20th Birthday so had to do a quickie hike.  I woke up tired and emotional and wanted to cry when he lead me during morning prayers (which he does every day but yesterday he was no longer in his teens)

Anyway, driving through to Platties shortly after 5:30am, I see a group of guys walking in the dark along De Waal drive and think that they do not have good intentions at that time of the morning… There’s quite a few cars in the parking already and I check in with Mountain Safety & Tracking 6am/1 pax/Platties/eta 8am and that I will update them when I reach the top.

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Predawn view

I’m barefoot with boots in my bag as I’m never coming down the mountain barefoot ever again.  The air is warm and dry and grateful that I took 2 bottles of water instead of one as I originally planned and not long up the path, I have a huge fright as I thought I saw someone in the bush.  I couldn’t see properly as it was still dark and I didn’t have my flashlight on nor was I about to check.

With my heart racing and my imagination working in over-drive, it is not a good start to my hike and hiking supposed to be food for my soul and silently rush up and with a sigh of relief, I see a couple ahead and pass them.  I’m so very tired and have my first break on the contour path and drink half my bottle of water O_O

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Sunrise 🙂

I don’t see anyone else in sight and wonder where everyone is but do pass another couple but not before answering why I’m barefoot sigh.  As I am tired, I am cranky and not in the mood to answer the same questions and grateful I can now hike in solitude.  I am also grateful that there aren’t much litter on the path  😀

I’m taking forever to get to the half way mark and this makes me even more crankier lol and after huffing and puffing, sore lower back, blowing of my nose, water breaks and almost feeling my heart thump against my ribcage, I actually thought of quitting right there and turning back.  I then answered myself…’are you nuts!’  so onwards and upwards I trudge and had some guy coming down calls me a veteran for hiking barefoot and if I do it often.  Meh…

The sun is coming out now and see smoke coming from behind Devil’s Peak and send a photo to the Tracking group who in turn reported the fire…another advantage of being in this group :P.  I think those guys on De Waal drive could have been responsible for that fire grrrrrr!

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Fire!

Get more people coming down and I get a huge fright when 2 Tahrs moved from the bush right next to the path and take photos and videos of course.  I then see a couple picking up litter and thank them.  They replied ‘wish more people would do it’  I replied ‘ True dat’  but in my sarcastic cranky mind, I was thinking, it would be better if no-one litters sigh but nevertheless, less work for me 😛

I then hear loud talking and look down to see who is making that noise and think, there goes the tranquillity sigh.  And they are closing the gap and not wanting them to pass me, I pick up my pace and eventually reach the top at 7:15am.

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View from Platties peak

Take a 10 minute breather before heading down again but not before asking those same guys to take a photo of me and getting my barefoot in the pic and he took a couple of photos and told him to stop coz he is making me feel like I’m posing for the paparazzi lol.  Had to explain to him the barefoot as well.  They started 10 minutes after me and said I’m not allowed to pass them going down (being a girl lol)

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Barefoot nuh

I’m putting on my boots when a group comes up and after a struggle induced profanity lol they greet and I notify tracking that I’m heading down.  I then almost run and think ‘OMG I love my boots!’  and now I’m enjoying my hike and think that I don’t have to pick up litter when I see a lollipop stick and think that I am not going to pick it up but then I bend down to get it anyway.  I get a well done and I see you have boots on now from the couple I passed before the half-way mark going up lolz.  I see the traffic of humans coming up and think that’s going to be a hellava lot more Good Mornings!  The couple picking up litter is still at it and I pass them as they are really digging into the bushes but I think they skipped the bottle tops and cigarette butts as this is mainly what I’ve been picking up.  One guy stops me and ask if I’m coming down already after being on top and I say yes, he then ask me if I’m the girl with the Mercedes we got down at the carpark and in shock I say yes (assuming he is going to say that the car was broken into) but he says well done and they only started 30min after me as they were waiting on their friend.

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Litter grrr!

After many many many many good-mornings, I get the couple I passed right at the beginning of hike only at the half-way mark and give them a well done J  Many hikers are shocked after they ask if I’ve been to the top and already coming down and my standard reply is that if you start at 6am, you can come down already.  Some ask me how long to the top and have to look up and have to guestimate the time at their pace.  I then hear the helicopter and see that it’s taking 2 helicopters to put out the fire L

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not tourist prices water

 

Finally reach the bottom at 8:10am and there’s a guy selling water and have a giggle at a little girl having a conversation with this guy (it also warmed my heart that this girl is oblivious to the colour of his skin)  After giving an American couple directions up Platties, I rush home to make soup, chocolate eclairs (which came a flop),  Fresh cream cake, Oreo pudding and peppermint pudding.  Gratefully, my sister-in-laws offered to make the salads and Rooster brood for the braai J

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Post birthday lunch braai desserts

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

 

 

Another Barefoot Solo Platteklip Gorge

Sunrise Lion’s Head (2nd Attempt)

I didn’t hike last week as I made the sacrifice in order for my daughter to volunteer at the Aquarium so instead took a walk to Saunders Rock and even had a little jog back as well 😛  It was nice actually but I did miss my mountain.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to an ex colleague’s baby shower and knew I had to be home early from a hike and as I owed the Easy hike group a hike, I told them to save the date and asked them how would they feel about a Sunrise Lion’s Head hike, paying R45 to do Silvermine to Elephant’s eye and if no on both counts, then Rhodes to Newlands.  They opted for the Sunrise Hike and I was pleased as I wanted to another one as I didn’t get that epic sunrise the last time I did it.

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04:45 view of the city still sleeping

We are set to meet at 4:45, do morning prayers at the car park and then start at 5am to be on top before 6:15am when the sun is set to rise.  Checking the weather during the week, it’s going to be partly cloudy and a max of 24’C and tell them to bring warm jacket, coffee and torches.  Checking the weather last night, there’s 45% chance of rain at 7am.  Well that sucks.    This means once again no epic sunrise pics.

At 3:30am, I wake up to rain x_x  which means overcast Lion’s Head but when we got to the car park, not a cloud on the peak but Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak is completely covered!  It’s only Nashita and myself as others could not make it with  only 2 other cars and I’m feeling a bit unsettled as Lion’s Head is a mugging hotspot and quite windy!

After pre-prayer pics, we perform our morning prayers and more cars pull up!  Yay!  I feel more comfortable now and tell Nashita as much.  I check in with Mountain Safety and Tracking…2 pax, Lion’s Head, eta 8am…windy, not alone and will update them when we get to the top and let them know when we make our way down after sunrise.

We start at 5am and neither of us has our torches lol but my phone’s flashlight is quite bright so didn’t need Nashita’s phone as well.  Took several more photos of the city lights, Camps Bay and Sea Point.  Table Mountain’s cloud cover looked like some formidable storm was happening.

We chat nonstop as we make our way up and tell Nashita to be careful as the path is eroded and just this past Friday night, someone slipped, fell and sadly passed away.  If the rocks are not dusty, its smooth from all the human traffic and I myself, being extra mindful with my 6 month old boots, slipped quite a few times.

Anyway, I hear birds along the path and look up to see that ‘newer’ discovered cave making the rounds and said yay!  Found it without even looking for it haha and we will go up to it when we make our way down after sunrise.

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oooh the sun is rising

We look down to the carpark and its now full considering that less than an hour ago, there was under 10 cars…it’s going to be yet another busy day.  It’s now light enough that the flashlight is no longer required and greet passing hikers with friendly hellos.  I notice quite a bit of litter as well and planned to pick it up on our way down.  Mostly bottle tops, cigarette butts and empty water/energy bottles here and there but what annoyed me the most was the empty beer cans and broken glass.  You can carry these up but you can’t carry it down?!

Nashita is fearful going up the chains but I guide her long and she did very well.  The bark of the tree is so smooth and warn her not to step on them but find a rock instead it’s so windy that we can barely stand up straight with gusts threatening to throw us over.

We make to the top at 6:15am and let Mountain & Tracking know.  We find a relatively secluded spot and watch the cloud theatre happening across the skies while having breakfast and chat away.  As I mentioned before, no epic sunrise unfortunately.

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With breakfast done, it was time to take the compulsory ‘dangerous’ rock Lion’s Head photo but couldn’t get the one I wanted as the wind was just too strong.

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the infamous rock

We make our way down and notice that someone already picked up the packet with the empty beer cans and broken bottle and another 1l water bottle hidden in a bush.  Thank you.  Nashita overhears hikers going up that they do not have any food so she stops and gives them all her leftovers.  I wish people would take hiking more seriously and go prepared. Lack of nutrition and hydration will make you weak and chances of slipping and falling even greater.  If something happened to them, they will sit on the mountain for a couple of hours before being rescued.  The call will have to be made, the situation and patient need to be assessed, volunteers (from all over Cape Town doing whatever they are doing) will have to avail themselves.  Check that all their equipment is in their bags and drive through and look for parking as the roads are full.  Depending on conditions (weather included) the first option is always a carry down.  These volunteer mountain rescuers will have to hike up to where you injured yourself and all the while, you don’t have anything to eat or drink, your body goes into shock which means that you are now shivering uncontrollably and don’t have extra clothing with you.  AMS (helicopter) can only come in if our wind allows.  Mountain rescues takes time!

Screenshot from Tim Lundy yesterday…sigh

Anyway, we get to the cave (I can’t recall the name now and too tired to google lol) and snap away.  Nashita is a very friendly woman.  She chats to anybody and everybody lol and in her friendly manner, she calls hikers to come up to the cave when they hear us and look up.  I then tease her when 2 men do come up and tell her how can she invite 2 strange men to come up to the cave with us haha!  As we were going down, they were coming up and the cave is only a couple of meters up from the path so we were safe with many passing hikers so it was all good in the hood.

It’s a slow process going down as there were lots of litter to pick up and see and smell several piles of dog poop.  Starting to look like Constantia Nek and Cecelia Forest.  Sanparks! I suggest your rangers check that owners have scoops and packets before hiking please! (Also, I haven’t actually seen a ranger patrolling trails in a quite a while)

We are nearly at the end when a man stops me and asks me if I’m Fatima and to which I said yes and how does he know, he then says that he belongs to Tracking as well.  I then ask him what’s his name and he says Mark.  Mark!  OMG!  You do that C graded hikes by yourself!  I see you checking in with your route and think are you crazy?!  Do Kloof Corner Ridge by yourself, traverse I forget where, over saddle up Devil’s Peak etc!  I have to have a photo with you haha! (In hindsight, out of all the women on the mountain, how did he guess it was me though?)

 

We check out at 8:30am and wanting to throw our 2 packets of litter into the rubbish bin, it’s overflowing sigh so put it next to the bin.

 

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no caption required

 

PS…I did enjoy the hike yesterday, very much so but recalling the little irritations of peoples reckless behaviour annoyed me now…also I’m tired so cranky lol

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

Sunrise Lion’s Head (2nd Attempt)

Earthing Platteklip Gorge (solo)

“Throughout time, we humans have sat, stood, strolled, and slept on the ground – the skin of our bodies touching the skin of the Earth.
And throughout time, such ordinary contact served as a conduit for transferring the Earth’s natural, gentle negative charge underfoot into the body. You see, we are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.
Modern lifestyle has disconnected us from this primordial charge.
Earthing is the landmark discovery that the disconnect may make us more vulnerable to stress and illness. Contact with the Earth appears to uphold the electrical stability of our bodies and serve as a foundation for vitality and health. In an age of rampant chronic inflammation and disease, “grounding” ourselves by reconnecting with the Earth beneath our very feet provides a way back to better health.”
http://www.earthinginstitute.net/

I did not know the above until I just googled it for my blog haha.

I’ve been wanting to do another solo Platties for a while now and when Anwar made it known that the club was to do Crystal Pools today, I decided then already, I’m doing Platties!

During the week and chatting to my friend Saeed, he put the idea into my head to walk barefoot on the mountain and I think that is actually a good idea! He says to get rid of the negative energy as I’ve been suffering from headaches whole week which worsened to full blown migraine! I’m doing Platties so I shall do it barefoot!  I’ve seen people hike barefoot and always use to think to myself that that is another level of crazy and didn’t think at the time that they are “Earthing” and actually have physiological benefits.  Also one of the best things about summer is that I can walk barefoot!  Who doesn’t love walking barefoot at the beach or on lushes lawns?!  As much as I love my stilettos and hiking boots, the first thing that I do when I get home is kick off my shoes.  I walk around barefoot in and around the house, to the neighbours and even our local corner shop but it never occurred to me before to hike barefoot.

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05:15

Due to the current heat wave, I wanted to start at 5am and be down by 7am but after too little and restless sleep, I struggled to get up this morning and only checked in with Mountain Tracking and Safety at 05:20am with a 7:30am ETA.  It’s hot already.  With boots in my bag and 1.5l water I make my way up in the dark and can barely see the outline of the rocks and I’m not far behind 2 other ladies.  I was not out to achieve a new personal best so didn’t attempt to keep up or catch up with them and fortunately I could smell the doggy poo without seeing it and do not step innit!

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predawn views

I take my first break on the contour path, sipping on water and taking photos and enjoying the predawn views of the city J

I eventually pass the two girls and think I’m actually doing well time-wise considering that I am barefoot and take breathers to calm down my heart rate and breathing, drink water and enjoy the views.  I see one other hiker ahead of me and wonder where the rest were as there was several cars at the parking lot when I got there…I’m nearly on top and a guy ask me if my name is Fatima so ask him, how does he know to which he replied that Nazeem from Tracking said that I’m up there.  Thanks for checking up on me Rodney!

I reach the top at 6:28am (1h10min not bad!) and let Mountain Safety and Tracking know and have a koesiester and half of my second bottle of water.  A hiker ask me to take photos of him and asked him to take of me 😛  and with two plastic packets strapped to either side of my bag, I make my way down at 6:41 letting Tracking know that my intended ETA remains the same.

NOW I SUFFER!  My feet is getting sore going down and because I’m picking up litter as well, my pace is very slow!  Each step down is eina on my feet L  but I am not about to abort my Earthing mission and put on my boots lol.  I was only going to do that when the rocks got too hot.

Several hikers going up asked me why I am barefoot, something happened to my shoes?  Tell them I’m barefoot by choice and my boots in my bag.  Many thanked me for picking up the litter and more people should do it.  We shouldn’t litter at all! One lady ask me if I did the Peace Trail because of the buff I’m wearing from WWF so said no, I won it because of picking up the litter from the mountain.  Oh yes!  Whilst getting to a really awkward position to get a bottle hidden in a bush, I hear what I thought my pants rip as it got snagged by a branch and I feel for a hole but do not feel anything so carry on.  My pants are wet with sweat and the next time I bend, my pants rip further each time!  Fortunately for me, it’s a baggy pants so the hole is not that apparent, I hope.

 

 

I get Achmat Jackson (AJ)  and ask another hiker to take a photo of us and tell her that AJ did Platteklip 30 times in 30 days for Abused Women and children and he is still so modest about it!  Embarrassed that I blurted it to others 😛  I then get a few members from Ommiedraai Hiking Club and chat to them a bit and Uncle Shahmieg takes a photo of my feet and hope he doesn’t upload the pic!  Or the close up of my face lolz.  Going down, I get more members and chat to them some more and then get Fareed Osman and chat to him and eventually get Saeed and scold him for putting the idea into my head!  Its 7:30 already and notify Tracking to extend my ETA to 8:15am. Then only, he tells me that I’m supposed to Earth for a week before Earthing the mountain!  I could slap him!  Told him he owes me a foot massage! I didn’t even take a pic of him lol The sun is scorching now and put on my cap and part ways with Saeed.

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Ommiedraai Hiking Friends

Without any further stops (besides giving way for hikers going up still) I reach the car park and check out of Tracking at 8:20am.  It took me an hour and 40 minutes to come down!  I normally come down in 35-45 minutes lol but that is with shoes and without so many stops 😛  Never the less, today’s hike was not about timing but about Earthing!

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Litter

First thing I did when I got home was put my poor feet in a bucket of Radox!  Shower could wait!  12 hours later and my feet are still sore and haven’t walked barefoot since.

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Sore feet 😦

I will most definitely Earth Platties again but never again shall I go down barefoot!  It’s too excruciating.  I did enjoy going up though.  Also, no headache today so Earthing does really help and I feel wonderful!  Thank you Saeed for putting the idea into my head even though my feet hate me at the moment 😛

Until my next hike, ciao for now J

 

Earthing Platteklip Gorge (solo)