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

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

Woody Ravine with Mini-me

so many pretty cobwebs!
so many pretty cobwebs!

I was not planning on hiking the day after volunteering for the Ultra –Trail run but then saw a voucher for the Cable Car in the community newspaper and had to take advantage of that. I normally give vouchers away but my daughter hasn’t hiked with me in a while and as she will be going away for the weekend of the 11th , it had to be Sunday the 03rd.

another pretty web!
another pretty web!

The way I felt Saturday night as I got into bed, I let our little easy hike chat group know that I may join them instead but it would depend on the way I felt in the morning and will let them know. They were to start at 7am. (Oh yes! Last week I took a group of newbie hikers along Constantia Nek to Skeleton contour and I wrote piece for the Wrap instead of blogging about it) Photo albums on Facebook of course.

yes another web photo
yes another web photo

Anyway, with a groan, I am up at 5am and think to myself, am I really hiking today. Shuttup Fatima, you know you will feel better once you’ve had your first cup of coffee. I was on a go slow but soon felt strong enough to do my planned Woody Ravine hike and was in no rush. I still did three loads of laundry after morning prayers so only left the house at 7:25am.

My boots!
My boots!

I check in with Mountain Tracking & Safety at 7:45am, my chosen route and estimated end time at 12pm. With a cup of coffee in my hand, Taahirah and I take the pipe track and it’s completely misted over with no views at all. This time I am not distracted by flowers but by cobwebs! The creative artworks created by unknown spiders were amazing! After each photo I tell Taahirah last one but then take another photo of the next cobweb hehe

ok here's a flower pic
ok here’s a flower pic

It was actually very quiet on the route… was it the weather??? Just a few trail runner here and there and one hiking group going up Diagonal. I am so grateful for the Mountain and Tracking Safety group or I would not do this route if I was not part of a group because of muggings, safety in numbers etc etc etc.

Coffee!
Coffee!

Also had Taahirah take a photo of me at ‘warning’ sign ‘this path is closed, enter at your own risk’ Well that’s ambiguous she says.

Anyway, we hike at Taahirah’s pace and oh yes! As we were house-sitting, she forgot to pack hiking clothes and boots x_x so she had to wear mine and luckily I had spare clothes packed for the Ultra the previous day and luckily! My brother has a pair of hiking boots which I wore.

Mini-me!
Mini-me!

I update Tracking at 9am that we were going up the ravine and will update them when we safely reach the ‘Surfboard’ which will be our breakfast spot as well.

Her 'not impressed with the mother' look
Her ‘not impressed with the mother’ look

Taahirah is struggling. Well Taahirah only got 4 hours sleep! Knowing that she will be hiking a ravine with me and this time not Platteklip! The 2 times I’ve taken her up Platties, we ended up going to Mc Clears Beacon and then over to the Cable Station and then down Platties hehe First time she completed in 6 hour and second time in 5 hours ^_^ She’s sweating buckets so clip my hiking towel around her for easier access and we slowly, really slowly make our way up lolz. There’s a stream of water coming down the route and I’m like yor! First time the route is this wet and that can only be from the non-stop overnight rain we had during the week.

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We snack and we chat and we laugh and Taahirah complains (rolling my eyes) at a trickle of a waterfall she washes her face and drink mountain water and she says she’s taking abdas (ablution) haha! Witty girl that. We finally reach the peak at 10:15am! I haven’t been up the Ravine for a while so don’t know how long I would take at my own pace as we normally just go down this route and last time I did it in 22 minutes!

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Anyway it’s off to the Surfboard now for compulsory photos plus breakfast. I tell Taahirah to take photos from various angles and I go. The mist comes and goes and the wind come in gusts so I fear falling off or the rock breaking off meh! Anyway, I am on the edge but after, I saw it wasn’t taken at quite the right angle and now its Taahirah’s turn and she goes off WITH DIRE WARNINGS! If she falls off and dies, I’m going to go after and kill her and haunt her! Try not to go to the edge because you know how I’m going to stress my head off so try not to stress me out too much! I am such a stress pot that she doesn’t even go up and down the chains on Lion’s Head when I’m around hehe ok not funny for her as I am super paranoid about her safety. And yet I don’t want to be too over-protective and have to allow her to live life. I risk my own life on a weekly basis after all.

Centering her Chi
Centering her Chi

We find a little bit of shelter from the cold wind and have koesiesters and pumpkin bollas for breakfast. I didn’t make coffee as I had on my way up haha! We didn’t stay long as it was cold and hiking longer than anticipated.

I notify Tracking and off we go through Echo Valley getting the same people and a trail runner we got along the pipe track haha! The sun comes and goes but mostly we are surrounded by cold mist and Taahirah is not a happy chappy as she didn’t expect the hike back to the cable car would take that long. Well Taahirah, at your pace, it does take that long! I eventually get impatient with her stroll pace so tell her to pick up the pace as we are taking way too long as we could’ve been down the mountain an hour ago. She picks up a good pace and I thought why couldn’t she do that before?! (rolling my eyes)

I've had enough of you now Mother!
I’ve had enough of you now Mother!

We reach the cable station by 12pm and now I don’t know where to redeem the voucher lolz…find a staff member who told me the shop so I go in there. Was told that the voucher is return only! I’m like nuh uh! I am not paying normal ticket prices when I can hike down for free! Which I prefer anyway but Taahirah would divorce me lolz. So I’m thinking it’s a matter of who you speak to because sometimes in this country, people can suck information from their thumbs. I go to the office and was told the same thing. ok speak to Manager and explain that the whole reason I chose a long roundabout route was to come down the cable car as the voucher doesn’t specifically state that it has to be a return. I might as well have just gone up and down Platties! Also, Taahirah is 15 years old and not putting her through Platties with her tired legs and besides the routes are all wet! One slip is all it takes! The manager (bless him) says that he will let me go down the cable car, leave Taahirah there, pay for the ticket, phone the voucher number up and they will let her go down. SAY WHAT?! YOU WANT ME TO PART FROM MY 15 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!!! WITH STRANGERS?!

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Ok they calmed me down and did as suggested and we took the free myciti bus back to kloof nek car park at 1:25pm and check out of Tracking.

Guess this is why Taahirah only hikes with me once in a blue moon lolz. I keep torturing her…I sorry 😀 not

Until my next hike, ciao for now

Woody Ravine with Mini-me

Els Buttress

I wasn’t going to hike on Sunday as I had/have Eid prep to do but ‘The Mountain is calling and I must go’ by John Muir….google some of his quotes…I get all warm and fuzzy inside as I can relate…and so many other hikers I’m sure…

Els Buttress has a few tricky scrambles…no biggie, we’ve done this route a few times before so 8 of us started at Newlands car park at 6:45am with an ETA of 12pm

mountain water was running very clear on Sunday
mountain water was running very clear on Sunday

I am exhausted!  I’m yawning all the way along the contour path until we get to the start of Newlands Ravine and I struggle!  At this point I’m questioning my sanity.  ‘Fatima! Why are you doing a hard hike after spring-cleaning plus window washing plus going to a birthday party the night before and going to sleep after midnight to be up at 4:45am???  Then after the hike you have to go grocery shopping plus bake Eid biscuits!  What is wrong with you huh?!  And now you are struggling…your own damn fault’ …ah yes conversations with myself ^_^

got into an awkward position to take this pic
got into an awkward position to take this pic

Anyway, we are hiking at our own pace and oddly enough, whenever I am exhausted, I tend to push myself so end up with the faster hikers lolz…yes indeed, this chick be cray cray!  So wait on the rest of the group at the Els Buttress turn-off and oh yes sigh all conversations revolves around the Rugby match between South Africa and Japan and I just roll my eyes – I ain’t no Rugby fan so meh! Memes galore!

waiting...
waiting…

I’m now leading the way up to the first scramble and Shamil goes up first in order to help the rest of us and he warns ‘don’t touch this rock, it’s loose’  YAH SHAMIL!  JUST THE WORDS WE WANT TO HEAR GOING UP SCRAMBLES!!!

sshhhhhhhh!!!!!!
sshhhhhhhh!!!!!!

So it’s my turn and I’m ok until I get to the loose bloody rock and I’m shaking in fear…not out of fear of falling, not out of fear heights but NO!  I am so bloody scared that if I touch that rock, it’s going to go tumbling down!  Is there such a thing as phobia for not stable rocks?! I don’t know how to climb at this point as the rock would’ve given that added stability and we probably used that rock on previous occasions but crap man!  I had to find finger and foot holes around this damn rock without even breathing on it O_O  but I do eventually manage to get up and over with the guidance of the rest of the group so yah…that was not pleasant at all!

breathe Fatima breathe!
breathe Fatima breathe! photo cred to Luke

John comes up next and he is shaking as well and let me tell you, John is an yster hey…despite his injuries and plates in his ribs and legs and goodness knows where else (oh pun lol ironman) he surfed the day before…so if John has that fear in him as well then you must know that the struggle is very real!  BTW, we met John on Kloof Corner Ridge at the 2nd chain when he decided that he would join us ^_^

John and his fellow hikers in Feb 2015
John and his fellow hikers in Feb 2015

As Shamil is climbing, he steps on a safe loose rock and the sound of rock knocking against rock makes my heart race!  O_O  I had to have a few minutes to myself and compose as I’m upset that this is my 3rd scramble and still have that fear in me!  Even worse!  Blinkwater wasn’t even a scramble hike -_- how you like them apples…. (Or rather we didn’t get to the itty bitty teeny tiny scramble part) How long is it going to take?!  I know we have to face our fear to get over our fear but yarre man can’t I just move on already?!

Anyway its onwards and upwards with no more fear inducing moments up the rest of the scrambles and all is well with the world again as I take in the smells and sounds of the gloriously fresh mountain air and the weather is perfect!  Not hot neither cold and still go OCD on photos lolz.

Newlands Ravine looking like Platties
Newlands Ravine looking like Platties

Its breakfast time and I find a chill spot and boy oh boy I could stay there whole day!  Sooooo comfy with spectacular views!  But no-one else was in the same frame of mind as me even though I’m the one with the dreaded baking to do lolz…

I is levitating
I is levitating

so up we go (we have to go up in order to go down x_x)  and my cooled down muscles don’t like this one bit!  We should find a breakfast spot on top but the breakfast spot we always choose is much more sheltered against the elements…also the wind is always strong on top…and down we go to the Ravine and a cloud decided to burst!  Really?!  Guess who doesn’t have her rain-jacket nor spare clothes coz no rain was predicted for Sunday!  I do have an emergency poncho so it’s all good in the hood and noticed that SOME STUPID HIKERS! Or rather casual mountain walkers coz true hikers wouldn’t do such things) Vandalised the mountain with hideous graffiti!!!! (Insert angry emoticon)  Only every leave your carbon footprint behind!  Grrrrrrr!!!!

Grrr
Grrr

So down we go and I can’t go down slow (oh yes it was just Luke, Anwar and myself as the others were long gone when we were still making our way up from Breakfast rock hehe)  so leave them and hike at my own pace and waited for them at the carousal with a bunch of family hikers.  They were then in discussion as to what route to take and we gave them the options with estimated time frames and Anwar offering to take them but they appreciatively declined taking a route they know and we take the shortcut down 😛

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We see blood splatters and follow this and I lose the trail..I’ll make a sucky investigator: /  We are done few minutes before 12pm and made a good time.  There is now a mobile coffee vendor at the car park!  Clever bugger!

blood!
blood!

Until my next hike, ciao for now

PS The cookie gun’s spring or something is worn so the dough not coming out and after 2+ frustrating hours struggling with the Custard Fingers dough! I used swapped dough around!  I used the butter biscuit dough for the Strawberry whirls and only realised this when it was already in the oven…I then made eat-sum-mor out of the shortbread dough meant for the strawberry whirls :/

Sigh

Els Buttress

A very wet Platteklip hike

As I had things do and places to go, I opted for a solo hike and my go-to route is of course Platties ^_^ After the much needed rains we’ve had the last few days, doing the Waterfalls hike (contour path along Tafelberg Road to each waterfall) with the club would’ve been amazing though but I needed to get home ASAP.

With Platteklip being one of the most popular hiking routes in Cape Town, imagine my utter surprise pulling into the car park just before 7:30am with no other car in sight! O_O like whaaaaaaaa?! Where is everyone else??? What now? Do I hike the route alone? Wth am I thinking?! I’m a woman alone, this is a mugging hotspot! Should I turn around and join the club at Kloof Corner?! But they are going to take too long :/ sigh Argh whatevz, I’m hiking and will just update Mountain Tracking and Safety regularly with my whereabouts and that I’m still safe. I left the house with my rain-jacket on so put the rain-cover over my backpack as its drizzling. On with my gloves as well as its cold and I check in at 7:30am with an ETA of 9:30am and notify them that no-one else is there and as I’m typing out this long message, another vehicle pulls up and with a sigh of relief, I know this hiker! 😀 \o/

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For the first time ever! This route is empty! Even doing a midweek solo hike while everyone else is working, hoping I was going to have the mountain to myself, I pull up to a car park with busses full of tourists :/

Anyway, we start the route at 7:35am and Nazeem tells me that it’s his first time hiking in 2 months. Just a note, that it seems that he only does Platties. He will do Platties every Sunday training for hiking challenges but he will throw in variety here and there…like doing Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak and Platties in one day hehe (3 Peaks Challenge) so there’s no hope of me keeping up with him but at least I’m not sole alone hey!

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Anyway, so ok you haven’t hiked in 2 months but let’s see what your muscle memory says and off we go up a very tranquil Platties hike (Still amazed by this fact that there was no-one else on this route) and I’m already taking photos as though I haven’t done this route a dozen times already hehe but the difference was all the water! With gushing waterfalls and streams and spring flowers starting to bloom. I stopped to take a lot of photos with Nazeem ahead now and trying to catch up with him until I started breathing like someone having a panic attack (without the wheezing) and my thighs protesting out of exertion. The last time I did Platties, I thought my legs would be sore a few days later but wasn’t hehe

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Before the halfway mark, I gave up trying to catch up to him as I had to drink water, blow my nose, get my heartrate and breathing back to normal and take more pics. I was crouching to take a pic when I fell over backward on my buttocks and as my touchscreen is too slippery when wet, I didn’t even get a photo of the puddle. Sigh but moving on, Nazeem is nowhere to be seen now and upwards I trudge with the wind becoming stronger and chillier and it’s still a steady rain. My yoga pants is soaked and the wind feels like ice on my legs and my fingers are paining from the cold (even though I am wearing albeit, now wet gloves).

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Closer to the top, gusts of wind threatens to throw me over and water is now running down into my boots soaking my 2 pairs of socks lolz. I finally reach the peak and Nazeem tells me to hurry up as I’m still taking photos hehe

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We have a quick coffee, koesiester and photo break when the call of nature called. Like really?! Now?! In the rain! Fortunately no-one else was about so quick I went to find a tree O_o uhm…ohkay I’ll leave the wording as is hehe

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We make our way down and it’s all squishy in my boots and I’m still taking pics. Finally! We see a father and son and warn them about conditions further up with another 2 of their party still coming up. Just below the contour path, we encounter tourists in jeans and tommy takkies and they do not look at all prepared for conditions to come when Nazeem advised them rather not to go up but follow the contour path back to the Cable car.

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We are both soaked so didn’t even avoid crossing this stream but walked through it. T’was fun!

bloodless hands
bloodless hands

We check out at 9:45am and actually did a good time.

Hiking in the rain is so much fun though! No matter how many times a route is repeated, each experience is different (just check my previous Solo Platties hikes hehe)

Take one turn on Tafelberg road and the tar is dry! That’s Platteklip for you. Cannot rain anywhere else on the mountain but just a bit of thick cloud over Platties and rain there shall be.

may have gotten some frostbite :/
may have gotten some frostbite :/

Until my next hike, ciao for now.

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A very wet Platteklip hike