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

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

Lion’s Head via Wally’s Cave

When it’s not cricket season, I take my older brother hiking.  He and his wife’s lives revolve around their 15 year old son’s cricket so hardly have time to themselves and as he is currently in Malaysia (playing cricket), my brother gets to go hiking EXCEPT, he cancelled on me last night sigh

I did however ask my younger brother and his 6 year old son if they would like to go hiking as well and fortunately, they did not cancel on me.  My nephew did Rhodes contour to Newlands forest with me two years ago so was quite keen on hiking again.

June 2013
June 2013

Told them to dress warmly as it is quite cold in the morning, especially on the mountain and I decided to wear a short sleeve over my long sleeve (big mistake)

We left the house around 6:55 and it was quite misty!  Until we went up Hospital Bend and suddenly, it was all clear skies.  YAY! We would be able to see the views especially since it was their first time.

We checked in with Whatsapp Mountain Tracking and Safety group around 7:15 but not before taking some photos of the sunrise J

Sun rising above the mist
Sun rising above the mist

It was a slow start with my nephew struggling a bit so took many breaks until we took the path up to Wally’s cave.

Start up Lion's Head
Start up Lion’s Head

It was now hot but we were all wearing peak caps and I took off my long sleeve top.  We had several breaks up this path and I didn’t mind as I expected this from newbie hikers J

one of the many breaks
one of the many breaks

I educate my nephew a bit on the little that I know of the fauna and flora and we eventually reach the cave at around 8am.  Many, many, many pics ensued and my brother attempting to capture a photo of me in the air 😛

my bro and nephew in Wally's Cave
my bro and nephew in Wally’s Cave
Weeee! that's me
Weeee! that’s me

We depart the cave and now make our way to the top of Lion’s Head.  My first concern is getting my nephew up the first set of chains but I was worried for nothing as he is quite the natural at climbing.  He barely needed my assistance.  All I had to do was guide his feet.

First set of chains
First set of chains

After this climb, he seemed to be in his element so decided that he would be able to climb the second set of chains with my guidance and he was such a PRO!  Super proud of this kid.  He was in such a hurry now as he gained more and more confidence in himself.  I had to scurry after him all the way up and warned him to slow down all the time.  Even had to remind him to wait on his father occasionally.

Climbing to the second set of chains
Climbing to the second set of chains

One hiker said that she wants a child like my nephew one day who will be able to hike with her.  Another said that she loved that his parents brought him along on the hike and I said that his mother is warm in her bed and that I’m his Aunt J

Waiting for dad at the ladder
Waiting for dad at the ladder

We eventually reached the peak of Lion’s Head at about 9:10 and compulsory pics ensued.  The ‘dangerous’ setting which is not dangerous at all haha

Must take a photo on this spot
Must take a photo on this spot
me bro
me bro

Going down, I decided on the longer safer route (skipping the chains) as I didn’t feel that he would be able to go down safely.  I stress when my 15 year old daughter goes up and down these chains so fortunately for her, I didn’t witness those times haha

It was slow careful descent as my brother started to feel the pain in his knees and the sand is quite slippery on the rocks.

When we got to the gravel path, my nephew was now bored as the excitement of climbing is now over and done with and I am astonished by how well he did!

He wants to tackle Platteklip now as he hasn’t been on Table Mountain yet and said I would take him J

:-)
🙂

The club did Els Ravine today and I missed it yet again as I’ve never done that route but I have no regrets.  I loved hiking with my younger brother and nephew and look forward to doing another hike with him 😀

Until my next hike, ciao for now

Lion’s Head via Wally’s Cave