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 Lion’s Head Solo Hike and a Trail Run

Gawd I so needed today!  My weekend slowly regressed from Friday morning with the news of my Uncle’s passing, especially the circumstances around it.  I will refrain from going into detail out of consideration for my family, specifically my cousins so please keep them in your prayers that God grants them strength and acceptance that it is His will.

My irritation levels were so high by Saturday, that it was safer that I stayed away from people and because my son is ill, I had to be home early after whatever mountain adventure I chose to do.  I wanted to do a trail run in the forest but I also wanted to summit a peak.  The routes I could think of was too unsafe for a solo runner/hiker so eventually settled on Lion’s Head.

Funny story.  In the week I chatted to a homeless guy and after a few Q&A, he is homeless because he killed someone and after I posted this on Facebook, friends commented that they would have walked away.  In response, I said that I didn’t fear for my life having this long chat with him as I feel more fear on the mountains.  And yet, I continue to do solo hikes.  Some people’s drug of choice are anti-depressants etc but for us mountain lovers, nature is our drug 😀

Anyway, left home after morning prayers and got my club members at Kloof Nek car park around 7am (40 minutes before sunrise) and made my way over to Lion’s Head choosing the trail-running path instead of the road.  What I did not expect was mist and as fast as my unstretched and cold leg muscles could carry me, I ran the path as it was still dark and feared something would come out the bush and harm me.   Fear is good though, it makes me even more aware of my surroundings.

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Oh yes!  One of my Instagram followers started this thing called Leave the Couch Together.  He’s a trail runner and blogger of www.leavethecouch.com so started http://leavethecouch.com/introducing-leave-the-couch-together/ for newbie trail runners.  I wanted to join because ‘Safety in numbers’ but one of the requirements is that I should be able to run for 5km without stopping.  Uhm.  No. lol.  Also, how am I to take photos if I can’t stop… 😀

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Anyway, it’s past the trail-running path and make my way up Lion’s Head and there’s quite a few cars there but not a lot of hikers about.  I only stop to take photos and to blow my nose.  The views of the mist covering the city around the mountains are spectular and of course had to take photos of the sun rising \o/

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As I don’t have a hydration pack, I can’t do longer trails but when I saw someone run with their bottle in their hand, I thought to myself that I could do the same!  So there I was with water bottles in both hands, I was faced with a conundrum as no forethought was put in as to how I was going to go up the chains with these bottles.  I can do the little climbing and going up the ladders with the bottles as I am use to doing certain scrambles with my phone in my hand.  So what to do?  I put the bottles down the front of my t-shirt as I was wearing a moon-bag so the bottles wouldn’t fall out ^_^

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Passing the Tree and looking up, that’s when I saw the line of people still going up and some coming down.  The reason for so many cars in the parking lot.  I summit at 8am and finding a secluded spot was futile.  Not even summer yet, and it’s like a mall during festive season up there sigh.  Why I’ve been quite a few times on Lion’s Head but haven’t summit in a while.  Too many people hehe.

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Anyway, I did find a spot for myself and sat for 5 minutes before walking around and taking pics and then going down again.  Oh yes, I did check in with Tracking and updated them when necessary (as a Solo hiker) It was slow going down with the amount of people still coming up so decided to take the longer/safer way down instead of waiting my turn down the chains.  Also, I could run a bit.  Funny story:  I ran past a group and stopped dead in my tracks as I didn’t know where the descent was LOL!  Tourists! Yes TOURISTS!  Had to point out the way down!  How embarrassing is that?!  The last time I went down that way was when we did the Rescue training at night so didn’t see anything anyway.

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I had to tread really carefully as the path was wet at certain places which made for really slippery rocks and the last thing I wanted was to even twist my ankle.  I ran when I could, walked when I had to and I’m back in the thick mist again.  I asked other hikers going up what they did with the sun.

I made a U-turn at the path going to Signal Hill and ran most of the way.  Being extra extra careful with so many loose rocks. Some being slippery from the mist.  I nearly slipped and fell a few times but yay me for excellent balancing skills lol.

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At the cannon, I put my phone on timer and took a pic of myself hehe.  I ran/walked the rest of the way to the start of Lion’s Head and then over to the trail running path and back to the car just before 9am.

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On the way home, I’m basking in the glorious endorphin induced hike/trail run mood when on the M5, driving 100km/ hour, won’t this idiot driving a Kia Picanto, come over from the left lane that I had to swerve, hoot and brake at the same time!  Not only was he nearly the cause of an accident, but idiot continued to drive 80km/hour, holding up the rest of us that the cars behind me all over-taked and gave him long looks.  When I finally over-taked him, I gave him my middle finger!  ASSHOLE!

Then I was seething again all the way home sigh.  Lucky that mood didn’t last long and was back to basking in the glorious endorphin induced hike/trail run mood 😀

Except, now I have a cold *rolling my eyes*

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

PS..Photo cred to David Nel in the rock-climbing group who sent the below this morning

 

PPS – I find that people who hike Platties a lot friendlier than people who hike Lion’s Head.  The friendlies excluded of course.

A Lion’s Head Solo Hike and a Trail Run

A Road Run, a Hike and a Trail Run

No, not on the same day!  Yesterday I did a road run and today I hiked Wally’s Cave and after, a Trail run.

My life revolves around my kids and as such, I loathe for them to interfere with my Sunday hiking as this is my ‘me time’  As my daughter is a Young Biologist Volunteer at the Aquarium and in order to Graduate with her certificate later this month, she needed 55 hours.  She needed 3 hours to clock 300 so told her ok she can volunteer today.

Yesterday was the Aquarium’s AGM so I had 5 hours to spare and decided to go for a run.  Normally I would walk from the Waterfront to Saunders Rock and back but as I had time, I decided to Run/jog/walk to Camp’s Bay and back.

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View of Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain peaking just behind Signal Hill and Lion’s Head

Now I’m not a runner.  I said that I will never run.  If you see me running, call the police because I am running away from someone lol but I also like to challenge myself.

Most shops only open up at 9am on a Sunday so I had to hunt for a coffee shop so ended up double-backing to Origin.  Their coffee is delicious!  After 750ml water and a cup of coffee I start my run around 8:30am and it’s hot already.

I don’t know if there was a race or people training but I had to give way to some runners and I thought of stopping at their water points but didn’t haha.  There is A LOT of people running/jogging/walking along the promenade with many wearing their 2 Oceans (OMTOM) ‘Run as One’ sweaters and glad I didn’t wear mine haha.

I run a little, walk a little (ok maybe a lot) and quench my thirst at the first fountain.  I get a friend and have a chat with her for a bit.  I continue and drank more water at the second fountain and I’m doing well for a first timer 😛  I contemplated turning around at Saunders Rock but as I had time, I carried on and decided that I’m going to attempt Biskop Steps.  ‘Really Fatima? You want to attempt Biskop steps after your first run?!’.  ‘Well yes, why not?’.  ‘Well ok then, you are sucker for torture so go right ahead!’ So I did!

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Biskop steps

As a hiker, I have strong thighs so made it up those 300 steps without having to take a breather \o/ yay me!  But I was huffing and puffing like you wouldn’t believe and my legs were shaking lol.  There was a guy doing ‘leg day’ up and down and another woman Earthing up and down 😀

Anyway its back to the road and with Camps Bay in sight, I am so thirsty!  I couldn’t get there quick enough and notice AMS (Air Mercy Services) busy with training so that kept me distracted from my thirst.  The plan was to go to PnP to buy me water but fortunately there was a woman selling refreshments and she didn’t charge tourist prices!

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Camps Bay

I asked an elderly couple to take photos of me on the throne and then plopped myself down on the beach in the shade and sat down for a breather!  After a couple of photos it was time to go back and I’m really tired so walked most of the way back but I did jog at times as well.  I now felt the impact on my knee and my hamstrings were protesting and with my face, facing the sun now it was HOT!!! I thought about making detour up Biskop steps again but thought nah, my knee.  I need them for hiking and no use pushing it 😛

I only stopped at the water fountains and the ladies to wash my face and was back at the Watefront for lunch at 12pm

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Brunch at La Playa

So today was the Easy hike day and set the time for only 8:15 for 8:30 as my daughter had to be at the Aquarium at 8am.  No-one in the group confirmed and as it was too late and too hot to do a solo Platties, I still opted to do Lion’s Head with a trail run.  A friend wants to get back into hiking so she confirmed with another adult and 5 kids but only 2 adults pitched with the rest over-sleeping haha.

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group photo (obvi)

I was fortunate enough to get a parking at the hut after driving all the way up to the Kramat and turned around meaning to park closer to the SanParks office and Nazeema was fortunate enough to get a parking at the hut as well so at 8:30am I checked in with Tracking with an ETA of 10:30am.  As the friend is recovering from an injury, she has to take it slow and I started with her but as the kids were way ahead, I opted to keep up with them instead waiting for Nazeema and her friend at certain points.  The kids of course did very well.

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waiting for the adults

We got to the cave shortly after 9am and Nazeema’s bag is packed with food! Various individually wrapped sandwiches and the kids’ bags were filled with chips, sweets and biscuits lol.  And me of course with koesiesters J

There was a group of young adults wanting a group photo and Nazeema’s friend offered to take it so I said let me do it as I know where to get the best shots from 😛  They were quite impressed and couldn’t thank us enough for how cool it looked haha.

After our group and individual photos shortly before 10am, it was time to make our way down.  We checked out of Tracking at 10:25.

Went to the car and changed out of my hiking boots and put on my takkies, changed my hiking bag to my moon bag and drank 500ml water.  I thought of running with my water bottle but thought nah!

Check in with tracking again at 10:30am, 1 pax, circular route Lions Head ETA 11:30am.

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View of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak from cannons

I ran walked at my own pace and when I got to the cannons, I answered the call of nature which was my only break.  I jogged/walked all the way and could really feel my hamstrings and fortunately not so much on my knees BUT it was really HOT and regretted not taking my water L  My throat is so dry and all my huffing and puffing is not doing me any good.  I walked the inclines and jogged the flat bits and I wanted to cry in relief when I got to the shady side of the mountain.

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Signal Hill

When I got to the main path again, I jogged all the way down and started to feel nauseous.  I’m wondering if I’m dehydrated but carry on as I’m nearly at the cars.  If I throw up, I will stop and walk down.

I check out at 11:05 and made a very good time I think considering the factors.  The heat, thirst and first run yesterday.  I assume that was about 20km as the Blisters for Bread walk back in the day was from the Stadium to Camps Bay and back J

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View of 12 Apostles

I still had 30 minutes before I had to pick up my daughter so sat in front of the car with the mountain as my view.  Chatting to a friend I asked him if nausea is a symptom of dehydration or even heat-stroke so he said nah, I ate too little but after drinking 500ml water, I was fine again.

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View from Lion’s Head parking lot

After sitting in the car for about an hour and getting out, I am now waddling like a penguin!  I am so not wearing heels to work tomorrow 😀

Hoping to do a nice scramble route as it’s been a while J  so until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you for reading.

A Road Run, a Hike and a Trail Run

My Maiden Trail Run!

As a hiker, I could never understand passing Trail Runners.  Why would you want to run on the mountain and not enjoy your surroundings!  Taking it all in and just being.  Also!  Trail running is so much more dangerous than hiking I think as one slip on a loose stone and bam!  Broken ankle as they don’t have ankle support (or worse)

Trail running has never appealed to me.

Until, after the Blinkwater Rescue which I mentioned in my blog about my volunteering stint for the Ultra Trail run, I said ‘Watch this space, I may give Trail Running a try’  I wanted to know what drives them.

https://myhikingmylife.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/ultra-trail-cape-town/

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photocred to Nazeem Karriem which I downloaded from Facebook ^_^

So with the Easter long weekend, I basically vegged out on Friday, Saturday I marshaled for the 2 Oceans, yesterday I did a Solo Platties so today I could attempt Trail Running 😀  which I mentioned to my friend Saeed so he said he could perhaps join me.  I told him that I would probably bail on that idea so he was to be my motivation and inspiration lol.  I also told him not to take no for an answer as I would think up every excuse not to go!  Especially since we went to Peter’s surprise birthday party last night and I danced with sore feet!

So anyway, on the drive to Lion’s Head, I tell him that if it wasn’t for him, I probably would have bailed because my feet are sore!

We parked at the Sanparks office (Oh yes he is a Sanparks Volunteer Ranger so have these kind of perks 😛 ) and started up the trail before the hut and told him we need to stretch first.  Oh yes, he use to do trail and road running but not for a loooonnnngggg time so we are both unfit for this lol.  I checked in with Mountain Tracking and Safety before 8am with an ETA of 9am, Circular route around Lion’s Head.

I tell him can’t we rather just walk instead of running but in the same breath I tell him that I’m just kidding. I came to run not to walk lol.  I’m pacing us and think I do not like this at all!  My thighs are protesting!  What was I thinking to do my first trail run day after a solo barefoot Platteklip!   Fortunately!  He tells me when to stop running and walk.  Oh!  That’s right!  That’s how you start out running!  Run/walk, run/walk haha!  I like this!  I also tell him to remind me that this is a run not a hike so don’t have to take photos of everything lol

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Me on the Cannon

Just after the cannons is a slight incline and I groan as I have to run up that x_x  It was hard but I did it!  Also, my thighs are warmed up now so could do that short incline without stopping but I was out of breath.  It was run a little walk a little, struggle A LOT up the slight inclines and Saeed is struggling more than me which made me feel good about myself.  Only earlier he told me that he didn’t have breakfast so his sugar levels were dangerously low!

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break view

We did sit down for a while and just enjoyed the views and chatting about nothing specific.  I tell him that I can now understand trail runners a bit.  Besides the cardio endorphin, you can’t think of anything else but your next step as to not injure yourself.  It takes a lot of concentration which is an excellent way to block out everything I think.

It wasn’t my intention to pick up litter but I couldn’t leave an empty 1.5l water bottle just lying there so ran/walked the rest of the way with bottle in my hand lol

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Waiting for Saeed

We made our way up to the contour path and as there were lots of human traffic, I couldn’t run from there which would’ve have been so much easier downhill!

I then make a detour up to a shallow cave (not even a cave) and we sit there for a bit as well and enjoy the views once more.

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break view of 12 Apostles

The first chance I got, I start running again until the few steps down and felt the impact on my knees so walked down rather.  On the gravel path, I start running/walking for a bit but then stopped completely as I could feel the impact on my shins and felt that one wrong move and my tibia could splinter so that’s the end of running so walked the rest of the way down.  We get Mark just about to go up to Wally’s Cave and chat with him for a bit and he is training for the K-Way challenge as well J  Good luck you guys!

We get to the ‘Trail running’ path again and Saeed says to run again and I did for a bit but as I felt the impact on my shins again I say sorry, I’m done now, I’m not going to risk injuring my most important limbs as I need them for hiking haha he then says to take off our shoes to earth it out a bit and oh my goodness!  My sore tender feet did not like that one bit!

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A thingie in the forest

We are done and I check out of Tracking but see a path to the left and ask him if we could explore a bit as I’ve never been that side and I’m quite the curious one.  We go up and down the sheer steep unused path and I’m thinking we will end up at the other route up Lion’s Head but we didn’t so just sat and chatted a while on top of a sheer drop watching the cyclists, motorists and runners in “The Glenn’

It’s back to the cars and make our way home but not before going for a Mocha at Truth!

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Favourites!  Truth coffee and mountain!

A quite enjoyed that.  I think I will alternate my solo hikes with trail running 😀

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

 

My Maiden Trail Run!