Not so long ago a few Jenman African Safari Staff members went on the ‘Day 2’ part of our exclusive Hoerikwaggo Trail. Unfortunately, I was not able to go as I was working on the ever-popular and demanded Jenman Safaris Newsletter! However, when the group came back bursting with stories and fun-filled tales it felt as if I was there too… This week’s hike included Garth, Wayne, Patti, Nomsi and Hilka – and by the sounds of it they ALL had a wonderful time! Due to time constraints, this Hoerikwaggo Hike started at Constantia Nek (usually it starts at Orange Kloof Camp) and ended at the Silvermine Dam.
The group was accompanied by 2 SANParks guides – one guide from last week Siyanda, who led the group this time and a new guide referred to as ‘Babes’ simply because a lot of people seem to get her name wrong or pronounce it strangely.
After ‘climbing’ for approximately 13km’s they reached a height of 700m above sea level. To put this into perspective – Tafelberg is 1000m above sea level. Seems that this Hoerikwaggo Trail took them to high places with amazing views I can only imagine. Apparently as they hiked up they had breathtaking views of Muizenberg to the one side and Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak Drive to the other side. With sights like that I am surprised that they didn’t just stay on the mountain instead of coming back to work…. But then again they wouldn’t have been able to go on the next hike had they stayed there. Catch 22 it seems….
The total distance they hiked was15km’s seeing plenty of Watsonias, Orange Ixias, Everlastings, Purple Powder Puffs, Geraniums and Painted Ladies along the way. And believe it or not, it ‘only’ took them around 5 hours to do (including lunch time and water breaks), which means they hiked about 3.5km’s an hour – which is great timing for a hike! And Patti even said that at times, especially from the peak towards the Silvermine Dam they walked at a fairly relaxed pace (no wonder after climbing to those steep heights). This hike was not mostly downhill like the prior hike – it was uphill for most of the way (bearing in mind that they got to 700m) with a few very welcome downhills and straight stretches in between. The weather was warm, but luckily for them there was a cool sea breeze which probably made the uphills seem like a breeze (excuse the pun). Oh shucks, this is where I get to duck under my desk to avoid being hit by a flying hiking boot!!
One of the highlights for them (it sounds), is that they had their lunch in a nice and cool little cave overlooking parts of Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak. There was even a little waterfall, which according to Babes, becomes a big waterfall in winter. They all agreed that it was a sight words cannot describe and made their sandwiches taste ‘like heaven’. Where else in the world does one get to have lunch with such an amazing view. LUCKY THEM …
The whole day while they were out and about on the Hoerikwaggo Trail we all worked in a mix of jealous rage and anticipation of what stories they would bring back from their adventure on the mountain.
As they walked and hiked and walked and climbed … the guide told those who were struggling a bit (I won’t mention any names) to remember that hiking is all about having FUN!!!! At this point (according to a reliable source…um Patti), Nomsi turned to the guide and said “The last time I had fun was down there” (pointing to a few km’s down into the valley)… This apparently brought a lot of laughter to the tired but enthusiastic bunch. Having said that, the next day when I asked Nomsi about her hike – she said it was better then the week before! Hmmmm… Another memorable time (according to the same source) was when they asked how high they would be climbing (they asked ‘Babe’ – the guide) who then pointed to the highest point and said “That High”…. They actually wanted to know the distance…. As Patti told us this story along with others we all giggled at the thought of this!
Patti was also proud to tell us all that this week her shoes (normal cross-trainers) lasted the distance without any problems… the souls remained on…. And yes, Patti you will NEVER live that down… Or the bathroom comment (for those that read the prior blog) however, this hike included bathrooms along the way – no need for her to “squeeze the last drop out” (I quote)… hahaha!
Well done to the group – who even after the hike came to work, checked on their emails and told us all about the things we had missed! The next week another group will be doing another part of the Hoerikwaggo Trail which will take them from Silvermine Dam to the lighthouse on Kommetjie beach! This means that the lucky group will get to enjoy a lovely beach walk (working those calf muscles) in the wonderful Kapstadt weather that we are having currently.
Good luck and watch this space to see how they did!