After “bunking” one week of hiking (due to our year-end function last Wednesday), a few members of the Jenman Team set out to do the 3rd leg of the Hoerikwaggo Trail this past Wednesday. This time the team consisted of Garth, Patti, Hilka, Nadia and myself (Wiebke). We met up with “Babes” (the guide from the previous hike) and Sydney from SA National Parks at Silvermine Dam early in the morning and started our journey of the day – we had 18km ahead of us and boy, can I tell you, they were filled with fun, falls and, as per usual, lots of laughter.
We headed off along the wall of Silvermine Dam and had a very steady uphill all the way up to Noordhoek Peak. The views over Kalk Bay and Simonstown were spectacular. I was quite taken aback, as this was my first leg of the hike. I tried to stick in the front with Sydney in order to get as much information on the flowers and fynbos that grow on Tafelberg and actually ended up learning quite a bit of interesting facts about this spectacular and unique fynbos growing in our area.
Then we made our way down Noordhoek Peak into a little saddle. The hike down was quite strenuous, as we had to negotiate with lots of rocks and really had to concentrate on where we walked and placed our feet. At one stage, I was admiring the view that started appearing over Hout Bay and felt my feet flying out from under me. The next think I knew, I was flat on my backside. From that point I learnt that short legs like mine, really require that extra bit of concentration and focused on the path that lay ahead of me. I was very grateful when we stopped in a section of the mountain saddle for some water and snacks.
After a well-deserved energy bar and rehydrating ourselves, we headed up Lower Chapmans Peak. From there it went around the lower level of the peak and then all way up to the main section of Chapmans Peak, where we stopped for lunch. The way up to the peak was quite tough as the Cape Doctor (Cape Town’s renown gale force South-Eatser) was making this section of the hike quite challenging for us, but it was all well worth it when we got to the top….. As we arrived at the wind-still side of the peak, we had the panorama of The Sentinel and Hout Bay spread in front of us. With it being a clear day, you could see all the way to the upper cable station, where my colleagues started off the first leg of the trail.
After some cooldrinks, which Patti had kindly organised for us, together with the snacks, some home-made sandwiches (thanks to yours truly) and a well-deserved 30-minute rest, it was time to head down Chapman’s Peak again towards Noordhoek Beach. This section was probably the most tough for me, but again, the views made up for it. It is so rewarding to see our beautiful city from these heights. With me having short legs, I quite soon maneuvered a lot of the higher rocks on my backside. About half way down Chapmans Peak, I was again sliding down the rock on my bum, when I heard a huge tear – and yes, you guessed correctly….. My pants had torn in a very akward place…. At the same time Garth (the boss!) was walking behind me and we both very quickly agreed that he should not walk in behind me any longer, as I had no long-sleeved top to warp around my waist to cover up. I then waited for Sydney, who was walking further behind with Patti, who very kindly offered me his long-sleeved fleece to wrap around my waist. Patti then veered off to the back, as she needed “some time on her own”. When we all met at the Chapman’s Peak Road only a few metres away from the long-awaited beach walk, Patti very proudly announced that she’d just had “lekker boskak” on another one of her “loo’s with a view”. We all burst into fits of laughter, and then also realised that this probably happens to a lot of hikers – when nature calls!!!! LOL!!!
Nadia and Babes stuck to the back and arrived at Noordhoek Beach about 30 minutes after we had arrived on the beach. We were relieved to finally do the beach walk and all kicked off our shoes and cooled out feet in the ocean. The walk on the beach took about 2 hours and all the girls were quite ecstatic, as we all got a “natural exfoliation”. As mentioned earlier, the trusted gale-force South Easter was with us on the beach as well, but we managed to make our way through this and finally arrived at Slangkop Tented Camp at about 16h00, after we had to make another loo stop for Patti at the public toilets on Kommetjie Beach
After a site inspection of the camp, we headed back to the office. It’s now two days later and some of us are still battling with sore muscles and sunburn, but it’s all worthwhile and quite a personal achievement!!!
The rewards are definitely indescribable.