On Wednesday, 14 January at 08h45 sharp, Hilka, Amina, Babes, Sydney and myself braced ourselves for the last stretch of the Hoerikwaggo trail, namely from Smitswinkel to Cape Point via Smitswinkel Bay, Judas Peak, Paulsberg, Kanonkop and the Matroosberg, a total distance of 17km. Oh all right, before I get caught out, I’ll be honest and tell you that we hiked from the entrance of the Cape Point Nature Reserve to the Two Oceans Restaurant which is ‘only’ 15km. But hey, don’t be fooled, when you are hiking those kinds of distances, 2km can make a big difference and it took us all of six and a half hours to complete. I guess if Sydney had had his way, he, Hilka and Amina would have made it in 5 hours. Babes and I would occasionally see the back of their brightly colored backpacks way down in the valley below or going up a hill in the far distance – sigh!
The nice thing about this part of the Hoerikwaggo trail is that amongst others, the scenery is so varied. One minute you are climbing up a steep slope and the next you are looking down the edge of a huge cliff thinking “… holy s… did I just climb up here, I must be smoking something?! …” In fact at one point when the word hill was mentioned, Amina very aptly commented that is was more like hell, needless to say, from now on in Jenman language, a hill is known as a hell. For those of us who know, Amina gives the impression of being a very quiet soul, but ‘hell’ no, she had us in stitches several times on the hike. Besides, she has one ‘hell’ of a set of legs on her – I just couldn’t keep up with her!
Besides the varied scenery we also had the four seasons in one day. From being overcast, the weather changed to being windy, geez man, it even rained on us for a couple of kilometers. Again, this is what makes these hikes such fun. Although, having said that, I’m not so sure that I would like to hike the Hoerikwaggo trail in the wet, not with the prospect of those daunting slopes …
Hiking via Smitswinkel Bay, we got matchless views of False Bay and Cape Point. Don’t tell anyone, but I could hardly see Cape Point in the distance, it looked so far away – after all we still had 15km to tackle and I was feeling very sorry for myself! When we eventually reached Kanonkop, we all took the opportunity to take bit of a breather. What we would have done for an ice cold beer at this point … never mind, I was soon distracted by the canon on top of the hill (hence Kanonkop) and decided that it would be worth my while to climb on top of this old monster to see if Cape Point looked any closer from this great vantage point. After all it was stationed there during the 2nd world war to stake out the enemy and for now, Cape Point was definitely the enemy :~)!
Overlooking the sea and joined by ostriches, believe it or not, we had our well earned lunch at Bordjiesdrif. Hilka, got very excited at this point but I had to calm her down and explain to her that these were ostriches, not Buffalo. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, do yourselves a favor and read the previous blog. Poor Hilka, but being the sweetie pie that she is, she took it in good spirit and kindly pointed out a whale swimming in the bay right in front of us. I couldn’t even see the whale, how was I supposed to see Cape Point for pete sake.
Anyway, after a scrumptious lunch consisting of sandwiches, chips and a liquifruit (compliments of Jenman Safaris), we made our way from Bordjiesdrif to the Matroosberg, the final ascent. Ha, Cape Point didn’t know it, but we were about to descend on ‘the enemy’. Little did I realize that it would take me another one and a quarter hours. Sydney, Hilka and Amina made it in forty five minutes – I think they ran the rest of the way as I happen to know that an ice cold appletizer (no, not beer) was waiting for them at the end of the road. … Mmm, in the meantime my beer was getting warm … FINALLY at a quarter past three Babes and I set foot on even ground and met up with the tired but exhilarating welcome smiles of Sydney,
Hilka and Amina. Well done guys!!
WE DID IT … Hilka and I were extremely privileged to be able to do the entire Hoerikwaggo Trail, thanks to Jenman. All I can say is awesome, awesome, awesome and I think Hilka and all our hiking buddies from Jenman would agree. Despite the sunburns, sore backs, weak knees, tired feet and worn out shoes, the entire experience makes up for it big time and it is worth every single step of the way. Who can say that they have had a ‘boskak’ at 700metres – ‘mile high’ club eat your heart out! Anyway, Table Mountain has earned her reputation and I have the utmost respect and admiration for her – it was a privilege to get to know her this intimately and I am going to make it my priority that lots of other people do too.
Hilka my hiking buddy, WE DID IT!