Monday, 3 May 2010

Hoerikwaggo hike

This weekend Keith and I joined 10 other hikers to do 2 days of the Hoerikwaggo hike.

 We started at Silvermine, at 8.30am on Saturday morning. It was really cold and misty, but once the mist lifted it turned into a beautiful day.

Our first stop was the lookout at Silvermine, overlooking Houtbay and Chapman's Peak drive.

We then descended Blackburn ravine,

 past the manganese mine then north through unspoilt fynbos with stunning views of the Cape Peninsula,

 and Constantiaberg, we then climbed Vlakkenberg to Constantia Nek.
 This first day is a about 17kms, of hiking.

We overnighted at the Orange Kloof forest, a beautiful, rustic but luxurious camp with hot water showers, open fires, and fully equipped kitchen.

After a good night's sleep we headed out at 8.15am Sunday morning, ascending Table Mountain via Orange Kloof

up to the Woodhead and Hely Hutchinson Dams.

 We then continued to climb up through to Echo Valley, ending at the Cable station.

The second day was only about 9.5kms, with 90% up hill - so get ready for aching thighs and calves. The most rewarding part is the being presented with your ticket to take the cable car trip down the mountain.

The hike is guided and both the guides are well informed. I learnt so much about the flora on the mountain as well as the history of many places such as Hout Bay, the manganese mines and Chapmans Peak, to name only a few.

One interesting and very useful tip for anyone walking on the mountain, when you come to a plant that looks like this

DO NOT TOUCH! It is called the blister bush, Table Mountain's answer to poison ivy. It causes bad blistering of the skin (and what I've been told results in a 7 year itch!) if you come in contact with it.  The effect is triggered by sunlight: in theory, if you do come into contact with it and cover the site of contact immediately, there will be no blistering. Let me know if you are brave enough to put this to the test! The plant is a member of the carrot family. The leaves look remarkably like celery leaves

I would highly recommend this hike for those to want to get out on an overnight hike, yet still have the luxury of portage, hot showers and comfortable beds at the end of a hard day's hike, without having to leave the city.

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Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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