Hiking around Cape of Good Hope

Last weekend was one of those STUNNING Cape Town weekends where you just want to be outside and spend as much time in nature as possible. Luckily we had organised to go hiking in the Cape of Good Hope area, about an hours drive from Cape Town city centre. Boy, how blessed are we to live in this amazing city with beautiful nature reserves right on our door step?? I just keep telling myself how fortunate I am to be living here.

Breath taking views

The hiking trail takes you all around the Peninsula. The first day we choose to do the long stretch, which is about 20 km. It begins with a bit of up and down but most of the trail is quite flat and long stretches of soft sand do give you a good work out for you calves…For the first 3 hours we didn’t see a single soul. To me, to spend the day hiking like that is the absolute best. At ‘Hoek van Bobbejaan’ (= Baboon’s Corner), we sat down on the rocks and had our lunch break. We even did a little power snooze. There were a few fishermen as well but that was all. We arrived at the beautifully situated Erica cottage at around 16h15 so we hiked for about 7 hours, including 1 hour of breaks. The last bit up to the Cottage was the steepest part of the trail!! So much for that!! Our fellow hikers, who started with the 10 km stretch had already arrived and soon we were opening up bottles of wine, the braai was lit and we had a ‘lekker kuier aand’, topped of with serious amounts of chocolate. I always prefer to sleep outside when possible and my friend thought the same so we put our matresses outside and slept under the beautiful stars. However,  the wind picked up terribly and we didn’t have a great sleep at all. The next day we started hiking again at 7am and thought we could ‘easily’ be finished by 11. Jeez, we were SO wrong! We struggled hey! WoW! One mountain after the other. The first 5 km were quite easily but then we had to conquer: Kanonkop, Paulsberg, Die Boer & Judas Peak. I was so exhausted I even fell once, luckily soft. We hardly took any breaks and were back at the main gate by noon, completely exhausted and looking forward to a cold Coke!!

View from overnight hut

Bit of history…
The Cape of Good Hope was discovered by Bartholomew Dias and his crew in 1488. However, artifacts from middens found in the area show that the region was known to and utilised by man intermittently since the Early Stone Age period some 600.000 years ago.

Bit of Flora & Fauna..
The flora is typical of the southwestern Cape Floral Region, Fynbos (= fine bush), an area that has the highest level of species richness amongst the world’s temperate regions and which rivals even tropical rainforests in diversity. Just so you know this is paradise for botanists. Over 1080 species of plants have been recorded. Fynbos is nutrient poor and cannot support large numbers of game animals. Nevertheless we ran into some Eland, Bontebok, Ostriches and obviously Baboons. There are about 250 bird species in the 7750 hectare area.

For bookings: www.tmnp.co.za

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