Orangekloof Hiking Trail, Cape Town

View over Houtbay

View over Houtbay

 

I spent a weekend on Table Mountain hiking the Orangekloof trail – and it was amazing – 5 girls, 37Kms, great views, stunning sunsets, wonderfull fynbos and of course the very important Chocolate and red wine. Now thats the way to get back to nature.
Looooooong time ago I had booked for the Orangekloof Hiking Trail. It’s often fully booked because it’s one of the most beautiful hiking trails around Cape Town and one needs a special permit to enter the nature reserve.
So, being very organised, just unpacked from Hong Kong, I was looking forward to some time in nature, with friends. 8 friends had booked so nice bunch. I offered to do the shopping because it’s a self-catering trail (that way I make sure there are enough delicious things so I don’t get grumpy, LAST thing we want to happen).
The Friday night before it was HAULING. The Cape wind was terrible and I think we all we’re lying in bed with the thought: Hm, hope we’re not gonna blow off the mountain. Vigorous text messages were send back and forth from 4am in the morning, apparently. Luckily that one certain person didn’t have my mobile nr.
Well, anyway, at 6h30 3 people had ditched out and there were 5 left. I always think: we should at least START. We could always turn around. But you know what? It turned out to be the most fabulous Cape winter weather during the entire weekend. Lovely sunshine, crisp air, no wind. WAUW!! We were SO lucky!
At 8am we met our guides at Silvermine Dam. Nico was there to fetch our dinner, bring in to the camp and make sure our steaks would be in the fridge by ETA (=estimated time of arrival). South Africa was playing rugby in the afternoon and soon we found out that we could actually watch it at Constantia Nek because we would pass the restaurant. Why we bothered, I have no clue, but we DID watch South Africa loose from New Zealand in the 3 Nations. It was a terrible terrible match and an absolute waste of time. But, we had fun, enjoyed the pommes frites and some beers.
Only half an hour to walk to what must be one of the most STUNNING camps. Beautifully done, really! All building material used is from foreign trees that have been taken out from the reserve.
Being now 5 girls, one of us had to become the braai (=BBQ)-master and I knew it shouldn’t be me….Nadja, very brave, was the appointed braai-master and she did very well. We had an absolute lovely dinner with lots of red wine and chocolats for desert.
The 16th of August was a full moon eclipse happening. We watched it from the deck. After an not so early rise in the morning, a nice breakfast is was time to hike another 15, 17, 19 km. We have no clue how much it exactly was but it felt as if we had walked 35 km! Poeh! Only uphill most of the day but absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Disa Gorge was my favorite part with big ferns and streaming water. By 3h30pm we were at the cable car and that was the end of the hike. We all enjoyed thoroughly. We must have hiked around 40 km in these 2 days.
The route: Silvermine, Vlakkenberg, Constantiaberg/Nek, Orangekloof, Disa Gorge, Kasteelspoort, Platteklip Gorge. The cost: ZAR 425 per person, including permits, overnight stay in tented camp, guides, luggage/food transport, cable car ticket to go down. It’s an absolute treat. You can contact me if you would like to make a booking: jessy@jl-unlimited.com.

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