We are not climbing UP that are we?

I am alive and well, it’s been a lazy past week for me ~ busy but lazy. With Donna away, she went back home to visit her family, there was no mid-week hike and my body has taken liberties in pushing its luck!  It amazes me how quickly you can get back out of routine, especially when it comes to exercise. Last week was also cold and at 5am when it’s time to get up for Zumba, my body definitely had other plans that involved staying snuggly wrapped up in the eider-down duvet!

I think too after having my Yellow Fever injection the weekend before I told myself I wouldn’t be able to hike or exercise that week due to the side effects (probably more looking for an easy way out), and now 9 days later and I think I can safely say that I made it off lightly with side effects. A bit of a stuffy/tingly nose but only at night and hardly even noticeable and a swollen gland in the left side of my neck on Friday were the extent of my Yellow Fever side effects. YaY for me, I think I can safely say I am home free!!

On Sunday, I awoke to the most gorgeous sunny winter’s day, okay in truth it was still pitch black outside but it wasn’t cold and I could see a clear starry night sky out the window. It was going to be a beautiful day when the sun did decide to rise. I was up early to head out for a nice Sunday hike up Chapman’s Peak. My dear friend Natalie was joining us and with Thomas, the guy we are climbing Kilimanjaro with, currently away in Tanzania hiking up Kilimanjaro we were to meet his wife, Ondine, who would lead today’s hike.

The start to the day was like a comedy of errors starting with getting ready to turn onto the highway to take us to Chapman’s Peak when Natalie couldn’t find her phone. After slowly down drastically before we got to the turn, a quick call to her cellphone to double-check a) she’s not sitting on it, b) it hasn’t fallen down the side of the seat and c) it’s not somewhere in her backpack. No such luck, a quick u-turn and it was back to her parked car to go and retrieve it. This was our first sign we were going to be late! Now if we didn’t live in South Africa we could possibly have left it in the car but if someone sees a phone lying on the seat or in the centre console they will break your window to get it. So we lost 10 minutes of our journey time, but nothing that a quick call to Ondine wouldn’t sort out. Confirmed we were on our way but we would be about 5 or 10 minutes late. No problem she said, they would wait for us. However, it was like the universe was conspiring against us in getting there on time. Trying to decide what the best route to take would be now that we had lost 10 minutes, we decided to follow Google Maps and head towards the Southern Suburbs as driving on highways would allow quicker travelling time rather than slow driving on the twists and turns of the mountain road.

Only problem was that stupid Google Maps literally sent us on a wild goose chase! Now we were really going to be late! Missed roads, back-tracking and almost throwing Google Maps out of the window we finally ignored what it was saying and made our own decisions. Another call to Ondine to tell her not to wait for us anymore as we were really lost now and that they should go ahead without us. So far the morning wasn’t going so well but on the bright side we had plenty of snacks to eat while we toured around the Southern Suburbs trying to find the route via Constantia to Hout Bay.

Eventually, after ignoring Google Maps for a while, we were back on track and seemingly heading in the right direction. Ondine called us at one point just as we were coming into Hout Bay and said they were going to start walking slowly so we could just catch up to them. We thought they had long gone already so it was really nice they had waited so long, we were almost there!

Driving Chapman’s Peak to the starting point of the hike, Natalie sitting in the passenger seat, looks out the window up the mountain side and points and says to me “We are not climbing UP that are we?” A quick glance at her face and her finger pointing up the mountain and all I could do was laugh while trying to control the car as I rounded the sharp bends of the mountain road.  I think she might have been hoping for something a little flatter….! Lol.

Here are some pics from our Chapman’s Peak hike to enjoy.

The start of the Chapman’s Peak hike ~ In our haste to start while walking past I shot this pic so forgive the blur ~ I really must learn to stand still sometimes!

Shaded by the mountain, we started heading up the minute we left the parking lot.

Walking up in the shade of the mountain we headed straight up. Natalie I think was cursing me under her breath for making her climb up so early in the morning! But with each step the views were so rewarding and the coolness of the shade was welcomed.

Making our way up, a quick glance back and this is the view that greeted our gaze!

As we headed up, views to our right were of Noordhoek Long Beach.

Eventually we caught up to the group, I was sad to see none of the regulars had joined us but we got to meet some lovely new people and I had a wonderful opportunity to chat to one of the girls who sumitted Kili in 2011. I love hearing about other people’s experiences and it gets me even more excited for mine!

Reaching the top of the mountain, we got spoilt with views all around.

On top of the mountain the sun was hot on our skin, we were spoilt with even more beautiful views of this beautiful city I live in.

On our way to Eagles nest lookout, where we would stop and have some lunch. Little did some know that there were more “hills” to climb!

Walking along the top, across the bay we had the stunning view of Hout Bay Sentinal.

The suns rays warming up the earth, making our way across the top of the mountain.

I don’t think we could have found a better spot for lunch on top of the mountain, spoilt with the beautiful views of Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak below us.

After lunch we carried on walking along the top, down a bit here and then of course all the way back up the other side again!

The dark edges of the mountain still shaded from the sun, outining the Hout Bay Sentinal behind.

Making our way over the top of the mountain.

A bench on top of the mountain, a perfect place to stop and take in the view.

In the unusual warmth of this winters day, the water below look quite inviting…

The start of Chapman’s Peak Drive winding it’s way along the mountain below.

A beautiful waterfall along the one ~ One of the advantages of hiking in winter is always getting to see waterfalls on the mountain side.

The mountain alive with striking colours!

The rolling hills of Chapman’s Peak.

Late on Sunday afternoon I came home feeling the muscles in my body and with tired feet, yet sun-kissed and feeling fully alive after another fabulous day on the mountain.

As I mentioned earlier in the post, Thomas is currently on day 2 on Kilimanjaro with a group of four. He sent Ondine a message saying that it was pouring with rain at the registration gate and that it looked like it was going to be a wet day. I hope today is a nice dry one for them and I hope their climb is going well so far. It’s still the rainy season there, supposedly till about 15 June then it dries up again. I hope by the time we get there its nice and clear, with just the added extra of some snow of course!

Wishing Thomas, his team and the group a very safe and successful summit! It’s our turn next…

~ 32 days, 2 hours and 3 minutes until we fasten our seatbelts and our plane begins to roll down that runway! ~

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natalie
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 16:07:27

    Now you see… there’s UP and there’s AROUND. I was clearly hoping for the latter, which was not to be! Loved it and will definitely be doing it again… when I get decent hiking boots. My Rheeboks are made for strolling it seems!
    Erm, and in my defense I think the first sign we were going to be late (Donna- I’m saying this purely so you know that your regular hiking partner who is normally on time… was LATE…!) All the while I sat waiting at the designated meeting place and watched the sun rise… literally… before said hiking partner got there ;) Then I lost my phone and of course we had to go back darn it! lol


    • Walking 4 Air
      Jun 04, 2012 @ 16:39:01

      Lol, the few minutes late is covered by the extra time we add into the travel time allocated! It’s a mind trick you see! :) At least you got to watch the sunrise! Looking forward to having you on another hike with us and hopefully next time meeting some of the fabulous regulars we usually spend our Sunday’s with!


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