Enjoying The Ride!

There was no official training hike yesterday so Donna and I headed out to the mountains to discover some new hiking trails we hadn’t done before.  We had decided to head out to the Pipe Track again and do one of the hiking trails that lead off the pipe track and up the ravines between the Twelve Apostles. Sunday was due to be a beautifully sunny day although the maximum temperature was only predicted to be 15°C.  It was another cold, early morning start but with beanie’s, gloves, jackets and everything to keep us warm we were set to go.

The beginning of the Pipe Track trail.

Reflections in the left over puddles from the rainy week we had in Cape Town

A stunning view of the Cable Car as it made its way down to the lower Cable Way Station.

The trail leading us to the Twelve Apostles in the background.

The trees having grown over the pathway making a tunnel for us to pass through.

 After about an hours walk on the Pipe Track trail, we reached the Kasteelspoort trail, which would take us up into the Twelve Apostles and finally onto the top of the mountain. Although this side of the mountain was still in shade as the sun was still hidden by the mountain, we stopped briefly to take off our jackets as the climb up was about to begin. 

Our route up into the Twelve Apostles via Kasteelspoort, which would take us to the top of the mountain.

Due to the rain over the last week, there was plenty of water flowing down the mountain.

The trail was a really beautiful one.  It was quiet out there on the mountain, with only a handful of people passing us as they made their way down.  The coolness of the shade of the mountain was welcome as we climbed up, with the only sound around us of chirping birds and the water pouring over the rocks as it made its way down the mountain.  The views that greeted us, as always, were breathtakingly beautiful ~ all of this reminding me yet again why I love being on the mountain!

Donna, making her way to the top.

The mountain still shaded from the early morning sun with Lions Head and a misty Camps Bay in the background.

A perfect picture moment, the top of the mountain was in sight!

With every look back, beautiful views greeted us.

The beautiful rains bring water to the mountain ~ Such a beautiful sound hearing the water rush over the rocks as it makes its way down the mountain side.

Fresh, beautiful, ice-cold mountain water.

Reaching the top of the mountain and stepping into the glorious sunshine.

On top of the mountain, we made our way across to the left where we planned on heading back down Diagonal trail.

The view from where we had just come up ~ the sliver of the moon still visible in the sky.

After making it to the top, we headed across the top of the table through what is called the Valley of the Gods, in the general directions of the Cable Way Station. Every now and again Donna would turn around and high-five me and shout out “We climbing Kilimanjaro” to which I would reply, “No, actually we climbing Table Mountain but we will be climbing Kilimanjaro” to which we both did some sort of excited dance and noise making. It’s a good thing no one is on the mountain watching the two of us! 

A map on the top indicating some of the different various routes you could take.

Some flora along the way.

The view on top with the Mountain Club Huts in the background.

Walking through what is known as the “Valley of the Gods” I found a rock that looked like a lizard arching his back as he lazes in the sun! (For some this could be hikers delusion again)!

Walking through what is known as the “Valley of the Gods” ~ Mountain water as seen through the rocks.

Some colour splashed across the mountain side.

Wooden walkways over the water-logged mountain side.

The part that is known as the “Valley of the Gods” is exquisitely beautiful and I will definitely be back up there to hike again.  After making quite a bit of distance towards Diagonal route, we found some nice flat rocks with beautiful views where we could stop and have some lunch.  Sitting on the rocks enjoying the views and our lunch, a British couple came past and we asked them what route they were taking down. They too said Diagonal and we asked if they knew how much further it was. They weren’t exactly sure either and after checking on a map we realised the route was directly in front of us down the ravine we were sitting front of, although we had passed no signage on the way to our perch where we had stopped for lunch. Our British friends kindly said they are going to try that unsign-posted route and would wave to us to let us know if it was ok else they would see us again shortly. After 5 minutes, they reached the edge where they would go over and disappear from sight, they turned and waved and made sure we saw them. We knew if they came back it was not the path but as they didn’t we knew they had led the way for us!  

Views across the top of the table taken from our lunch spot onto of a rock!

 

Enjoy the views and some lunch!

Donna enjoy the views after enjoying some nice lunch.

Making our way to the ravine that would take us back down the mountain.

Almost at the edge, about to see what lay ahead of us for the climb down.

The mountain still shaded from the sun with the beautiful blue/green ocean below ~ we were ready to head back down.

Just after we began our descent, we met two women who had taken 4 hours to hike up and they said we were going to have to climb down a waterfall to get down and we must be prepared to get wet! Sounded intriguing! We were comfortable in the knowledge that our British friends were still ahead of us and hadn’t yet turned back, we would continue on….

With each corner rounded, more beautiful views unfolded before us.

The trail ahead hugging the mountain side.

Quarter way down the mountain, things were still looking good and no waterfall, bum sliding down the mountain yet!

Making our way down Diagonal Route, soon we were to hit Porcupine Ravine, where the real adventures began!

Zigzagging our way down.

Looking back, a view of where we had just made our way down.

Soon we came across Porcupine Ravine, which kinda cuts into Diagonal Route and this is where things got interesting. You see Porcupine Ravine is actually a waterway in winter and considering the rain we had been having over the last week, there was water rushing over the rocks all the way from the top of the mountain. Now any rocks that are wet are going to be slippery, however it didn’t look too bad and we guessed this was the “waterfall” that we would have to go down. With the help of our trekking poles it was not to bad manoeuvring down the wet waterway path.  With some concentration and slow stepping we wouldn’t slip and do something silly to our body weeks before our Kilimanjaro trip!  At times though there was sheer drops of rocks where the water rushed over and we had to find an alternative way around.   This resulted in many laughs as we made our way down, mostly because Donna was in front of me and her chosen path wasn’t always the easiest way down.

At one point I stood on a flat rock overlooking the way Donna had decided to go down, every now and again telling Donna there was a path up here and she should come back, to which she would reply, no I’m okay I’m halfway down already! I stood there watching her, quietly chucking as she went down, hanging onto any plant that was sprouting out of the rock, as she mumbled about wishing she had longer legs! At one point she took off her backpack and let it roll down, once it hit the ground it kept rolling and I warned Donna I hope that wasn’t her next move too!  She made it safely down and once she was down I headed down my chosen path with ease and no effort other than having to be careful not to slip on the rocks as the water rushed around my feet.   

Making our way down Porcupine Ravine ~ with the winter rains over the last week the pathway had turned into a waterway.

Making our way down a wet Porcupine Ravine ~ And happy to report there was no bum sliding needed and our clothes remained dry except for the edges of the legs of our pants.

Donna, making her life difficult and choosing the paths definitely less travelled… I stood on the rock above quietly chucking as she decided on how exactly to get down. (Note Donna’s hands bent behind her grabbing onto plants sprouting out of the rocks and earth as she tried to lower herself ~ her backpack already lying on the ground)

But sliding down hanging onto plants wasn’t the last of it! Here Donna decided to take the path less travelled right through a “Hikers Friend” plant. Now if anyone knows a “Hikers Friend” will know that it’s an incredibly prickly bush! When I wasn’t laughing I managed to take this photo ~ I, on the other hand, took the easy path down that section!

Finally out of Porcupine Ravine and back onto Diagonal trail, admiring the views as we came around the corner. I laughed as we hit the dry, straight path as Donna exclaimed aloud, “Thank you God for a flat path!” and she was not joking either!

Some more pretty flowers along the way.

Back down in the sunshine at the end of the Diagonal trail where it joins up with the Pipe Track.

Back on the Pipe Track we headed back to where our car was parked. The Pipe Track was suddenly very busy with many out enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful views. The only difference between them is that we were fully kitted out hikers and almost felt a bit out-of-place with these Sunday strollers in their takkies and jeans!

At one point some strollers walked past us and as he passed he commented that it looked like we were headed to the alps and continued, “surely you don’t need poles for the Pipe Track” we just laughed as he passed and continued on our way. If only he knew…

A few seconds later someone behind us started calling out to us and we turned to find the “Alps” commentator had stopped, turned around and almost with a puzzled look on his face he was asking us “You are not training for something are you?” “You look like you training for something.” The look on his face when we told him we were training for Kilimanjaro was priceless! 

It is not the first time people have joked with us like this. Quite a few actually think it’s funny we walk with trekking poles. Mostly they are the one’s walking in takkies and carrying no water. I hope they never get stuck on a mountain, at least if we do we will be prepared!! Next week though, hopefully we will have sorted out people wondering what we are up too without us having to tell them… Yes, there will be pictures of course.

Such an amazing day spent out on the mountain yet again with Donna. New paths explored, new people met and another day closer to our dream. I, for one, can’t wait to get out onto Kilimanjaro with Donna.

~ All Photos By Me ~

~ Last but certainly not least, a BIG thank you to my latest donor “Your biggest fan – always!!” ~ You rock girl, thank you for helping make the life of a CF sufferer easier and in helping us get another step closer to finding a cure and thank you for all your support ~ you really are my biggest fan!!  

~ If you would like to make a donation to the South African Cystic Fibrosis Trust please click HERE ~  

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 5th Grade Teacher
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 18:58:59

    It looks like you’re ready to take on the big mountain! Your photos are beautiful.

    Reply

    • Walking 4 Air
      Jun 12, 2012 @ 10:57:50

      I sure hope I am! :) We are growing ever closer now…! It would be great to meet up after our respective climbs if time allows ~ Donna (my travelling partner) are staying on after our climb for another 2 1/2 weeks. By the way, I am insanely jealous of the gorgeous hikes you do and your last photo’s of the desert were beautiful. I agree with you how sometimes the photo’s just don’t capture the true essence of what you actually seeing!

      Reply

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