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~ I dont blog about things to be liked. I blog about things that I like ~ ... so that one day, on my death bed, I will have said and done what I wanted to do, and die peacefully without regrets.
Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders & says..' Oh shit....She's awake'

Monday, May 31, 2010

Blog Header Image Karoo National Park

I have found another favourite image for the blog, so sadly, this one is now also going to have to go...

Alex and I visited the Karoo National Park during 2010 Easter.  Wow, again, what a stunning National Park this is!  We just loved it here. There was so much variety to see, but we were both very happy to squeeze in some time for a hike up this mountain.  To be able to see the park from here was so beautiful.  We had been all over the park, and now had the opportunity to view some our tracks from above.

I loved the mini 4x4 route that we went on... much to Alex's dismay... he kept on wanting his car back, but I was having way too much fun behind the wheel.  And tracking the animals in the dry river beds was taking me back to my childhood days of growing up next to Kruger National Park where my dad was forever showing me animal tracks.  I was almost certain I saw the tracks of a baby black rhino! Well, this I will just never know for sure.  Whether true or not, in my heart, and at that moment, I believed it 100%.

A visit to the Fossil Trail was mind blowing!  ... have you ever seen fossil remains of animals that were considered extinct 30 million years before the dinosaurs roamed the earth?  This park has them a dime a dozen!

I can talk about this park forever, but for now, this park comes highly recommended and can be covered comfortably with a 4x2 high clearance vehicle over a 3 day period.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Devils Peak from Google Earth via my Garmin GPS

Alex dragged me up Devils yesterday, and oh boy, am I feeling it today!  When I said Devils Peak The Easy Route... I did not mean its easy, I meant "the easy route" as in there are way more difficult / hard routes that can take you up to 6 hours just going up.

Having hiked this route so many times before, I must say that this time I was very exhausted at the end.  (Burnt 1200 calories - not too bad for 'just a hike') I guess its been a while since we have been hiking good routes again.  

Above is the reading that our Garmin eTrex Legend produced for us on my computer.The above vertical profile shows that we climbed 610m over a distance of 2.76km.

Remember that you can read more about this routes and its details in other posts of ours: Hiking Devils Peak

I dont normally re-write about a route that I have been on (blogging is very hard work - just in case you dont know it yet!), but this one deserved some more attention as I had a reader from Germany who asked me some questions which I thought I would answer via this blog entry.

The first thing that is important is that we have noted that Table Mountain National Park have changed all the signs on the mountain.  Thank you guys!

On the 2 signs that we did come across, some of the information was incorrect and the suggested changes were made with red indicators as you will see when you read on.

To get there take the Tafelberg Road which runs past the Lower Cable Station of Table Mountain Cable Way.  About 3 km from the Cable Station, the path starts to the right (and opposite a car park) as indicated in the image below (or read my other posts of Devils Peak).

Soon you will be climbing steep steps that zigzag their way up the mountain towards the Contour Path.

As you see in the image below, when you cross over the contour path, the sign is easily misleading, so focus on the path going more upwards than the one flattening out (Contour path / Oppelskop).  You should be heading towards the Saddle (but the arrow is wrong), so focus on going upwards.

After the above, crossing the path continues to zig zag its way up.  Again, if you see other paths, continue to follow the one that is going up, until the path flattens out and heads towards the saddle.

A brisk 10 minute walk on a semi flat route, will take you to a T-junction by the Saddle.

Notice a large rock on the left and a small stream flowing on the right. This is where you turn right.

After your right turn at the T-junction by the Saddle and the big rock, follow your nose and the stream for another 10 minutes.

Soon you will reach another sign, showing Devils peak is the way back. That is wrong. This is your mark where you do not go back to where you came from, but rather do you turn left and head up the steep slate and rather loose rocks to slog your way all the way to the top.  They have upgraded this path about a year ago, but the rocks are still fairly loose and slippery.

Once we reached the top of Devils Peak, we headed for a spot away from the wind (the wind is always blowing up here!) and had our well deserved cuppa Nescafe Cuppachino :)

The view from here never seizes to amaze us.  So relaxing and so beautiful!

On our way down, we came upon a group of people who were putting up this flag and banner.

We asked them what they were up to and they explained to us that they are protesting and trying to get the name of Devils peak to be changed to Windberg or Duiweberg as it was originally known to be. 

The Legend has it that the devil disappeared onto this mountain 300 years ago, hence the name Devils Peak.  There are other stories about where its name originated from, but a name change will be great.

The coloured flag was a prayer and the other the symbol of the cross.

More information and pictures about this hike can be found here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Warning Attacks on Table Mountain

Hi all,

I have just received a message from Table Mountain Safety Action Group via Cape Town Hiking Club.  Looks like these guys / criminals need to get nabbed asap.  Its likely that they are the same 2 people attacking hikers.  Please do not walk alone.  Im always so frustrated when I hear about the hikers that venture off into the hills on their own.  Apart from being a perfect target for abuse by a potential criminal, if a snake bites you or you twist your ankle, you put yourself into great danger. Spending the night alone on the mountain can almost predict certain death.

The idea is to join a hiking group that will suite your hiking style. There are hiking groups being created all the time.  Some people like to walk fast, others like walking slower (sometimes avid photographers), others like talking, some dont... find your perfect hiking partner/s and go out and enjoy the mountain.  Never think you are safe, always make sure you know how to defend yourself when approached or attacked.  Best thing is to try and run away of course, but if that is not possible, try to at least prepare yourself for if it happens to you.  Good luck friends!  and hope to run into you sometime on the mountain too :)

OK, im done moaning.  Im really sorry to hear of this terrible experience that these people endured and hope they catch the criminals soon.  We always carry a shocker and a mace spray on us... you just never know.

Regards, Juanita

Just a warning notice that there have been two attacks in this area over the past 10 days or so.  Not much detail is available but we understand that the more recent attack (last day or two?) was particularly nasty.  We are going to ask TMNP for more detail on this one.  It may also have been picked up by the press so check the Cape Times today / yesterday. More on this one later, hopefully.

The other attack occurred in Newlands Forest specifically - about 10 days ago or so.  Here is the text we received with regards that one:

From a Facebook entry:  is traumatised after being attacked in Newlands Forest yesterday by two men with bottles that they broke on a stone and used as weapons. After that spent whole day looking for Josie (the dog) who ran off scared as a mouse, shame, found her again with the help of amazing friends. Such is life in South Africa. But South African men must be applauded for the way they step up in a crisis!

If anyone knows more, plllleeasse let us know.  This way we can get the facts out soonest to warn others.  Especially with the weekend coming up.  We need locations and any form of description.

Regards Andre TMSAG

New to reading blogs?

I have heard so many people saying they are new to reading blogs. Here is the 'low down' of what you need to do:

1. The blog is written in date order. Latest posts are at the top and older posts below them. Older posts have a link to them - find the link if you scroll right to the bottom of this screen - see Older Posts.
2. Click on the post header if you wish to make comments below the articles. Comments are most welcome :)
3. I blog our hikes to help other people find nice hiking routes, but also because we love taking pictures on our hikes.
4. On the right column are images of some of the hikes we have done so far. Click on the images to read about those hikes.
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There is an old saying...

The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.