Charles Carter's First Class Hike

Friday, 5 March 2021

Table Mountain, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town, South Africa

The hike took place over the 6th and 7th of March. It took place in and around the Silvermine area. We met at the Scout hall at 8 o’clock. We then drove to the start of the hike at BokkemansKloof. We began hiking at 8:40 am, turning left off blue valley avenue drive. The path quickly climbed above the road. We then began to hike up Bokkemanskloof. We climbed 600 meters over 1.1 km. When we reached the top and the path flattened out we turned right, onto a small footpath, and hiked up a short ascent following the footpath until we came to a tarred road. Turning right, we followed the road for the next 4.4km. As we hiked along the road, we hiked into the clouds. As we continued our ascent along the tar road, we walked in and out of the clouds. The visibility was low but as the path was clearly demarcated it was easy to follow the path. As we reached the signal tower, we turned off the road and began descending towards elephant eye. We reached the turn off to Elephants eye at 11:20 and walked towards the cave. We stopped at the cave for a 15 minute rest before we continued our descent towards the Silvermine dam. When we reached the fire lookout we made a hairpin turn and walked back along a jeep track for 2.5Km. We then arrived at a T-junction at 12:09. We turned left and continued down the jeep Track until we turned right. Just after a bend in the jeep track we turned right onto a small sandy footpath that led down towards silvermine dam. Turning right onto the boardwalk, we walked around to the far side of the dam and instead of turning left and walking across the dam wall, we continued straight onto a jeep track which we followed until we turned right and began to walk down the “Silvermine River walk”. We hiked along the route – sometimes walking along a boardwalk, sometimes along a sandy footpath – for the next 2.2 km’s. We then came to another t – junction, where we turned left and walked towards the Silvermine gate House where we were picked up and lifted to the scout base at Sandvlei.

We spent the night at Sandvlei. We braaied that evening under the cover of a spectacular sunset. Swathes of orange and yellow lit up the sky.We ate Boerewors rolls and ice cream that night as well as hot chocolate. We slept in tents that night and woke early at 6 o’clock the next morning. The sky that morning was grey and full of clouds, however over the next hour the sky cleared partially and we decided to continue with the hike. After packing up our camp -folding away our tents and sleeping bags- We had cornflakes for breakfast and at 7:30 we left the Sea Scout base.

We hiked along Promenade Road, turning left at Henwick we then turned right at crossed the train tracks at the train station. We walked along Station road, crossing the main road onto Cornwall road. From there we walked along Cornwall until we arrived at a T Junction and turned right onto Leicester road and at the corner of Leicester and Bunker road We turned left onto a footpath that led up to Boyes Drive where we turned right and walked along till we came to the start of the hike.

Arriving at the start of the hiking trail at 08:02am, we began our ascent. We climbed steeply upwards towards Muizenberg peak. After 45 minutes – as we began to hike into the clouds – it began to drizzle. The higher we climbed the harder it began to rain. After and hour and a half we reached a plateau and completed the first ascent of Muizenberg Peak. We then continued on towards the second smaller ascent. As we climbed, we pasted two of the Cape flora’s most notorious residents, the blister bush. The two trouble makers were perched precariously between two boulders in the center of the path. They were position along the path at a place where hikers would have to scramble up the rocks to continue walking. This meant that if care was not taken, we could easily brush against the bushes and suffer the blisters that would follow. As a result we moved with caution, keeping our eyes peeled for any other bushes that could be hiding inconspicuously. After safely passing the bushes we continued hiking. The drizzling rain remained constant as we walked along the ridge towards the peak. As we hiked we passed many examples of the spectacular flora that is found in the cape. We arrived at the summit of Muizenberg Peak at 09:52 am. We stopped hiking and took a short 10 minute rest. While we rested, we also ate our cheese and provita snacks. Shortly after 10 0’clock we started hiking again. We began to descend towards the Weather Station. We soon moved off the footpath and onto a jeep track that led past the weather station. We continued hiking along the jeep track for the next 6 km, passing the Weather station and Maiden’s pool. As we hiked along the jeep track, it began to rain harder as we hiked through the clouds and mist, However at 20 minutes to 11 o’clock the rain subsided. We completed the hike at 11:04 am arriving at the gate to the Silvermine parking lot. We were then collected at 11:30 and driven back to the Scout hall. The hike was a total distance of around 20km.

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