Thursday, 24 January 2013

Cecilia Forest - Rhodes Memorial

Difficulty : 2B
Length: 3.5 hours

You will need to leave a car at Rhodes Memorial before you start this hike in Cecilia forect. Close to the parking lot you will need to take the Cecilia Ravine route. It starts off with a mild unshaded uphill and soon runs into a beautiful shaded path along a stream. 

This was the only running stream we saw but during other months there are lots of beautiful streams and even waterfalls to be seen. Because of this it is essential to bring lots of water on this route, atleast 2 litres per person.

There are many different ways to get to Rhodes Memorial from here but I will describe the route we took. Not long after you've entered the shaded path along a stream, there will be an exit to your right which comes out into this   barren dirt road. This road will soon have a path leading off to the right which goes into Kirstenbosch gardens. 

Take this path and then take your first exit (if you want to skip paying entrance) to the left which will take you past the irrigation dam. Please note that no dogs are allowed along this path. Once you are past the dam the path it is very easy as you just need to follow the signs to Skeleton gorge.

As soon as you see a sign to Rhodes Memorial you will start ascending into the mountains. This is the hardest part of the hike which takes you up many stairs for about an hour. When you get to the first gorge of white rocks the path flattens out.

You will now be in the heart of the Newlands forest where there are many beautiful wooden walkways. The path is shaded 80% of the way and at the right time of the year there are a few flowing streams to collect water. There are lots of exits along the way into the Newlands forest but stick to the contour paths which will take you around Devils peak. 

When you start to come around Devils peak start to look out for the block house. Just before you get to a stile there will be a path going down towards Rhodes Memorial. You wont be able to see the memorial but just make sure you continue down straight and dont venture onto any other connecting paths going across the mountain contours.

Once you get down to Rhodes Memoral there is a tap to get some fresh water. You can have a good rest and take in the history and hopefully you remembered to pack your car keys :D

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The mountains feed my soul

Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. This is where I have spent the majority of my life. We have the most beautiful surroundings here. There are the Chapmans peak cliffs that curl around a large bay. From one side the paths go all the way to Noordhoek and on the other you can find trails going into Kirstenbosh gardens.

I have been hiking around the Western Cape for roughly 10 years now. I recently did a 8 day walking leader course with Adventure Forth which has got me so excited to spend more time in the mountains and less time in the office. This year I will be tackling as many new trails as I can.

With each hike I will be documenting the details as well as my favourite fynbos and birds you could see. So please follow my page if you are interested in reading about my experiences.

Here is a list of some of the hikes I do regularly and will be guiding soon.

  • Blackburn Ravine (Hout Bay)
  • Manganese Mines (Hout Bay)
  • Vlakkenberg (Hout Bay)
  • Myburgh Ravine (Hout Bay)
  • Llandudno Ravine (Hout Bay)
  • Skeleten Gorge (Cape Town)
  • Nursery Ravine (Cape Town)