When I estimate the time of a route, its either I’ve done it before with a beginner group or I’ve timed myself at my own pace and double that. The last time it took me about an hour (one way) so estimated the route to be 3-4 hours. Yesterday (Sunday) we took 5.5 hours.
When I sent out the details of the hike, I said that there is a chance of rain and that they should dress appropriately. As I walked out the door, it started raining and knew some will pull out but the dedicated hikers will still come. If no-one pitched, I would do a solo Platties ^_^
Anyway, after salutations, 13 of us started at Newlands Forest Station and the skies cleared but kept my rain-jacket on as it was still very cold. We had our first group photo at the signboard and were merrily on our way ^_^ I had no designated leader or sweeper and said whoever is in front will lead and whoever is at the back will sweep but I did keep mostly at the back to make sure I ‘lost’ no-one hehe.
We had the compulsory photo-shoot on the bridge and continued on chatting up a storm, except the kids. One would think that there are no kids with us as they are so quiet. They don’t shout or complain or nag. (I think their mother ‘dopes’ them [just kidding]) but seriously, seriously well behaved children.
We regroup at every fork and just before the contour path, I go ahead to make sure that we don’t miss the turn-off and that everyone is on the path. We stop and admire the view and take lots of photos 😛 (and selfies hehe)
This section is mostly in the forest and we are still good with time but when we get to the rocky/boulder parts, its slow going as the little ones are super extra careful and when I noticed this, I picked up Yaqeen and carefully carried him across haha.
The boardwalks are also slippery from the rain and Zaida slipped and fell but she was ok (Collecting bruises like I do haha) and by this stage we are taking longer than anticipated so take a photo of the map looking for shortcuts on our return journey. Routes I haven’t done before but I’m taking a group down there somewhere lolz. Not very responsible but I’m confident that I won’t get lost 😀
I told one of the hikers that I haven’t told the newbies about the one zig-zag uphill as I’m keeping it as a surprise. I tend to do that lol and ignore their complaints. They have to do it and they do it anyway and can be pretty proud of themselves ^_^
The siblings are holding hands and I’m like – are these kids even normal?! My kids fight like cats and dogs on a daily basis! As old as they are! They would never hold hands or show affection towards each other! Such a sweet sight to behold these kids 🙂
Anyway it’s up and down the zig-zag path and carry Yaqeen down the steps as he doesn’t like the steps very much but he doesn’t complain. He just smiles at me whenever I talk to him 🙂 Such a sweet child.
We eventually reach the Waterfall at 10:45am’ish and photos ensued. Zaida decided again that she was going to slip and fall soaking her lower half *rolling my eyes* She’s ok and assist her down the wet slippery boulders 😛
Breakfast is served! Little Nuha offered me chocolate without saying a word. She is now my bestie! On our last hike I told her she can’t eat a chocolate alone and now she knows 😛
We start our return journey at 11:30am (The time we are supposed to have been done with the hike haha) and look out for the paths according to the map. I love reccing!
All new scenery and I’m loving it! The Forest is another world that I never knew was there before as we always stick to what we know! It’s because these guys were on a go-slow that I chose to take a short-cut and I got to see and experience something new as well! Thanks guys! 😀
We follow the signboards – pointing to Newlands Forest (although there are 2 directions – we/I basically guess which one to take lolz) regrouping at every fork and still loving it! Wasielah is leading as I’m too busy taking photos lol. Also, making sure my sweeper is within in sight 😛
At the start of a new boardwalk the Gardens are constructing (or Sanparks…I don’t know) the signboards point up and I’m like, I’m not going up. They even confirmed with the Gardens guys and they said up and I’m still like, nope, I’m not going up. I’m following the newly constructed incomplete boardwalk. They said that they tried that way but the route ended. I say, I don’t care, I’m following the route and off I go and see and yip, the boardwalk may not be complete but the trail is there haha. They had to come back down and follow me hehe. – Listen to your hike leader even though she has no idea where she is but she does know where she’s going 😀
Still guessing which way to go at each fork and we reach a fence! Who knew?! 😀 I’m still so very happy for everything new! At this section guess what? Zaida decided to fall again She’s ok.
#zaidamustfall #zaidahasfallen #zaidastopfalling! *rolling my eyes*
The group is waiting on us and come see where we are taking so long but we do catch up shortly but then at another fork, we don’t know which way to go. Fortunately, another hiker gave us directions and off we go.
Then! I see a familiar sight! I’ve been there before! 11 years ago with my kids! My very very first hike ever! Exploring the forest really so didn’t classify that as a hike 😀 I’m soaring in happy hormones!
Lots and lots more photos and just past the boom gate, I see another building I have never seen before (or can’t recall as I must have seen it 11 years ago) and its almost directly across from the main path we always take haha!
And that’s when my battery died! Oops! I forgot to charge my portable charger last week and I still need to check out of tracking! I did update them at 12pm that they should extend our ETA to 1pm and its 1pm when we were done. I remembered that Momeena will have Anwar’s number and asked her to update Tracking ^_^
I did pick up litter but couldn’t take a photo – dead battery.
Also got Uncle Shamieg from Ommiedraai and confirmed that I will be marshalling for their race on the 23rd October.
Its marshalling season, the end of the year is closing in and it’s going to be busy busy busy!
Until my next mountain adventure, thank you for reading and ciao for now J
PS – I wrote this over a couple of days *embarrassed face* Lucky I don’t have deadlines haha