A Sunset and Supermoon hike

When the notices were going around about the Supermoon falling on a Monday, I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity pass especially since I didn’t hike last week (ok I did a teeny tiny hike up Fernkloof Reserve in Hermanus)  and it falls the day after I did an easy hike, I could get some mountain endorphins working.

I asked my mountain byatch to join and she jumped at the opportunity as well.  We debated possible routes to avoid the congestion of traffic and hikers.  Capetonians has zero chill when it comes to Full moon hikes.  Lion’s Head being the best vantage point as you get to see the sunset and the moonrise on one peak.

We eventually settled on one of the peaks up Constantia Nek.  We may not get to see the sunset over the ocean but this hike was about the Supermoon after all.  She was to ask friends to join us and said as long as they are not slow as we have time constraints.  Traffic would be our biggest obstacle.

I even borrowed my brother’s camera for the occasion but I hadn’t a clue how to use it besides just snapping away.  Another friend sent me a link on how best to take Supermoon pics and the jargon went straight over my head.  No time for crash course in photography.

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Kloof Corner 

I checked the weather forecast to make sure that we have clear skies as a full moon hike would be pretty useless to do and fortunately it’s all good!

Anyway, yesterday, Shaheen said that she didn’t invite anyone along as her friends are not as fast as us lol.  As it was just the two of us, for safety reasons, we were going to brave going to Kloof Corner as Lion’s Head is a resounding hellz no.

I would work through lunch and leave work at 4pm, go home, change of clothing and boots and warm up supper to be feasted on the mountain.  At the last minute, her sons decided they want to go with as well.  Driving to our initial meeting point, I only then remembered that my gloves are not in my bag.  Its South Easter winds and once the sun sets, it’s going to be cold! Sigh

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Lions Head

Shortly after 17:30 I follow Shaheen to her place of work to park my car and we go with one car to Kloof Corner.  We get the bumper to bumper traffic from Gardens Centre.   MEH!  It’s slow going from thereon in but painfully slower when we get to Kloof Nek road.  We could smell the clutches burning and cars on the side of the road overheating.  Like I said, Capetonians has zero chill.

BUT!  Surprisingly!  We only sat in that traffic for about 20 minutes from Gardens Centre.  Even more surprisingly!  We had a choice of parking!  Majority of the hikers are of course on Lion’s Head.  Good luck to them.

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We pass several parking bays and even got a parking at Kloof Corner Water Station!  Can you believe it?!  Also!  Despite gale force winds down below, not even a breeze here and I am overdressed in a winter top and now don’t regret that I forgot my gloves at home.  I would not need it at all.

Shaheen checks into Tracking, 4 pax (incl 2 kids) with an ETA of 20:30 and we merrily make our way up the path.  Her eldest being in a hurry so I kept up with him and Shaheen hiking at her youngest pace.

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Going up!

I’m taking gazillion photos with the Canon camera 😛  and take a few with my phone camera and occasionally wait on Shaheen and her youngest until they are within eyesight but then go off again.  Junaid has no interest in slowing down, even when I stop to take photos.  I tell him to keep within eyesight at least as I know this route is safe.  If I had any misgivings, I would have kept him by my side the entire route.   We chat about random stuff along the way.

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12 Apostles

When we got to Kloof Corner Contour peak, I see a familiar face and snap away.  While waiting for Shaheen, I have supper and snap snap snap snap away.  She arrives and takes out their supper and while waiting for the sun to set, we all snap snap snap away.

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Supper with a view

Random maybe pointless observation – the ‘coloureds’ were gathered on one section while the ‘whites’ on another – segregation much?  Or rather the non-drinkers were separated from the drinkers.  A more plausible explanation hehe.  These guys were here to party and I sincerely hope they cleaned up the broken glass bottles and litter.

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Friends

I tell Shaheen that we have to wait a while as the Moon is going to rise behind Devil’s Peak and won’t see much until then…(You know nothing Jane Snow)

Not long after, we see another familiar face and we snap snap snap away some more.  The sun is setting and snap snap snap some more.

And then!

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Lion’s head all gorgeous with the sun setting

The moon is rising!  Everyone is excited and click click click snap snap snap away!  I was clearly wrong!  We had an unobstructed view of the moon!  And we had an unobstructed view of the sunset!  We were on the second best spot after Lion’s Head but still a better spot congestion wise.

Even after the sun has set and the moon has risen, there are still hundreds of cars stuck in traffic coming up the mountain from all sides.  The torches are glittering up Lion’s Head and people with their professional cameras and tripods are scattered about.

Shortly after 8, we start making our way down Kloof Corner and felt the twinge in my knee!  Oh crap!  I don’t need this now as our end of year party is the weekend and I need my knee to dance the night away!

I shake out my knee every few steps and fortunately the pain went away.  Shaheen also stops at scorpion and we snap, snap, snap, snap away.  It’s the biggest scorpion that I’ve seen thus far on the mountain.

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Scorpion!

Off we go and we get hikers only going up at that time and they were supposed to meet at 18:45.  And their notice stated that they would have to leave their homes early as there will be traffic.  They.were.stuck.in.traffic.all.that.time.  Like I said, Capetonians has zero chill.

I check out of Tracking at 20:45.  It was a very delightful hike and I enjoyed it immensely!  That short hike up Kloof Corner was more of an endorphin inducing hike than Sunday’s beginner route hehe.

And then!

Traffic!  Serious traffic!  It took us about 40 minutes to reach Kloof Nek road from Kloof Corner car park!  I’m not even exaggerating!  It was a stop and go situation with traffic cops directing cars coming up and going down from all directions.  It was like New Year’s Eve on the Kloof Nek Road haha.

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Waiting for mommy

I eventually get home and phone my son to unlock the security gate as I didn’t take a key and he tells me he is in town.  They left home around 18:30 and could only reach the base of Lion’s Head as by then, Rangers were turning people around as those coming down faced human congestion.  My son only got home around 11pm .  Sanparks Volunteer Ranger Saeed only got home at 00:35am!

Capetonians has zero chill.

Thinking about all the post Supermoon hike litter makes me cringe!  Litterbugs are everywhere!

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Sun is setting

I already notified the Easy group that I will be doing midweek sunset hikes during the festive season (not full moon hikes!)  Not sure I should call them the Easy group any longer as there’s been requests to do harder hikes (B+ grades) so I find myself committed to that as well now lol.

Until my next mountain adventure, thank you for reading and ciao for now.

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sigh

*PS – after transferring my pics from the Canon, I had to delete more than half as the pics came out blurry and crappy and nearly cried!  What a Supermoon photography waste!

Note to self:  learn how to use the damn camera settings!  And when friend say use a tripod! Use a damn tripod!  T_T

Also, seems a consensus has been reached on Facebook that last night’s Supermoon didn’t appear much bigger than some previous full moons we’ve seen in the past.  That’s what hype does hey.

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