Beginner Hike:  Constantia Nek to Skeleton Gorge Waterfall

It was time to take the beginner group on an easy hike again.  After our last hike, I received requests to invite people along on the easiest hike possible and chose above route.  It worked out perfectly for me as my knee has been acting up again and I need me knee to be fine for tomorrow night’s Supermoon hike 😀

8 of us met at Constantia Nek at 6:45am and those who requested this super easy hike could not make it for various reasons.  SIGH.  2 of my old hiking buddies joined us so that was a big plus 😀

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Happy Hikers

Anyway, I check-in with tracking – 8 pax, 7am, route and ETA at 11am from the car park and had our group photo at the signboard.  My sister in law is back with us after 2 months and most of the usual suspects had prior commitments but Nasheta and her clan.  I’m really chuffed that I can do this for her.  She’s been following my hikes for years and something she’s wanted to do but haven’t had an opportunity to do so until now.  Even better!  Is that she can do it with her husband and kids J  A fun fit family activity.  Also their kids must be related to Himouto lol (Anime character).  My brother and nephews was supposed to join as well but the kids couldn’t stand up so my bro stayed at home with the kids.

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Off they go!

At a chilled pace, it’s cold and windy at the start but we soon warm up when the sun makes an appearance and the wind subsiding.  We even got a few drops of drizzle but that didn’t last long.   We of course have to take several photos and even selfies 😛

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Selfie!

We regroup at various spots and there’s very little people on this trail initially but when we get to Kirstenbosch, we had to give way to trail-runners what seemed like every 5 minutes (I may not even be exaggerating).  Also, Sanparks created a new path which I think lead to the reservoir.  I also reassure the beginners that this is the hardest part of the route as I did say in my notice that this is the easiest hike to do.

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Change

Nursery Ravine is quite dry.  Not even a trickle of water or even a puddle.  A sober reminder of how little rain we had this past winter and now with Level 3 Water Restrictions.

Twice I had to climb down the path to pick up bottles that were thrown down and doubt anyone else would go down to get it, I did so – much to Fierdous and Nasheta’s dismay.  I’ve done more dangerous scrambles on the mountain and showed them (not demonstrated what scrambling is)

Get to Skeleton Gorge Waterfall and my heart sank as it’s just a trickle of water.  I have never seen this waterfall this dry.  Even less water than when we were there a month ago.  We didn’t even pose for photos at the ‘waterfall’ like we normally would do.  😦

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Nursery Ravine

This was our breakfast spot and we feast on koesiesters, brownies and other goodies.  Then we see a familiar face!  A face that we were so surprised to see this side of the mountain that we (I) asked him “Achmat Jackson!  Are you lost?!”  Not the best time to ask him this as he had tourists with him lol.  We explained to them that he normally sticks to Platteklip Gorge and did not expect to see him this side.  Also gave them koesiesters and explained to them what their Registered Tour Guide did last year.  If you didn’t know, Achmat Jackson, fondly known as AJ, hiked Platties 30 times in 30 days to raise awareness (and funds) for Ihata Shelter for Abused Women and Children.  This man is a legend.  He also hikes Platties at least 100 times in a year.

At 9:30am we make our way back and Faried (my undesignated leader – I didn’t have a leader or sweeper and just made sure we all stuck together as one group) decided that a variation to the route is in order and took the lower path through Cecelia Forest.  A route I’ve never taken before actually but doesn’t have that epic scenery as Newlands Forest.  Will be a great trail-running route though.

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Going back

This route is so flat and it seemed like we are taking forever!  My legs are thoroughly bored!  I need variation!  Steps!  A hill!  Something!  Also there’s hardly any views as we are surrounded by trees but the path itself is arid.   A tree must have fallen on the path and Sanparks cut the tree up and people helped themselves to piece of it…

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watcha got there dude?

Pleasant surprise to see a bench in memory of Dullah Omar though J  and a little stream J Finally see familiar surroundings and thoroughly confused as I’ve taken this route (past the Art Gallery) in the other direction before and we didn’t end up at the same place.  Somewhere along the path, I missed a fork.

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I checked out of Tracking at 11:15 and agreed to make our next easy hike Woodstock Cave. My intention is not to repeat a route unless it’s requested and I’m sorry guys but as much as a pleasant hike this route was, it’s just too boring on my legs.  I can’t see myself doing it again (hiking that is – I will trail-run it again)

Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now (ok until tomorrow after I’ve written our Supermoon hike!)  😀

*PS- this blog was written over a few days hehe

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me photobombing Nasheta’s pic
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