On our last easy hike, Woodstock Cave was decided upon even though I don’t usually repeat a route. As there are lots of new people since Volunteer Sanparks AWOL Ranger and I started this beginner group, I don’t really mind as it’s about sharing my love for the mountain with beginners regardless of the route.
Last night, Nasheta messaged me saying that she is too tired to hike today so I put her on a guilt trip as she requested the hike. That was enough for her to change her mind and she even picked up my sister in law and myself.
So 14 of us started promptly at 7am from Rhodes Memorial and its hot already. I did tell them in my message that they shouldn’t forget the sun-block, peak caps and to freeze a bottle of water. Several of my old hiking buddies joined us today and Boeta Cassiem lead as I swept. My sis in law’s work colleague and her husband and 2 other new ladies J
As my sis in law’s legs were pulling stiff going up and her pace was slow, I could pick up litter going up which I normally only do going down. Still can’t believe how much litter my daughter and I picked up just going down Platteklip last week. (See my previous blog – India Venster with Mini-me) India Venster with Mini-me
We regroup at each fork and even though the more advanced hikers had to wait on us, we do give the beginners a breather as well before going ahead. When we reached the contour path, I tell my sis in law to stretch her legs as she said she doesn’t know how much further she can go but I keep her motivated to go on.
I also decided to take the shortcut up to the blockhouse instead of the winding road as it’s too hot for that. When we reached the blockhouse, I gave them a chance to take photos and just enjoy the view. We want them to enjoy the hike as well and not just to remember how hard it was. I also don’t go down from the Canon as there’s always too much litter there. People will just sit there and throw their rubbish down! Grrrr!!!
It’s along the contour path now at a faster pace and gazillion ants! Not a path to stand still or get eaten up! The route is still flagged from yesterday’s Ultra trail run and even picked up their litter as bottles and energy wrappers were discarded on the path. Sigh.
Regrouped at the fork up to the cave and the pace slows down again and again my sis in law says that she can’t go on. We only a couple of meters from the cave and tell her so. There’s no turning back on my beginner hikes. I know anyone can do it no matter the pace. Unless they are ill that is.
The Waterfall is even there thanks to Friday’s downpours ^_^ Told them they could cool down under the waterfall or refill their water bottles.
The entrance to the cave stinks of urine! I did tell them as well that sometimes peoples sleep in the cave and use it as a toilet as well. Hence the need of incense sticks. They were sitting close to the entrance and told them to sit more in the middle as the smell is more bearable.
I light up the incense sticks and we feast and chat and enjoy the views! And take photos of course. We reached the cave about 9:10am and left at 9:55 but not before taking group photos and asking another hiker to take photos of us as well.
I’m still sweeping as the beginners go down carefully as to not slip and fall and as it’s a gradual decline, I can still go down at their pace. The others are waiting for us in the shade at the blockhouse and said that we taking the winding road down as it will be too dangerous for the beginners to go down the shortcut. On the contour path again, I hike ahead of the beginners as going down at their pace puts strain on my knees and thighs but I do wait for them whenever they are out of sight.
I assumed the others were long gone already as we really hiked at a slow pace down but I was pleasantly surprised to see them sitting on the grass at the car park.
I check out of tracking at 11:35am and the original plan was to go to the old abandoned Zoo as well but it’s too hot now and we all wanted to get home and shower. I think I will do that route on my next trail run 😀
Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now and thank you for reading.