Following my previous blog of the same morning, I hiked without sleep. I was exhausted but not the least bit sleepy. I wanted to sleep! I needed sleep! But Mr Sandman refused to do me the honour of a visit sigh.
Attempting to nap, the phone call came that my brother was ill and they are waiting for the ambulance to arrive. All we knew is that he was ill and his chest was sore so my mother took her asthma pump with as they rushed off to my brother. I considered cancelling the sunset hike but it was for my daughter and her friends and the one friend was on his way already. Sophia nor Jason has been on Lions Head. Also Sophia will be going on holiday to Italy and Bulgaria soon so not going to have another opportunity soon. I asked my siblings to keep me updated as for now, we don’t know what was wrong.
Go pick the other 2 friends in Vredehoek and make our way to Kloof Nek Car park once again. Check in with Tracking at 17:45, our route and will update them with ETA as we go along.
There’s traffic cops assisting with traffic and pedestrians crossing over from Kloof Nek to Signal Hill road J How considerate of the City J
Anyway, we take the trail run route up from the road instead of the normal start at the hut and take their first group photo. Get onto the gravel path and I’m struggling! I’m really struggling! What if I pass out from exhaustion? Should I disappoint these kids? It’s actually quite dangerous to hike in the condition that I am in and I have their lives in my hands. Also, I’m worried about my brother. He was going through several tests while waiting for further information.
My sis in law message me: ‘Slm. Just to let you know: Brother had a mild heart attack. They are waiting on the cardiologist then he is being transferred to Vincent pallotti.’ My heart sank. My brother is only 5 years older than me and he’s just had a heart attack and I’m on the mountain! All I could do is pray! I will go to hospital immediately after the hike. Sigh
For newbies, these kids are quite fast and I struggle to keep up berating to myself for putting myself through this. Oh gawd I needed sleep but I persevere and trudge on. At the Old demolished fire lookout, we take our first break and take photos on the boulder. That’s also when a tourist on the path to Wally’s Cave, asks where is Wally’s Cave? I shouted back directions. Didn’t seem he believed me so waited on us. He said he followed the path but couldn’t find the cave.
Reach the cave and he said he was there but didn’t know it was Wally’s Cave haha. Took the compulsory photos of him and he then asked me how to get to the top from there and gave him directions. Again doubt from his side so asked if he could wait on us and join us up the path lolz.
Take the compulsory pics of the kids in groups and individual pics and off we go. With tourist in tow.
Up the chains and take photos. There was a debate whether or not to go up the staples and chains as Ashleigh seemed uncertain. (Ashleigh is Sophia’s friend so don’t know whether she’s hiked before or not) We went up the staples and chains without any effort. This was also when Brazilian tourist parted ways lolz. I feel so used haha! Since my daughter impressed me with her scramble up India Venster, I didn’t freak out watching her go up the chains. She couldn’t do that in my presence before.
Anyway, we reached the top at 19:10 and wait to take photos at The Spots. Photos done and we find a spot to settle down to watch the sunset and phone my mother for an update. My bro has to have an operation! This was way too serious to be a mild heart attack! Sometimes I think my family try to protect me from bad news by making it sound less serious. This is a good and a bad thing though. More prayers ensued and 2 stents were successfully inserted. Praise be to God.
We have supper, we watch the sunset at 19:55 and the sun is down by 20:00 and immediately make our way down. I’m in a hurry as I want to go to the hospital even though it’s after visiting hours. My parents and siblings are there and I’m not!
Anyway, I opt not to take the shortcut down (via the staples and chains) as its getting dark and I’m not risking a fall from the kids. We take the longer/safer way down which turned out to be a shortcut as there’s a queue going up and down the chains/staples.
Also hear someone coming down with a bag of empty glass bottles. Another hiker said it sounds like they had a party up there. I state that I’m just happy that they are carrying their litter down with them.
We also get human traffic and I’m annoyed by the slow pace. It’s for this reason that I do not hike Lions Head during the day/morning. I will only do a sunrise or sunset hike and never a full moon Lions Head. Just too many people.
Notice that several do not have headlights/torches and ‘steal’ our light. Cheapskates. Also see an owl ^_^
Finally manage to pass the slow hikers holding us up when the path widens and Taahirah, Sophia and Jason run off. I stay with Ashleigh and hike at her pace. There’s also quite a few scorpions on the path and saw some hiking in slops. Hope you don’t get stung guys. Especially since you are not hiking with a light and won’t see you stomping on the scorpions. Which I hope you don’t!
We catch up with the rest at the fork and safely arrived at the cars and checked out of tracking at 21:05.
Oh yes, I didn’t take a packet with for the litter and cringed at every wrapper, bottle top, straw, lollipop stick, empty booze; water and energy bottles and cans strewn off and on the paths. I was in no physical condition to exert myself further by repeatedly picking up litter when I have 4 teenagers in my care. If something happened to them or me, it’s on my hands. The litter on top was quite a disgusting sight. I’m pretty sure that the Dassies/ Rock Hyrax nibbles on your litter. I’ve seen Meerkats on Lions Head as well so pretty sure they nibble on your litter too. I’ve seen mongoose (mongeese?) on Table Mountain so they could possibly eating your litter too. You are killing our wildlife. When the South Easter blows, your litter blows into the ocean so you are killing our marine life too. How will you feel after eating plastic or being choked by plastic rings or straw shoved up your nose? This is what animals have to endure.
Ok rant over! 😀
The kids thoroughly enjoyed their hike and thanked me profusely. Especially after I sent them their pics haha. It gives me great pleasure watching others enjoy what I love so happy being able to do that for them.
I was basically running on adrenalin only and after the detour to the hospital and upon arrival at home, I finally started crashing! And crash I did. I also took muscle relaxants as my body needed to rest as well and I slept. Finally.
Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now and thank you for reading J
PS – my bro has since been discharged from hospital and recuperating at home J