Today I did a route I said I will never do solo. Rhodes Memorial is a mugging hotspot but I wanted to go explore the old abandoned zoo and find the reservoir. Instagram inspires a lot of exploration hehe.
Find out more about the zoo here:
Last I did a trail run was in August and had to make time to do one. With the festive season upon us and as everyone is busy, I have the time to do my own thing 😀 I bought Trail Running shoes and couldn’t wait to try them out 😀 I am now a huge supporter of the Addidas brand since they made shoes from micro plastic littered in the ocean and beaches. Also, the soles of the shoes are made by Continental Tyres ^_^
Anyway, the friend who was supposed to join me was sick so solo it is. Left me with a conundrum as I really really really wanted to go to the Zoo but that’s not even a run, or even a walk for that matter and the only route I could do was Rhodes. Dangerous!
So after oversleeping, I went anyway. Lots of prayers and lots of self-admonishing for putting myself in such risk. This was the entire conversation with myself whilst driving but also told myself that I will be checking into Mountain Safety and Tracking and that I have my pepper spray and extra prayers for my safety. Also, hoping the muggers not on the mountain today seeing as it was Christmas.
So I check into tracking at 7:23am with my route and ETA of 10am. I estimated my time as I had no idea how long I would take and off I go with pepper spray in my hand. Oh yes! I parked at the lower car park at Rhodes which is next to the zoo and if I parked up at the Memorial, I may have bailed on the zoo idea if I was too hot and tired.
I considered taking the shortcut up but decided to stick to the road as I am alone in the area. There’s 2 other cars at the car park but have no idea where they were. Up up up I go, being vigilant of my surroundings and oh yes; I do have my earphones on so listening to music as well. Not too loud that I couldn’t hear what’s about. I’m certainly not running fit to run uphill haha so walk all the inclines (even the slightest and most gradual of inclines are hard for me) and run the flat sections.
There’s 2 other cars and ADT at the Memorial car park and they seemed to be picnicking at the statues. I hiked swiftly up the path and didn’t even stop to take photos of flowers or the views as my phone is in my hydration pack and didn’t want to be a sitting duck and easy target for potential muggers in the area. I did take breathers and quenched my thirst when required.
Finally on the contour path and turn left towards Newlands and run when I can and walk when I’m too tired (coz I’m unfit remember). I felt safer on this path so whipped out my phone to take photos and videos as I’m running (because I don’t have a gopro haha) There’s a couple with a dog at a ravine that I don’t know the name of and there’s actually water. Forgot that we had blessed downpours the other day so there would be streams J
2 trail runners passed me and even though it’s blissfully peaceful being relatively alone on the mountain, it does give me some peace of mind that I am not sole alone. Finally reached the carousel for a breather and update Tracking of my whereabouts. 3 veteran hikers join me and we chat. They say I am brave for being solo and I tell them yes, stupid and brave. I show them my mace and explain Mountain Safety and Tracking and they are impressed by how sorted I am. We also cringe by the amount of litter below the carousel and tell them that when I hike, I carry a bag and pick up the litter but I can’t run with a bag of litter in my hand. Also show them the pic of all the litter my daughter and I picked up when we went down Platties the other day.
Time to make my way back and a group of young ones on the path as well and then nature called. How inconvenient. Not so savory looking men are on the path as well and ready my mace just in case but I needn’t have worried. I really need to answer natures call but I can’t go up or down along this path and answer the call at the Ravine where the couple and their dog were. I then also see the waterfall! Really? Since when has that been there?! It’s actually a very open area and see remnants of a fire that stupid people made.
Going down again and I see a woman and her dog and her dog doesn’t look friendly. I asked her if it’s safe to run past the dog and she said it was. I didn’t believe her so walked behind them. I wanted to run though so asked her to hold her dog while I run past. She insisted it’s safe and didn’t hold her dog down. If I was in a bad mood I would’ve reported her ass coz dogs are supposed to be on a leash. Turned out her dog was harmless after all haha.
And then. I spotted a glass bottle. Urgggg!!!! I can’t just leave it there sigh. If the sun catches it in just the right angle for the right amount of time- hello veld fire! Not only that, it’s an empty booze bottle. I’m muslim and I have to run with an empty booze bottle in my hand!!!! I’ve obviously picked up booze bottles and cans before but always had a packet for it. My hydration pack only allows for essentials.
Anyway, going down Rhodes and my toes starting burning. Uh oh. Wrong size perhaps? Can’t be as it is comfortable. Perhaps wrong socks. I’m wearing Falke running socks but I don’t know if there is a difference between running socks and trail running socks. I could get blisters but fortunately it’s a short way down. I should’ve purchased a breathable pair of shoes and maybe my pair is made for winter. Don’t judge me; I’m still a newbie at trail running. And! I’m also out of water! How the hell did I drink 2l in such a short space of time? It wasn’t that hot but I guess I was sipping a lot.
No more running so walked the entire way back and again considered taking the shortcut down but decided again not to risk it. Time to find the Instagram inspired reservoir! And I find it! Tear-inducingly beautiful! Also a restricted area hey. Graffiti can also be unsightly but done right, it can be art 😀
Next up is the abandoned zoo and I pop on over and I am in awe by the history of it. That it’s not thrown down just adds that extra mysterious flare to it. To think that the Zoo has been abandoned since early 80’s and only maybe 10% of the population knows it even exist.
I check out of tracking at 10:07am and I’m a very happy chappy. I accomplished what I wanted to do for a long time and I didn’t die lol. Thank you guardian angels for keeping me safe.
Next up is a sunset hike and trail run and a sunrise hike before my holiday is over haha. I need to make time for some rock-climbing as well! But my Sundays are booked for other stuff for the month of January.
Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now and thank you for reading.
Happy holidays and be safe people. It’s carnage out on the roads.