2 Hikes, a Scuba Dive and a Trail Run

When people asked me what I am going to do this holiday, I said that I was going to sleep!  It has been an exhausting year for me.  I had visions of PJ days and binging in front of the laptop and catch up on reading.  Go to the beach just after sunrise and leave when the crowds arrive and still have the rest of the day to myself.

Well that didn’t go as planned ^_^  This is a long one…Instead of individual blog posts, I decided to combine them all – time constraints

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Photo Cred: Shoaib…waiting for Mansoor

Spilhaus Buttress

I had other plans on Tuesday, not knowing that it was a public holiday until Shaheen phoned me.  I said I would assist her on her hike with friends.  It had to be an earlyish start as my daughter had to be at the beach at 12pm for a photo/film shoot for the Aquarium but not too early as I am on holiday after all.  6:30am was the agreed up time but Mansoor did not get memo or he doesn’t know how to read time lol and was just about to start without him until he arrived at 6:50am.

It’s their first scramble hike as they have been sticking to the easier routes and ready for a challenge.   Or so they say…

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Photo Cred to passing stranger

It’s all good and we chat and (they) take several photos going up to the contour path and stop for water breaks whenever need be.  Just as I’m about to start the scramble, I told them to please be careful where they step as the path is quite eroded and before pulling on rock, to first see if it’s stable. We don’t want any falling rocks.  Great!  Up we go and the path is even more eroded than I remember!  Also, I haven’t done this hike in a while as it is a beginner scramble hike which takes us 3 hours up and down.

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It’s getting hot in here

The heat soon starts beating down on us and we suffer.  Shade is a rare commodity and take advantage of it whenever it is to be found.  After a few scrambles, Zubeida has had enough of the heat and wanted to turn back.  To which Shaheen and I laughed as one cannot turn back on a scramble hike lol.

On the most technical scramble and in a particular position, Mansoor wanted to take a pic of me but then realised that he lost his phone but remembers exactly where he last used it.  Down he and Shaheen goes to retrieve his phone.

When he got up this scramble, he dropped his water bottle!  Told him I’m not going back down to retrieve it!  Also that he should tie all his loose items to himself to avoid dropping his belongings lol

Just prior to the longest and final scrambles, Shoaib had to take a break as the heat was getting to him and give him a chance to recover.  And just like that, the scrambles were done and we on the jeep track when a hiker had a fright seeing me come up there.  Her friend said that it was just the lookout and said no, we hiked up there.  He insisted that there wasn’t a path and I told him we scrambled up Spilhaus Buttress.  He still didn’t believe me haha. It was then that Shaheen realised that she lost her sunglasses.  To which Zubeida replied that she lost hers too.  BUT!  She was wearing it!  Not on top of her head but actually wearing it LOL!.  We (they) take their time going down the bridal path as it seems by some miracle that Mansoor actually takes more photos than Shaheen and I.  Well we’ve done this hike several times before so not much new scenery to take photos of.

We have breakfast at the fork back to Cecelia Forest.  As I told Mansoor that we couldn’t go back down to get his water, and as he was out, I felt obligated to give him mine which he used as a drip LOL.

As we are making our way down, I parted ways as I was pressed for time.  We started later than expected and took little bit longer than expected and rush down.  Except I got distracted by photos lol and they caught up with me a few times.

I only waited for them on the contour path making sure that they don’t go right to Constantia Nek or left to Kirstenbosch but straight down to the forest and that was the last I saw them and was back at the cars by 11am where I rushed home to pick up my daughter and rush to Muizenberg during holiday traffic to the beach and struggle to find parking.

The newbies did very well on all the scrambles and look forward to taking them on even more challenging scramble routes 😛  They were like ‘bring it on’  and I’m like ‘you know nothing Jon Snow’   (insert evil laugh)

Shaheen showed me her appreciation by taking me out for the most delicious supper!  ^_^

Sunset Wally’s Cave (on the same day)

This hike was a planned one and this time, my brother joined and Nadeerah from another group.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Uncle Nazeem there as well!  In my blogs I refer to him as Mr Wrap – he writes a weekly Wrap which I sometimes contribute and as he will probably Wrap about his hike, I can’t say too much and ruin his story for him.

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6 of us started at 6:30pm and hiked briskly up to the cave (brisk for me as I was exhausted and wanted to hike at a beginner pace!  But my brother was leading and I had to keep up!)  We arrived at the cave at 7:30pm and have supper before taking obligatory photos and I almost missed the sunset due to cloud cover which didn’t set behind the ocean as expected at 8pm but at 7:55pm but I did manage to catch it just in time!

After photos we make our way down and back at the cars at 9:30pm.  My ETA was 8:30-9pm for the latest but getting just the right photos inside and outside the cave takes time haha.

PS – Featured image credit of this post goes to Sumaya Mallie

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Scuba Diving

I know this has nothing to do with mountains but it is worth a blog post!  And technically, there are mountains in the ocean even though my dive was in the 2 Oceans Aquarium tank haha!

Anyway, when my daughter did the Open Water Padi course and she did her dive, I filmed from outside the tank with pride and envy!  I wanted to do that too! I too wanted to play with Yoshi and Bob the turtles 😛

And so I did.  Wednesday.   I did the DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) course with Iian prior to my dive.  It’s not just a matter of putting on the necessary gear and jumping in!  Oh no!  It’s a talk with charts and learning the hand signals and filling out forms and  questionnaire making sure you were taking note of the instructions and then putting on the wet suit!  OMG!  Putting on a wet suit is way more difficult than struggling into a size too small skinny jeans!  I eventually get this thing on and then it’s another struggle with flippers lol.  And into the pool I go and forgot half the things he just explained to me.  It’s making sure I can breathe.   That I’m not claustrophobic.  That I can swap mouth pieces should I run out of oxygen or should my own mouth piece fall out and slide over my shoulder.  This is not likely to happen in the tank but it’s essential to be prepared for any emergency situations and that I don’t panic.  All part of the rules and regulations of the DSD.

 

Finally it’s time for the dive with my daughter!  I finally get to experience something that she loves for a change.  Instead of hiking with me which is my love.

As we are sitting on the platform, Bob comes and swims over and I got to touch a turtle for the first time!  YAY!!!! And we dive.  We go down and my ears start to pain and I forget to pop my ears even though Iian showed me how and I did it the pool and I forget to do it in the tank and signaled him that I had to go up again.  Explained the situation and he explained again what I needed to do and I do it. I look around me in utter amazement!  The fish swimming about and we go down to the bottom as I am still unbalanced underwater.  I go to the glass wall to find my son and we have an audience!  I have to admit that I felt like I was on display (which I was) and humans on the other side of the wall are taking photos and videos of us.  Nevertheless, I wave and they snap away.  I then spot Yoshi.  To touch Yoshi is my goal.  Yoshi has been at the Aquarium since they opened (20 years ago)  Each time I’ve been at the Aquarium, Yoshi has been my fascination. And now I am up close and personal with her!  I signal to Iian if I can go ahead and he gives the ok and I pull my daughter along with me.  And I touch Yoshi!  I wanted to scream with glee but of course I couldn’t!  There were moments that I couldn’t help but smile and laugh forgetting that one cannot do so underwater as you will get water in your mouth haha.  Iian did show me how blow the water out of the mouthpiece though 🙂

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Pose for more pics, made a child cry when I swam closer to the glass lol and Bob comes over for another petting session.  We swim to the other side of the tank for more exploration and watch the school of sardines dart about and avoid the stingrays as they swim up close.  I don’t want to get stung!  But their mouths are so cute!  I would have touched them if Ian didn’t give the dire warning not to.

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Pet the turtles some more and just like that our 30 minute is over and we swim up.  Again forgetting to deflate lol.  Well Ian is very patient man and has been doing this for decades and has/is an instructor for children as well.

I am soaring with happy hormones and not only that!  I got to kiss a penguin and I liked it!  After my dive I had a penguin encounter and petted Teddy.  Hopper, the oldest penguin there, had no interest in humans lol.

Oh yes, after posting my pics on social media, it seems that many do not know that diving at the Aquarium is open to the public.  Read more here –> Dive at the Aquarium

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Trail Run

Sooo brings me to Thursday.  I haven’t mentioned Bestie in a while as I haven’t seen Bestie in a while!  The last time I saw Bestie was over a year ago!  On Woody Buttress.  On our hikes, we would plan to start trail running which we didn’t get to do as I delayed my start but he went ahead.  It was his birthday last week and when I wished him, I said that I’ve finally started trail running and he said that we should run and I of course said yes!

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Oh yes, he became my Bestie while on one of our hikes, I said I’m getting to old for this as I was struggling that day.  He then asked ‘If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?’  I said that I was 39 (which I was at the time)  He was in such shock by my reply and nearly fell of the rock he was sitting on as he thought I was 29/30 years old.  Just by his reaction, I said that he was now my Bestie haha!

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Black Button Spider

We agreed to run Thursday at 12pm from Newlands Forest to Kirstenbosch for a picnic.  I was very chuffed by the route as the last beginner hike from Skeleton Gorge back to Newlands Forest, I took that trail for the first time and wanted to trail run it since then and as it’s a mugging hotspot, I wasn’t keen to do it solo and now I get to do it with Bestie!  I silently questioned the time though coz who runs at 12pm?  Never mind, we were both on leave so no need to start early….except, Thursday turned out to be the hottest day of the year!

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We only got to run in the shady areas as it was way too hot to run in the sun, we walked it instead.  Wasn’t an issue as we got a chance to have a big fat catch up without me heaving my lungs out lol

Before we could settle down for our picnic in the Gardens, we had to hunt for rubbish bin to dump the litter I picked up along the way.

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Finally we found a spot in the shade and just chilled and snacked with little chatting.  It was just so super relaxing at that spot!  We stayed there for about an hour before heading back and wanted to run again but again, way too hot so walked instead still chatting.  We made plans for future trail runs and hikes J

Oh yes!  I did check in and out of Tracking for each mountain adventure and checked out at around 3pm.   I didn’t take many photos as I didn’t want to hold Bestie up but did take 1 or 2 that I absolutely had to!  If you really want to see pics of the route, check previous beginner hike on this route haha.

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Shjoe!  It’s been an active holiday and not what I planned but loving it!  So much time on the mountain = ENDORPHINS!

Ah so, we ring in the New Year soon.  May 2017 bring you much laughter, happiness and contentment and stay safe!

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

Happy eve before New Year’s Eve 😀

PS – by the time I started uploading photos, its already after midnight haha

PPS – by the time I was done uploading the photos it’s already after 1am and have to be up in less than 3 hours for morning prayers!  yikes

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “2 Hikes, a Scuba Dive and a Trail Run

  1. Fabulous post. And of course loved obviously reading about your diving experience. You managed to get some great pics and sure it is extremely special having shared this moment with your daughter as it’s something she loves doing. You to ching Yoshi!!! That’s something simply awesome and again so super special perhaps this may even get you ignited to do your Open water one so that you may share many more adventures with your daughter exploring the underwater world. Fiona

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