Three Sisters hike in Kleinmond – 23 August 2015
This hike was specifically chosen for those of us within the group doing Matroosberg hike during the following weekend. If one wishes to research a little about this hike, for example, log onto Google, type in Three Sisters and you would probably find yourself looking at information in a totally different area as very little has been said about this hike within the boundaries of the Western Cape! So best to discover it for yourself, and once you find your way to the car park, a whole new area opens its arms to welcome you.
This is truly fynbos country and once the pathway breaks away from level ground and the ascent gently brings you up, the flora and fauna changes everything, it is just protea bush and more and more of them, everywhere! This region forms part of the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and is South Africa’s first registered biosphere reserve which is home to a variety of fynbos. Biosphere basically means that there is little human impact thus allowing nature to be nature. For more information log onto www.capenature.co.za/reserves/kogelberg-nature-reserve and download Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve brochure.
This hike was broken into 3 stretches as far as walking was concerned, the first section was certainly the most comfortable and easiest and at the end point we had our tea break which overlooked Kleinmond town below and where the Palmiet River meets up with the Atlantic ocean. As mentioned above, the flora is this area is spectacular and true to word above, and confirming that after not having seen this particular little flower in 4 years, it was spotted here in this rich and diverse reserve. The translation from its Afrikaans name into its English name “Granny’s Bonnet” (it really does look like a Voortrekker’s bonnet) – I just could not contain my utter excitement and was most definitely, apart from the views, my highlight of the day. This is a tiny (really tiny) orchid which flowers for only two months of the year, July and August, is too beautiful that words just fail me!
But moving on and quite literally we continue with the upward zig-zag, flat, zig-zag climb, still at a comfortable pace until reaching the mid-point of the up-hill climb which offered, again, stunning views of the valley below. At this point, there is much debate about which direction we are to continue on, and yes, most of us had seen the path going up but were convinced that this was not part of the route, ha-ha, little did we know it was indeed our continued climb up to Three Sisters, we were not even there yet. Three Sisters are the three apexes at the very top. Bracing ourselves we ascended up a 45 degree angle which was not too bad after all but then as you get to the point where you think you have reached the top, only to realise that there is more to come, heads down, deep breathes and just do it! Needless to say, we did all do it!
Lunch break with 360 degree views, priceless and having said that it is still an under-statement unless you see it for yourself to understand as words just seem so insignificant in describing this vastness of this not-so-well-known hike.
And as be said, in the classics, what goes up, must come down, and down we did do and Knife’s Edge was particularly a knife’s edge of a descend (perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea having just scoffed lunch) where each of us, carefully put one foot down at a time, and then up through rocky pathways and crevices and then down along a single and narrow path, then up and down again, accomplishing the challenge of conquering the Three Sisters. Who saw the rabbit? Suffice to say, not many of us did due to the high levels of concentration in getting down these mountain slopes and thus watching our feet instead. There was probably not one person who did not have jelly legs on arriving on solid flat ground! ~ Written by Loraine Nielson / Photo’s by me