t has taken years but my son has finally decided that hiking with his mom is not so bad after all. He has decided (all by himself) that sitting in his room playing games all day and into the night is boring and there is more to life than that. Yaaay… that makes me one very happy mom and I am looking forward to doing many hikes and maybe even a few overnight hikes in time to come.
During the exams my son climbed up Lion’s Head very early one morning and when we came back he found the info about Wally’s Cave and we decided that the school holiday was the perfect time to go explore and see if we could find it.
And so our 1st hike for the holiday was finding Wally’s Cave on Lion’s Head.
It seems not too many people do it and I’m actually quite happy about that. A hiking buddy of mine explained how to get there and with a bit of help from www.lifeofmike.co.za we somehow manage to find the lower path up to the cave via a rather well hidden entry. It is rather a uphill bit very doable as long as you have stamina and don’t mind uphill’s 🙂 The cave was easy enough to find with beautiful views over Table Mountain.
We decided to explore a bit more and followed a small path around the back of the cave were we did a bit of scrambling and climbing but found a few more caves and shelters with stunning views. Great fun but not a well marked path so be very careful of loose rocks and slippery grass. After our little expedition we took the top route back down which meets up with the main path at the 1st set of steel steps. Thankfully we are early morning hikers because Lion’s Head is a very popular and busy hike.
The 2nd and relatively easy hike we did was the Pipe Track with an old school friend of his visiting from Germany. It is an out and back route that took us just under 3 hours to complete with a tea break close to the end.
The Pipe Track was built in 1887 as the route for the pipeline that would transport the water from the reservoirs on top of the mountain to the city.
It is a lovely easy hike for beginners that takes you right along the foot of the 12 Apostles with magnificent views over Camps Bay. We parked at the top of Kloof Nek (at the car park as you turn onto Tafelberg Rd, as if you were going up to the Cable Car). There is a small building with a fence around it with a very clear path; just follow the path that leads around the side of it and within a few minutes you will get the 1st view of Camps Bay below, Lion’s head above and find remnants of the old pipeline which they seem to be working on. After a few minutes the path takes a bit of a plunge down, with a bit of a climb up on the other side but nothing strenuous. We passed a few side routes that we would like to explore at a later stage. (Blinkwater ravine, Kasteelspoort and many other trails that lead off the Pipe Track onto the back of Table Mountain)
You reach a point were just past Kasteelspoort the path joins a wider jeep track for a few minutes crossing a concrete wier which shrinks to a path and begins a gradual climb. The next route up the mountain is Woody Gorge and a bit further it takes you around the corner and into Slangholie Ravine. This is the best part of the hike. The path follows a series of steep steps followed by a short sharp descent along a ledge. As the path approaches Slangholie Ravine the path narrows and hugs the side of the mountain where the hike is supposed to end but we crossed the small river and continued along the path for a short way through a patch of lovely indigenous trees, then turned back and found a lovely place to sit and enjoy our coffee and sandwiches with a beautiful view before heading back. Easy hike to do with small kids too…
The Palmiet River Trail was our 3rd hike that week with a group of ladies that my son has know for quite a number of years as “The Golden Girls”. The Palmiet River Trail is a glorious ramble through the fynbos and offers many opportunities for swimming. Although un-shaded it is ideal as a summer hike. Just watch out for snakes on very hot days. We got to see 3 large Cape Cobra and 1 of them even decided to swim with us. Some real heart stopping moments and we are sure some walking on water took place… LOL
There are numerous places you can swim but a wonderful surprise at about the four-kilometer mark you will find a sign indicates a beach and there is a perfect beach of white sand next to a deep pool that is perfect to picnic and swim before heading back the same way or via the jeep track a bit further up the path.
That sadly was the end of our school holiday hiking but not the end of Mom & Son’s hiking adventures 🙂 His Favourite is the Boomslang Cave above Kalk Bay 🙂