I so very much enjoyed the trail run with Leave the Couch Together last time that I now plan my Sundays around their events! Sunday’s run was supposed to be a group thing but alas, too many conflicting races so he had to postpone till next Sunday and of course I am not available sigh.
The intention was to go trail running and so trail running is what I did. This time however, I had Zarina with me. Long-time hiking buddy. We even use to do mid-week hikes together while I was unemployed J She is also a road-runner and this was her first trail run J
After hiking Hiddingh Ascension few months ago and hiking 10 hours that day – ‘Down the shortcut we go into the darkened woods. It’s after 4pm already. We take every first turn off we see and tell them ‘just so you know, this is new territory for me but I’m confident in myself that I won’t get us lost. We stuck to the broader paths and realised how easy it is for people to get lost and mugged in Newlands forest. It’s a maze of smaller paths!’ I assumed the path we were on was going to lead us to the Pine trees and it did!’
And it was then that I decided that I need to explore more of this side of Newlands Forest. I also knew that I would not be able to do this alone! So! When Zarina said she will be joining! I chose this route! I however did not tell her that I haven’t actually done the route before. Only to a certain point and the rest is –see where it takes us 😀
I check into Mountain Tracking and Safety at 07:15 with our route with a 9am ETA. Was reminded by my Tracker that above Rhodes is a mugging hotspot. I know this and run with my Mace Pepper Spray. I ask Zarina if she wana stretch first and she declines and off we go. For the first time in almost 9 years of hiking, I turn right at the helipad! I’ve done the route straight up from the helipad though and of course, almost always, to the left.
Start running and there’s some steps and it stop and go all the way as it a gradual incline almost the entire way. I did not realise this. Zarina’s calf started cramping and she had to stretch it every so often. I ran ahead to a point and then waited on her to catch up. Means I could take a gazillion photos of forest. Took some videos too.
When we got to a clearing, I saw a familiar bench and remembered that I did this route from Rhodes with a friend, my nephew and my daughter few years back. My nephew’s first hike J Also, we got there was the sun was rising so got some shots of this before running off again. When we passed the fork I took last time, it was all once again new territory to me ^_^
When we got to the point where I wanted to turn back (the path coming up Rhodes Memorial), I noticed that we still had time to go further and so we did! Still a path I’ve never taken before! Still running and walking and taking photos and videos, I saw another clearing on top of a hill and decided that would be our turn around point.
It was like coming up from the steps at the cannon higher up and voila! Ocean & CBD views! This was also a peak of I don’t know what route.
Back we go via the same route and as we are going downhill now, we still had to keep the same pace as Zarina has road running shoes, not trail shoes with grip. Also saw another route to the Reservoir. Definitely a trail to explore some time.
Distracted by a photo shoot opportunity and as we had enough time, I took a little detour as well.
Also remembered which smaller path of many to go to where we came from. I’m pretty sure if we carried on that way, we would’ve gotten to Littlewort but I wasn’t about to find out as our ETA was 9am and it was nearly 9am.
Checked out of tracking at 08:59 J We clocked around 6km on that one J Thanks for joining me Zarina! Even though you didn’t know that the planned route was one I haven’t done myself ^_^
Until my next mountain adventure, ciao for now and thank you for reading J