Back in Boots May 18, 2009Posted by baldricman in Hiking.
Tags: hike, houtbay, silvermine, table mountain, table mountain national park, tmnp, walk
Well yesterday marked a bit of a milestone for me: I did my first hike since injuring my ankle in September last year! *fanfare*
And it was really great to pull on my boots, stuff my daypack full of “what-if” equipment, and get on the path again, albeit a pretty straightforward one. The lucky venue for our hike: Silvemine Nature Reserve. Silvermine, part of the Table Mountain National Park, has long been one of our favourite haunts for quick ‘n easy day hikes. Its close by, it’s paths are kept in great condition by the staff, it has a stunning and very accessible display of fynbos (something I know all too little about), and offers an absolutely astounding, near 360-degree view including Noordhoek, False Bay, Cape Point, the flats, and best of all, Hout Bay.
We made a pretty late start for a change, arriving late morning. The group consisted of wifey and I, her parents, and their 2 dogs, and we started off with the terribly sedate but beautiful river walk. I must point out that this walk is very easy and therefore quite suitable for people of all ages and all fitness levels… hence the choice for my first walk. The path is pretty easy-going, fairly level, and there is a lot of shade. The river walk follows, surprisingly, a small river that has its source at the Silvermine Reservoir. As such its best (in my opinion) to do the walk after some heavy rain, so that the reservoir has overflowed a little. Its a very pretty little path that meanders through a mix of some fairly dense fynbos as well as indigenous forest. The walker also gets to experience all the beauty of trickling streams and gushing mini-waterfalls!
Upon reaching the end of the path (the River walk is a “there-and-back” affair) we headed up the gravel track that winds its way around the mountain, heading up towards Noordhoek Lookout. We didn’t go far along this road however, but instead took a small footpath off to the left after only a few hundred metres. This path surprised us with a great little spot overlooking False Bay and the flats for a coffee break, and then guided us safely back to the main river path again. Total trip, according to my GPS (which I haven’t been able to use since the ankle-incident!!) was roughly 7kms.
So it looks like the hiking thing should become a regular activity again, especially considering our goal to get back into the overnight hikes we are so keen on. And Silvermine looks like it will regain its title, for us, as the steady regular spot for our “training”, to get in shape again.
If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend you give it a whirl. The entrance fee is very reasonable (I think about R15, but we use Wild Cards anyway… a very worthwhile investment).
I’m thinking of putting up a proper description of the normal walk we do (which is nearer 10kms): this walk includes a spectacular view over Hout Bay (mentioned earlier). This is unfortunately the best picture I could find of the view, but I think it will g ive you an idea of what’s on the cards. Either way, I’ll replace it as soon as I find a better shot, somewhere in my archives… 🙂