Archive for November, 2010

A cold & wet night on the mountains

The plan was to start at Glen Beach, hike up and enjoy the sunset from the top of Table Mountain, then run/hike by the light of an almost full moon, over the mountains to Muizenberg, where we would hopefully enjoy a gorgeous sunrise from the mountain top that side.

Night Run

Night Run

O.k. so that never quite panned out but it was a quite a night nevertheless. It rained softy just before we set off from Glen Beach but the clouds lifted a little as we made our way towards the mountain, allowing for a pleasant ascent up the Diagonal Route.

It was another story altogether when we reached the top; pea soup mist, rain, cold and poor visibility. With every one layered up we made our way through the Valley of the Red Gods, Valley of Isolation, through Echo Valley onto the front Table and Maclears Beacon. Having walked or run that route from the top of Platteklip to Maclears many many times, in all kinds of weather and at all times of the day and night, it was still a challenge staying on the path, even with the help of the Damatas’ yellow footprints that they painted a year earlier. After rounding Maclears we set off for Constantia Nek along Smuts’ Track. Mark suddenly realised that he had lost his watch/gps somewhere between the top of Platteklip and Maclears and that he and Annie were going back to look for it.  Which they did, not finding it and descending the mountain via PK – that search couldn’t have been fun. Not to be thwarted they returned the next morning and completed a successful search and rescue, recovering the watch.

We continued to the Nek and the thought of a hot fire and cold beer was starting to sound appealing and, to be honest, had the bar at Constantia Nek been open I’m not sure how much further we would have gone. It wasn’t – the parking lot deserted, the bar locked up for the night – moving on, without a cold Kevin who called it quits at the Nek.

Vlakkenberg was wet and cold, but without much visibility the top comes and goes quickly. Level Five to Silvermine – it rained most of the way but we soon found ourselves crossing Ou Kaapse Weg to Silvermine South, where the rain relented slightly.

We made our way to Muizenberg, at one resting point we were serenaded by the singer in the pack, Ansa Theron, who sang us a Tracey Chapman song, good stuff.  We descended via Farmer Peck’s Valley, an area I haven’t explored much at all, but will in the near future and soon found ourselves overlooking a deserted Muizenberg, streets shining from the rain. We headed down and ran though the quiet suburb, before arriving at Cher’s house, where she very kindly agreed to provide refuge to 10 smelly, wet and tired runners. Thanks Cher.

After some warm drinks and a few hours nap, the sun appeared outside and some headed to Gaslight for breakfast. We took a slow stroll, the sun gloriously welcome after the night’s weather.

Now I know it was close to 8am but a run is a run and beer is still best after a run. Not at Gaslight – no alcohol served before 11am or whatever the new laws state – so coffee for me.

I do like the relaxed atmosphere and reasonably priced food at Gaslight and their chocolate cake can make your head spin; it’s also fun to watch the coming and goings of the always lively surfer’s corner.

Suddenly, as if to remind us of our night on the mountains, the sun disappeared and yes, it started raining.

In summary, we covered about 40km in 10 hours – we got pretty wet but we had fun.
The run was organised as a fundraiser for Journey Trails.

From Journey Trails – sent before the run
“To all participants
Thank you very much – in advance- for your generous donations towards supporting the Journey Trails Youth Development Programme. Every cent is truly appreciated.If you are interested to see where your donations will go, please see our website at www.journeytrails.co.za
Enjoy the run!
With much appreciation
David and Sarah – Journey Trails coordinators

cheers
Washer