Archive for November, 2013
Bathing in the cold river water listening to the sounds of water drunk with gravity and the voices of conversations of those far away.
Forced off-route last night and now improvising, I’ve stumbled into the backcountry of Marloth Nature Reserve.
My ears ring in the overpowering silence and I come across a monument to the human need to ruin perfectly fine mountains.
Vasque Boots are tough — but my soles were turning to butter. The culprit isn’t all the rocks I walk across, it is all the dead vegetation I am stomping down.
Sarahs Rivierberg greets those who’ve come to walk the Rim of Africa’s Langeberg Traverse with steep climbs, sharp rocks, and high exposure.
Tossing off my pack into a pile of grass at the top of Kuerkloof allows for me to take in my day’s climb. I turn to look back at the valley I’ve ascended…
Abandoned at the bend of a highway to walk into the mountains where no humans typically in their right minds travel (and certainly never alone!).
I find myself in the back of a bakkie (pick-up truck) because I failed to remember that I needed to plan a ride to the start of my adventure.
Every day is routine. Wake up, eat, pack, SELFIE.
Bushmen’s interpretation of time is said to have the future behind us, kept hidden from view, and that only out past is in-front of us able to be seen.
I keep telling myself “It’s as simple as walking from Montagu to George…” but I know this might me impossible.
This is breakfast, every day, for 27 days… Yummy?
Coffee – check. Twelve new crisp maps of the mountain range – check. Game plan for how to get through the mountains – err, working on it…
Culture shock is the disorientation towards a new environment. Reverse culture shock is when you struggle to make sense of returning home.
After 27 days of walking, the walk of the first half of the Rim of Africa, from the Cederberg to Montagu, was complete!
The Langeberg High Ridge Line is quintessentially Rim of Africa. This section of walking challenged us all with extreme climbs and descents, clouds and wind, and drought and exhaustion.
This beetle has “antlers” and “fur” but it wasn’t the most surprising fauna I found while walking the Langeberg.
There’s very little water to be found walking on the high ridge of the Langeberg mountain.
We climb the steady slopes of Langeberg mountain and the wind pushes the clouds down to greet us; a gathering in the sky.
Donga is Afrikaans for a gully created by erosion, which is a growing environmental problem in South Africa and around the world.
Wind can give you headaches. It peels you naked then removes your skin and muscles and grabs your bones.
Walking through the fynbos surrounding Simonskloof and moving along the high ridge line of Langeberg, we left the lower hills of renosterveld and moved back into the mountain fynbos we were familiar with.
“Witch’s Broom” is an infection caused by a destructive bacteria to marvelous effect — like a miniature plant growing out of control.
An interview with Henry, who set out to learn proper plant identification for 40 species of plants while walking on the Rim of Africa.
Arrangieskop Telcom Tower, about 8:30 in the morning. Our hike has been a concoction of wind, clouds, piercing sun, wet rocks, and more wind.
The cold, wet weather ate away at my enthusiasm. Walking along our dirt roads, which melted into slick highways of dark mud, my mind reached out towards the domestication around us…
Lesson to be learned: protect yourself from the elements and conditions of your walk — cause the Rim of Africa ain’t your typical walk in the park.
Explore the diversity found in the details, patterns, colors, and textures of fynbos flora from close-up.
We feasted as rain played on the corrugated roof, coffee percolated on the wood-burning stove, and storm lanterns flickered dim light over the table.
Why is the water red? The water looks like blood or tea, depends on the angle of the light, because of the tannins leached from the fynbos.
The sun rises over one of De Doorns’ wine farms. Sitting in the middle of over 200 farms, this is the heart of Cape Town’s wine country.
The Gecko Trail is an amphibious route into the Nuy River Gorge, and due to three days of near-constant rain, its river crossings beckoned the full force of raging water against mountain.
As I jumped this property fence, I was hoping this very serious-looking Afrikaans sign was not a angry warning.
The Rim of Africa’s Hex Valley High Traverse is an epic walk in the mountains.
8% of South Africa’s land accounts for 50% of its surface water — its freshwater catchments like those the Cape Fold that provide life to everything around them.
I look through the rocks and bush to find a way through, look up to check my position against the mountain ahead, and look behind to the clouds filling the sky… looking back is what scares me, even with the sun bright in the sky.
Old plastered houses with laundry on the line, children playing along dusty roads, and small dogs barking their hellos — ingredients of farm life of the Western Cape.