Adventures: July 2017

Β WESTERN CAPE,Β SOUTH AFRICA

Justin Hawthorne

Another month filled with plenty time spent on the mountain – guiding, as well as walking for pleasure. Lots of hiking at Silvermine & on Devil’s Peak, together with numerous Table Mountain hikes dominated the mileage. I was also fairly present at the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park – guiding on the Shipwreck Trail, Sirkelsvlei circuit, Kanonkop & of course at Cape Point too.

In early July I took a walk with my brother up our local hill to catch the evening light over the Noordhoek Wetlands. There was plenty cloud about and there was promise of a beautiful winter sunset. It happened, but we’d already descended from the best vantage point (hoping to have had a super golden hour – which did not deliver). We enjoyed the sunset from the base of the mountain, safely down before dark. A couple days later we repeated: this time golden hour did not disappoint! The lighting was incredible – pure gold, literally. Perseverance is key for getting the shot you know is possible.

The view from Muizenberg Peak is stunning – I don’t get there often enough, and made a point of including it in a recent hike at Silvermine East during July. The Silvermine section of the Table Mountain National Park is fantastic for all degrees of hiking preference. A wide network of trails & jeep tracks can be walked to suit any hikers desires, and coastal views are always on the cards. On the particular day I was up at Muizenberg Peak there was a lot of low cloud over the Cape Flats and False Bay. As the day progressed the cloud dissipated somewhat, and made for ever changing scenes. I really love hiking above low cloud – all signs of civilization hidden. I enjoyed a late brunch up at Muizenberg Peak: coffee brought up in my flask & an almond croissant from The Foodbarn Deli. Not the worst spot to sit down and admire the views!

I was craving a revisit to one of my favourite spots on Table Mountain – so with the forecast of snowfall, I combined my hike with a snow hunt! Read about the experience in my previous blog post: “Experience: Snowfall on Table Mountain – 16 July 2017”

I’ve enjoyed visiting a few local spots for sunrise & sunset recently. One of the best for sunsets has to be Chapman’s Peak Drive, and a couple visits during the month resulted in some magic above the granite slopes of the iconic mountain. An abnormally warm July evening made photographing sunset pretty comfy – no shivering in a breezy northwesterly does make life easy! Kalk Bay Harbour, Newlands Forest, Rhodes Memorial & Signal Hill were visited for sunrises, and Black Hill, Red Hill, Chapman’s Peak Drive, were among the sites visited to enjoy sunsets.

And finally…here’s a link to my “Snowfall on Table Mountain” video on YouTube. The amazing experience occurred in mid-July, reason enough to include it in my highlights of the month!

 

*A monthly series of four highlights from my work and play, shared via all social platforms.Β 

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