It’s been a while Fabtastic people, my birthday month kept me busy. Grateful for all the love I received, even though the love kept me away from mountains, LOL. Ahh! the mountains, nature, what can I say, I am hooked, cannot help myself.
Went for a quick 5km hike in the West rand of Johannesburg, Kloofendal Nature Reserve. It was my first time to visit this lovely place with lots of history. I didn’t know that this Nature Reserve was one of the first in Johannesburg, also recognized as the place where gold was first mined in Johannesburg. The beauty of it all is that this old gold mine can be visited by appointment. I am going to make appointment soon to go experience this history. It is one of the reserves whereby the entrance is free. (Luther Vandross song come to mind-“Best things in life are free”.)
Hiking has really opened my eyes to so much I cannot even begin to explain. Every time I visit a new place, I discover more and experience more. It was fascinating for me to know that around the corner from where I live there is so much history. This Nature Reserve is 15 minutes away from where I live, and I cannot believe I have not visited it before. Let me tell you, even yesterday I wouldn’t have gone to this place. As life has it, we ended up here not by choice, but I am glad we ended up at this place.
We were supposed to go to my favorite hiking province, North West, life happened we ended up at Kloofendal. I love the fact that we didn’t get deterred from our plan to go hike but found an alternative. It is a short hike but very interesting, me and Pumza kept on taking detours to challenge ourselves. I remember at some point we said let’s have some little adventure, we were crawling under dense trees and climbing rocks that were pretty much not supposed to be climbed on, we felt like naughty teenagers. I guess when you are out there its all about channeling your happy place and bringing out the child in you, it was so much fun.
As Marie Davis has said-“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles”.
It feels fabtastic to have a chance to be able to connect with nature through hiking. The places I get to see and the ones I am yet to see; exciting. I am grateful that I can hike and discovered it as a hobby, it is fulfilling.
Africaland is situated in the North- West Province, Hartbeespoort, the hike is just short of 8km, it’s moderately intense and offers spectacular views of the beautiful river, awesome camping sites and surrounding mountains. They offer outdoor activities such as river rafting, camping, abseiling to name a few. It only takes 40 minutes from North of Johannesburg to get to this gorgeous wilderness escape. As you drive into the property, you immediately see beautiful NECSA building (South African Nuclear Energy Corporation). I’ve been to this place before, if you follow my blog, you will remember this is the place, I “survived” the jackal😆. I didn’t get to see my friend(jackal) this time, so I was safe.
Before I talk about the best experience gained from this hike, I need to tell you about this place me and Pumza discovered that sells awesome fat cakes. It is at a garage along the route we use to get to Hartbeespoort. It is now our favorite place to get fat cakes from. Let me tell you, those fat cakes are the real deal. We ‘starve’ ourselves a day before so that we can eat them for breakfast while on our way to our hike. Listen, I speak about these fat cakes to Pumza a night before and I salivate, Pumza says I am corrupting her 😂. She has given up on fighting the craving, she is officially corrupt. This experience (the fat cakes experience) made me realize how even smallest of small things can just bring joy to one’s day. I love the fact that when I go hike, it’s never about the actual hike only, the whole experience just bring joy to me. Who knew looking forward to eating fat cakes can be such fun?
What a treat this hike was, a longtime friend of mine and Pumza was in town. She now lives in KwaZulu Natal, we decided it will be nice to take her for a hike to catch up. She loves nature and outdoors, this was a perfect treat for her. She was very impressed with the location as she’s never been before. While we were walking and catching up, Pumza was trying to convince me to think about climbing Kilimanjaro. I laughed at her and told her that my other friend has been trying to convince me and it’s not going to work. Some things are torture, for me climbing Kilimanjaro is one of those things. Different strokes for different folks. I gave her the same answer I gave my other friend; imagine that someone(potter) must carry portable toilet for me, Eeewww that’s not fair, it’s a NO. So, she said to me, out of all things I could think of, I am thinking about the portable toilet? She continued to say, you do know it’s their job, if they don’t do that, they won’t have the job right? I said I don’t care I am not doing it. She said she is not done convincing me, we shall see. The gratitude I had after this hike was overwhelming. I appreciated the quality time spent with my friends and the love, it made me realize that truly best things in life are free.
I am thankful for my feet, my legs, my lungs and my body for that they able to carry me to climb mountains.
In July went hiking in another beautiful place in South Africa called Hartbeespoort dam (Africaland), it’s in the North West Province. Let me try to paint a picture of this beautiful place. There is a river running alongside the mountains and throughout there are reeds that form a long passage whereby one walks through. There’s also a camping site whereby one can bring a tent or rent out some caravans and camp out. Oh, and there are some monkeys, jackals, and different types of birds species too.
We were into 3km of our hike when we saw a jackal. We were busy chatting away when this jackal came from nowhere. I was terrified and I said to my friend, “what are we going to do”, is it not going to eat us? I asked with a scared voice. She laughed and said, “it is so small how will it even begin to eat us”. That did not make me feel at ease at all. The jackal was as scared of us as we were of him, but that did not ease my tension and scare. So, Pumza (my friend) decided we must quickly look for sticks just in case the jackal decides to “eat us”. LOL She was walking in front of me, and I was behind her. The funny thing is she kept on looking for a bigger and bigger stick. She finally finds the thickest and longest stick, I asked her how is she going to walk with thick, long, and heavy stick? She said Mo, (that’s what she calls me); at least will throw it at the jackal and he will get scared and run into the reeds. The poor thing just ran away and disappeared into the woods. The experience with the jackal made me realize that I am not a quitter.
My journey through hiking has been amazing. I have grown so much mentally, spiritually, physically since I have started hiking. I finally understand what it means to be in touch with nature, literally. The peace one gets when it’s only you and nature is amazing. The other beautiful site of nature is the smell of certain “life” such as flowers, wild fruits, etc. Nature provides us with less tangible things but gifts us with beauty, art, and spirituality and it’s all for free, I mean Free! Since my journey of hiking began, I have truly got to understand the importance of human co-existence with nature.
Hiking is one of my self-care rituals, which means that the whole day is just dedicated to me and my peace. After hiking, (10km most times) we go find an outdoor restaurant and have breakfast. Most places we hike they have restaurants and braai(barbeque) places on the property. We make use of that. The satisfaction one gets after spending the day with nature is priceless.
Modderfontein Reserve is situated in the East of Johannesburg, right in the middle of the Industrial place. When you in the park you get lost in it and immediately forget that it is right in the middle of busy Industrial place. Its flat therefore everyone, kids, first timers’ hikers can conquer it.
Like most Nature reserves, it offers different activities; fishing, running, cycling and hiking trails. The trails are well marked, and what I love about this park is that cycling and walking trails are separated. Best of it all there is a farmers market open on Saturdays. The farmer’s market is truly a nice way to end the activity, most definitely to get some food and coffee. Second time visit and it was totally different experience. If you get there early you get to experience beautiful sunrise and the sun reflects in the river, it’s truly magical.
Well, this hike is for the books. First, I drove us to Modderfontein, something I avoid at all costs. I enjoy being a passenger and I own it. When I drive going to hikes, I don’t wear my hiking boots, I wear flip flops. I have decided in my head that it is not comfortable to drive with hiking boots cause their sole is thick therefore I cannot feel the paddles. This is in my head; I never tested my theory and am not going to test it. Lol. I have concluded that’s how it is, my story and I am sticking to it. 😆. I was hiking with Pumza. So, we get to the Reserve, and I park the car, reach out to the backseat to get my bag and my hiking shoes. All I can remember is getting such a fright, my face heats up and Pumza got a shock. She thought maybe I just spilled something and at that moment I wished that’s what it was. I FORGOT MY HIKING SHOES people, yes, I did. I tell you, after few seconds of shock I turned to Pumza and said, “Pum I forgot my shoes”, we looked at each other and we cracked ourselves with laughter. We spent few minutes laughing so hard, we laughed like lunatics.
While we were laughing, both of us silently knew that no one want to go back home. Are you kidding me? after leaving our warm beds in this cold autumn, on a Saturday, hell no, going back home was not an option. Driving all the way from the North to the East to drive back without hiking, NOPE. So, we devise a plan that seeing that the trail is flat, I am hiking with my flip flops. YES, that was our brilliant plan. My Podiatrist must never find out about this, never. LOL. I do not by no means recommend this to anyone, No, No, No. Honestly, I decided to hike with my flip flops because I knew the trail is flat, if it was by the mountains I was not going to hike with my flops. I guess everything happens for a reason! I guess there is a first time for everything, but this one take cup. Mind you this place is cold, surrounded by the river and its autumn. We start walking towards the starting spot and these two gentlemen come pass us and they notice my fancy shoes. The other one says, “OMG aren’t you cold, why the flip flops? My answer was, do not even ask. They laughed and said how far you going to get with those flops. They said we shall see you on the finish line probably with no shoes on as those might be torn by the time you get to the finish line, and we all laughed.
I had to lift my feet while walking to avoid losing my toenail to stones or trees. Bright side, this was good for my calves. Mind you the hike was almost 12km, my special shoes carried me through the finish line. This experience taught me so much about my character, the fact that this did not deter me from doing what I was there for and still enjoyed myself. I also learnt that I need home foot spa massager so that I can enjoy after every hike. I wouldn’t have thought about the foot spa massager if it wasn’t for this experience. (Friends and family its my birthday next month) 😘😉. It was good that it hasn’t rained for few weeks, the sun was out, we did come across some mud here and there but nothing too hectic. Managed to get to the finish line and my flops still in one piece, afterwards we went to the Market.
Pumza’ s company was great as always, and into the nature we went, I even forgot that I was hiking with flip flops and my feet were hot.
When I got home, I soaked my feet in warm water and bicarbonate of soda, that did the trick. I asked my daughter if she could massage my feet, she gave me the look but agreed to massage me. Ahhh joys of having off spring right!, nope she agreed for a fee. LOL
Life gave me choice, I put my flip flops on, and off I went. Do not try this at home. LOL
I was invited to a 19km hike, Van Gaalen in Hartbeespoort, North West Province. I have been to this place more than three times but never done 19km. It only takes about 45 minutes to drive from Johannesburg. As usual it was exciting for me because I knew was I going to come back with different experiences, and I did. I always did 10km all the three times I’ve been there. So, I saw a different Van Gaalen on this 19km hike. It felt like I was hiking at a place that I’ve never been before. I saw a herd of Blesboks, which you never get to see if you do 10km. This place is gorgeous, those who read my previous blogs will know, I have written about it. For the sake of new visitors to my blog, let me summarize it quickly. Its privately owned farm, they farm lots of different things, cheese, nuts, different crops. They even have animal stock;cows, sheep, Emus, etc. They have beautiful picnic spots and a restaurant facing gorgeous mountains and dam.
I love how I get to meet different people every time I am invited to these hikes. I just know that it will be an experience of a lifetime, that I wouldn’t have gained if I stayed at home. The reason I titled this piece mindfulness is because, I instantly realized that this hike was going to be feeding my mind more than anything. I began thinking about my surroundings as we started walking, not sure why my mind took me there, but it did. I was thinking about the owner/s of the farm, the thought process that went into putting together this beautiful place around nature, making sure that they enhanced this beautiful wilderness. My mind was working overtime but in a healthy way. As my mind wondered away with this thought, I started having conversation with the gentleman I was walking next to whom was part of the hiking group.
I cannot remember how our conversation revered towards what he does and previously did. He told me he was a professional footballer and then he got injured and had to retire from playing. I immediately got interested in the whole story. Here is the guy who had to retired early from doing what he loved most but he seemed to be doing well. So, he continues telling me his story how after recovering from his injury he started running to keep busy. He said one day his friend said he must join short marathons because he seemed to be enjoying running. Reluctantly he agreed, and he said he actually enjoyed it very much. The next thing he knows the very same friend registered him for Comrades Marathon. This is one of the biggest marathons on the international calendar, 90km run. To cut the long story short, he went to his first Comrades, and he finished in the top 400. As they say the rest is history, he is going to his 18th Comrades this year. I was blown away by this story, purely because I kept on thinking here is the guy who is now so passionate about what he never thought it would be his passion. I started thinking about how I also started my hiking, it was purely by chance and here I am. This got me thinking as well of how many people who now have passion and it really started by chance. Its true when they say, “you never know what you capable of until you are doing it”. I still don’t believe I hike, and I LOVE it, yet I fear anything that crawls, no mater how small. LOL.
I was wowed by this fabtastic Experience I gained from this hike, I was motivated by the conversations we had. I also learnt so much about farming from my friend Pumza, she is very passionate about farming. As we were walking, when we see crops, she will explain to me why they planted specific crops under the trees not by sunshine. I remember when we passed two calves separated from their mom, she told me it’s because they are weaning them off the mother’s milk. I even made a comment that it is the same process as humans. It was truly a Fabtastic day spent in the wilderness, enjoyed every moment of it. My mind was well fed by the time we finished hiking. The 19kms went by so quickly.😀
“Hiking is the answer, who cares what the question is”. -Greta’s travels.
It was a beautiful day, started a bit cloudy, and progressed into a sunny summer day of December (2021). I went hiking with my work team members. It was our last day seeing each other for the year and we decided to be outdoors, hike, and have a picnic afterward.
Van Gaalen is a farm situated in the heart of Haartbeesport in the North-West Province. If you’ve read my previous blogs, you will know that I have been to Haartbeesport many times. There is so much to see and experience. The trails on this farm cross over 80km throughout the Skeerpoort Valley. They offer mountain biking, trail running, and hiking. The landscape at this place is out of this world, tranquil, I fell in love with it immediately and it is now one of my favorite hiking spots.
They farm different things including making cheese; they offer cheese tours. The farm is surrounded by mountains, overgrown green crops, and tunnels of bamboo, such beauty. It also has a picnic spot under huge trees and a restaurant facing a beautiful dam. I am unable to paint a fair picture of this place, it is Fabtastic and beautiful. We started hiking knowing that afterward we are going to have a picnic, as we ordered a picnic basket prior to our hike. We also came across lots of Mulberry trees, and we definitely ate some. I was looking forward to the picnic, I love my food, correction, I love good food. While I was hiking, I was salivating thinking about that picnic basket. LOL
There was a dog that decided to join us on the hike, it lives on the farm. I thought it was going to walk with us a little bit and go back to the farm. He was so cute, he hiked over 10km with us. I was worried about it, thinking it might not be able to hike for that long or get lost. Everyone kept on reassuring me that he must be used to doing this all the time; that didn’t put me at ease at all. Lol. When we stopped for snacks, we tried offering him water and nibbles, he refused to eat.
We finished our hike, and it was picnic time, we took our picnic basket and went to sit under huge, gorgeous trees by the picnic site. There were birds chirping, and lots of monkeys. The monkeys were totally out of order, they kept on trying to steal our food. We kept chasing them away, they were prepared to get to our yummy picnic basket one way or the other. We continued eating and having lots of funny, serious, conversations.
Remember I told you it was sunny by the time we finished our hike; the next thing I felt water running through my arm and some drops on my lips. At first, I didn’t think about it because we are surrounded by mountains and trees, I thought it was drizzling. The next thing I realised was that it was a monkey peeing on me. Holy smokes: I jumped out of my chair, I was screaming (“monkey peed on me!!) and disgusted. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am loud; The disrespect this monkey had, LOL. He sat right there on the tree and watched me freaking out, the nerve. I was looking for water to wash off my lips, I was beside myself. Meanwhile, my team was staring at me and killing themselves with laughter. I am sure you are wondering why such drama, well, I am clean freak , to me that pee was horrific.
Anyway, after a while, they stopped laughing at me and I was also now calm, we continued with our picnic. So, when we were leaving the picnic spot, we had some food left and I suggested we feed the monkeys. My team said Noooooo(they said it all at once, it was funny), you will be teaching them bad behavior, they will continue wanting to steal people’s food. They also said, in any case, a few minutes ago you were so upset with these monkeys now you are feeling sorry for them. Honestly, they were too cute to remain upset with them.
We left the picnic spot and walked to the cheese factory, it looked incredible. It was my first time seeing so much cheese in one place, it felt like I was on a school excursion
I would not change that day, experience, and memories for anything. It was a fabtastic day to spend with the fabtastic team.
Oh, by the way, yesterday (29/01), I did Van Galeen 2.0, yes I went back hiking there with my Amigos. The experience was totally different from a month ago. It is crazy how I experience the same place differently. My four-legged friend was there again to hike with us, he led the way. I am telling you this dog has energy for days, I wonder how many times a day he goes up and down that trail.
I was telling my Amigos that the last time I was here he came with us on the trail. They decided we give him a name, one of my friends suggested we name him Goat. We laughed so hard, because there is a story behind Goat. Well let me tell you that story; as we started our hike, we saw sheep. One of my friend shouted, “look at the Goats”? We killed ourselves with laughter and told her that is not goats but sheep. Goat became an inside joke the whole time we were hiking. I told her she is not going to hear the end of it as I am writing about it on my blog. So that’s how we agreed that our four-legged friend’s name will be Goat. He responded to the name after few times calling him that; poor dog. Lol.
While we were busy chatting away and walking, another dog came from nowhere and joined us, he lives at the farm as well. Goat was very happy to see him and we all walked together. Guess what we named him? Sheep, yep we named him Sheep, and we started laughing all over again about “goat”. Off we went with Goat and Sheep, after a while Goat abandoned us and we never saw him again until we came back to the farm, and then Sheep abandoned us but came back. We got to the farm sat at the restaurant and had breakfast. Before we left we saw Goat seating nicely on the couch looking tired, we asked one of the guys what are their real names and he told us. We told him we gave them names while we were hiking. As we were telling him this one is Goat and the other one is Sheep, he kept on saying, “ that’s close enough”, he was funny. Lol. It was a lovely, light easy day, free therapy.
As we were leaving we saw some birds and I asked, “are those ostriches”, and one of my friend said Noooo , they are Emus and I said they look like fat ostriches. She laughed so hard, it was my first time seeing Emus up close. We were just about to drive away, when we saw goats, real goats this time😅.Our friend who said sheep is goat was already gone so she didn’t see them. We quickly decided, I take a picture of the goats and send it on our whatsapp group and tell her look we found real goats, but then my other friend said send a message saying ” we found the sheep” 😀😀
Experiences are everything, especially with great people around you.
I was listening to some podcast talking about good habits that can help one to navigate through this tough thing called life. While I was listening, I have realized that hiking, outdoors, nature, mountains are one of many good habits that help me through any situation. I also had a moment of calmness while I was hiking two weekends ago.
Hear me for a moment, am not trying to turn into spiritual Guru on you at all. LOL. I am in awe of how much nature can just work with you if you slow down, be present and pay attention. I even told my friend about the moment of calmness I felt during this particular hike. My AHA moment was so powerful, I thought about it every minute from when I woke up that morning, from choosing my outfit to sipping on my first cup of coffee.
Funny thing is, at that spot I was experiencing my moment, there was a notice board along that path; it read; quite please owls are at roost. Apparently, there are owls around that path, and that’s where they roost. While I was in the moment, I could here my friend at the back saying; they can’t be serious, we supposed to be quite because Owls are roosting. Someone answered her with an example; he said, imagine you trying to sleep, and your neighbor is making noise with load music or banging something; it is the same. Everything that exists make sense, one just needs to pay attention and be aware.
There is a joke going around my family and friends, they always say what did I bring back from the wilderness, from climbing mountains. LOL. I always laugh it away, but now I have an answer. ” I bring back so much yet is not visible, its visible through my mental, physical and spiritual wellness. I bring back calmness . Well, friends and family, there is your answer, now you know.
I’ve been meaning to start blogging about my favorite hiking spots. Groenkloof is the first of many. When I started thinking of blogging about my favorite hiking spots; I realized that there will be many more of my favorites and that’s okay, because there will be different stories to tell for sure. I like this hiking trail because it’s challenging mentally, physically from the word go.
Groenkloof Nature Reserve is situated in Pretoria; the capital city of South Africa. The place has horse trails, Zebras, Giraffes, Ostriches, and a few more bird species. It is well kept, it has braai/picnic spots and hiking trails are marked very well. A friend of a friend introduced me to this trail early in my hiking adventures. It is a hard trail, gorgeous views from the top of the rocky hills, steep, and it is always hot, Pretoria is very hot even in winter.
Most of the time we do 10km, however, there was this one time we decided to do 15km and it was summer. OMG, that was biggest mistake, we were so tired, we drank lots of water but we felt so dehydrated. we now go to this trail during wintertime, lesson learned. We decided that the only time to do over 10km anywhere in Pretoria will be during winter, it is still hot in winter but much better than summertime. I remember I checked my watch and we were into our 9km and I was thinking , what am I doing to myself. At this point I was still an amateur into this hiking thing, still figuring out why am I enjoying this. Anyway, we finished our 15km and we were very happy because that was our first long hike.
A few times we’ve been at this place with my Amigos, and we seem to be enjoying going back, I have lost count on how many times we’ve been there.
As I have said, there is always a story to tell, I specifically remember a particular story about a particular Zebra. We were well into our hiking and it was so hot that day even animals were gathered under trees looking for shade. We walked past the herd of Zebras under a few small trees, as we were approaching these animals we realized that one of the Zebra was lying down and others gathered around it. It seemed like the one on the ground was really struggling, it was not well. All I could think of was as soon as we get to the finish line I am going to tell the animal keepers to go check it out. The way it was laying there you could definitely tell that there was something wrong. If you’ve read my previous blogs you will know that one of my favorite animals is Zebra. I was not happy seeing it that way, I just couldn’t wait to get back and report it. After we passed that spot I would say I forgot a bit about that incident and enjoyed my hike until the finish line.
We got into the car and left the place, Yes unfortunately I forgot to report the incident before I left. I remember when we were driving home, I said to my friend; Oh no, I forgot to tell the keepers about the Zebra. I started thinking all sorts of things, what if it was dying; what if it was giving birth; anyway if it was giving birth that’s okay, which means it didn’t die. To this day I still think about it, this is more than three years later. I try to think that it was giving birth not dying, I guess this is me trying to make myself feel better. I never told my friend that I still think about this incident, I don’t even think she remembers it. Well, she will now when she reads this blog.
Anyway funny story about Groenkloof, so one day we were back again and I saw this beautiful flower and I took it to plant it in my garden. A few weeks later it was blooming and I took a picture to send to my friend to show her how grown it was. She sends me a text that she showed her boyfriend my flower and her boyfriend said; ” why do you all go mess up nature”, safe to say I don’t take plants from nature anymore. LOL
In the heart of North West, that’s where my hiking adventure was, I was with my friend Pumza and her crew. We normally hike just the two of us, but this time she invited me to hike with her crew. It was such a lovely experience and thoroughly enjoyed the company. I never say no to an opportunity of meeting fellow hikers because I know for a fact, I am going to enjoy myself and come back with new memories and experiences. There is an inside joke within my hiking crew (Amigos), they say if I go hike with other people, I am cheating on them. They say I am a side chick to all these people I go hike with.🤣🤣
We were hiking at the place called Kranskloof, near Rustenburg. It’s a bit far from us but it was worth it. My friend Pumza always says, ” if you want to get to the wilderness, you need to be prepared to drive far out”. In this case, it was far out, almost two hours drive from where we live. I must say though, the drive was amazing, a lovely company in the car, beautiful scenery, mountains, farms, and mines. It was also drizzling at some point, and a rainbow came out after the drizzle, a very lovely thing to experience. After a long, beautiful drive we arrived at the place and immediately felt a sense of peace, fresh clean air, and therapy 101 began.
When we got to a place, we waited for everyone to arrive, it was a group of almost 20 people. They have “formalities” for lack of a better word, that they do before they start hiking. They gather around in a circle, greet each other, introduce each other to the guests and pray before they start the hike; it was beautiful to observe.
Let me tell you about this place, I have never seen such a Fabtastic, amazing rock formation. It looked like someone took their time to make art with those rocks. Everywhere I looked these rocks looked like art, it was incredible. I must say I found the hike a bit hard because there were big rocks almost everywhere, my whole body had to work, had to maneuver through big rocks no easy path other than through big rocks. It was fun though, one had to be creative on how to go through those rocks.
It was my first time at this hiking trail, it’s always nice when you get elements of surprises throughout the hike, and I got a few of those. We came across baboons and monkeys; they were seating very high on some rock formation. They were busy watching us and making noise, it was awesome, but I kept on thinking, don’t you dare come down here, don’t you dare. LOL. When I thought nothing could be a surprise anymore, we came across natural pools. OMG, my eyes lit, I LOVE water with all my heart, wherever there is water am the HAPPIEST. What a beautiful thing to experience, it was my first time hiking on the trail with natural pools, always saw and heard people talking about how they even swam in them. It was my turn, I was so excited I got into one of the pools with my shoes and clothes on, it was so satisfying, you have no idea. I didn’t want to leave that spot, I just wanted to seat there forever. We spent almost an hour there, taking pictures, lots of pictures, fooling around, acting like kids. Lol.
We had to leave as we still had to hike a few more kilometers to our finish line. While we were hiking, we came across people ziplining, clearly surprises not ending. The views were spectacular along with those zipline cables. We stopped there for a bit and watched people ziplining up and down. We also came across people riding horses and pick up trucks with groups of people going up the mountains to zipline. I kept on thinking “this is life, imagine if I never took up hiking, I wouldn’t have known that this kind of beauty exists around me”.
Sir Edmund Hillary said, ” It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”.
One of the places I visited many times, picnicking with family, walking, and of course hiking. This Saturday (12/02) I went for a quick escape and for fresh air. The reason I say it’s a quick escape is that it is close to home, and it is less than 10km.
A quote by Howard Thurman comes to my mind. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and do that, because what the world needs is people who come alive.” Right now, hiking is what makes me come alive and it makes me happy.
I know I sound like a broken record when I always say, the places I visit are breathtaking, it’s because they truly are. Walter Sisulu is situated in the West of Johannesburg, a place called Krugersdorp. Here the gardens are immaculate, very well kept. It is flower beds after flower beds, it is spectacular. The grass is so green, lush, and well kept, it looks fake. How can I not talk about the stunning waterfall situated just before hiking trail starts. There’s lots of places to stop and take pictures. There are beautiful spots for picnics under beautiful trees, and they sometimes host events. The birdlife at this place is incredible, the place is home to over 200 bird species. I enjoy coming here because I get to hear birds chirping while I hike. I experience a very calm, peaceful vibe when am at this place. It does not matter if am here picnicking, walking or hiking, it feels like time stands still. For a place right in the middle of the city, it sure doesn’t feel like it immediately you drive in.
There are lots of benches around the Gardens, and we always find spots to sit and chill. We always find time to do that cause the hike is quick, today was no different. I was with my friend today and we were catching up as usual, so it was only fitting to find a bench and chill. After all, we specifically chose this hike cause we both wanted to catch and release. It’s amazing how the fresh air, the smell of different plants can do to one’s mind and soul. Came back very light and ready for action.