After recovering from my back injury in November I feel as if I am rediscovering some regular routes on Table Mountain all over again. Skeleton Gorge yesterday was typical of this. A beautiful day in Cape Town (again) and I had planned to get some work done at home, after hiking in Muizenberg yesterday. The temptation was to great when a friend asked if I would like to do a short hike from early afternoon.
The start was delayed by fascination with two huge spider webs in the parking area of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and a chance meeting with Norman who was taking photographs (Google ‘Ask Norman’ for anything you want to know about spiders in South Africa).
Hiking up ‘Skelies’ was as inspiring as ever, cool, quiet and great exercise – I could feel the legs by the time we got to the top. There was a little bit of water running in a few places after Friday’s rain and with winter arriving soon it probably won’t be long before it can’t be done without getting feet wet.
We decided to take the open route down and hiked across to Overseers Cottage and with light starting to fade, down Cecelia Ridge. There are some stunning King Proteas out on this route and of course the brilliant views. By the time we got back to Kirstenbosch it was almost dark and completely deserted. Nice having it to ourselves but after being told by Norman how far the spiders can throw their webs were very aware of hidden strands across the path.
There are signs that more people are taking short cuts, creating erosion potential in the winter, both in Skeleton Gorge and coming down Cecelia Ridge.
Coming across a lone woman tourist walking down Skeleton, who was very relieved to see us as she really was not too sure if she was on the right route. Never hike alone on Table Mountain – especially if you don’t know where you are going.