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Spanning the red stone arches

Red Stone Hills One of the great advantages of being "retired" is that my time is my own. So, when Leonie invited my to join her and Sonja to explore the arches of Red Stone Hills after our almost-abortive hike at Gamkaberg, I accepted with alacrity. On a previous...

Gamkaberg Plan B

As much as I respect the conservation work that CapeNature does with limited resources, their treatment of hikers especially leaves much to be desired. Leonie had booked an MCSA outing to do the Tierkloof Trail which cuts north-south through the Gamkaberg back in...

Fonteintjiesberg

One of the gaps in my Mountain Club (Stellenbosch) portfolio is the annual hike up to Fonteintjiesberg and Brandwacht Peak, using the club's Thomas Hut as a base. Finally, I joined Leonie's scheduled trip, expecting a major uphill slog with a full pack. As it...

Swartberg Pass over the years

Completed by Thomas Bain and his team of convicts in 1888, the Swartberg Pass is now 136 years old, a national monument and a testament to Bain's road-building skills. It winds through 23.8 km and the bulk of it traverses the Swartberg Nature Reserve, linking the...

Cape of Good Hope Trail once again

Once I wrote, a bit arrogantly, that life was too short to repeat a hiking trail. I have since broken this "rule" many times and this trail, the Cape of Good Hope Trail, is increasingly responsible for these "transgressions". The trail is like an old friend, familiar...

Visgat Kloof

21-22 February 2004Visgat. Ever since someone had told about this secret place I had wanted to go there. Finally my chance came - a "probationary" trip with the Stellenbosch branch of the Mountain Club of SA ("probationary" because I have to complete 3 trips before my...

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Palmiet River walk

Kogelberg Nature Reserve: December 2002 The Palmiet River winds through the core of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The nature reserve protects the most pristine and diverse fynbos in the Cape Floral Kingdom. There are a number of hikes of varying length in the...

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Whale Trail De Hoop

17 ...err... 18 - 21 July, 2002 Booking the Whale Trail is hard to do - it has become massively popular. So when I got a booking for the 17th, it looked perfect for the last 5 days of the school holidays. The dates would enable my daughters, wife, friends who are...

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Welcome to RalphPina.com

Thank you for visiting my outdoor blog. RalphPina.com documents my experiences over many years of appreciating, and adventuring in, Nature. It celebrates visual beauty, advocates minimal impact, reflects on humans’ relationship with our ecosphere, spans the planet but focuses on the wild diversity of southern Africa. Photos, videos and GPS maps of hiking, cycling, kayaking, abseiling, canoeing and windsurfing..

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