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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...

Fairy Glen – Plateau – Kasteelkopnek trail

The Kleinmond-Palmiet area features many scenic trails which are not managed by CapeNature, but by the Overstrand Municipality and volunteer organisations. Many of them originate from the vicinity of the Fairy Glen picnic site near the Palmiet River bridge. This...

Smitswinkel – Simon’s Town recce

"Do you want to join me to recce an alternative route from Smitswinkel to Simon's Town?", Santie asked. Love to, I said. The recent fire above the town had burnt the Swartkop ridge to a crisp and the route along the ridge from Smitswinkel to Simon's Town,  a...

Paddling with wild horses

Rooisand Nature Reserve A herd of wild horses has roamed the Bot - Kleinmond estuary and wetland for perhaps a century or more. The free roaming herd is actually feral and comprises about twenty-eight individuals. Many websites repeat the three theories about their...

Karoo corridor MTB tour

Mitzi, Marion's sister-in-law, owner of Makadas Adventures, planned this private cycling tour, and I assume, dubbed it the "Karoo corridor" too. In 5 days most of us covered 265 km, climbing through 2942 m and descending 2957 m. Some rode more and some rode less - and...
Turret Peak mission

Turret Peak mission

Koue Bokkeveld mountains In 2009 the inaugural Rim of Africa mega-hike was aborted two days shy of our destination, Turret Peak, due to adverse weather. By then we had been on trail for 10 or 11 days. But I have always wanted to eventually get to Turret Peak, so when...

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Picnic at Hangklip

Picnic at Hangklip

The unmistakable Hangklip (hanging rock) peak is in the Hangklip Core Conservation Area, one of many such areas in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. It is a nature gem wedged between the growing and ugly sprawl of Pringle Bay and Betty's Bay residential areas. The...

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Gantouw Pass

Gantouw Pass

Recently I have been stalking the Cape Town - Elgin heritage steam train on Saturdays to shoot drone video as it winds its way up Sir Lowry´s Pass - sometimes without success either because of excessive wind or arriving either too early or too late for the train. On...

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Botmaskop

Botmaskop

Botmaskop is a 910 m peak near my home and is the first mountain I see when I leave for work each morning. Its form is unique in the Jonkershoek ranges, resembling the prow of a dreadnought. The hike up takes about 2 hours, following a spur through municipal tree...

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Coastal hikes in South Africa

Coastal hikes in South Africa

Here is a guide to the South African coastal hikes I have had the privilege of experiencing. Hopefully it is useful to those who are planning to walk our beautiful and diverse coastline. The list starts at the north-eastern-most trail - the Pondo Trail from Mkambati...

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Groothoekkloof descent

Groothoekkloof descent

Traversing the Matroosberg from the Ceres side to the Hex River valley Paul Verhoeven proposed and led this 3-day kloofing trip as a more "sedate" version of the usual MCSA two-day dash down the kloof. Groothoekkloof descends rapidly from the ski slopes of the...

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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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