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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...

A walk on the Wild Coast

The Pondo Trail, Pondoland Besides a previous Wild Coast hike from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, Pondoland, The Wild Coast and the Transkei have constituted a gap in my outdoor experience of South Africa. The beauty and the undeveloped nature of the coast south of Port...
Ordesa

Ordesa

Walks in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Pyrenees After the Canal du Midi we rented a car at Carcassonne and drove through the Pyrenees to Torla in Spain, a mediaeval town high up in the mountains near the mouth of the Valle de Ordesa. Peter had argued for the...

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Canal du Midi video clips

Canal du Midi video clips

Here are five short, amateur video clips from our recent Canal du Midi boat tour. They are probably boring to watch, but they are a good record of our trip - and they may give you a sense of what to expect should you be planning a canal boating trip. For us, it was...

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Postberg Trail take two

Postberg Trail take two

I was privileged to be invited by Sonja to make up the numbers on the Postberg Trail hike almost exactly a year after the previous time. It was a week earlier in the flower season, and although the flower display is not as intense as last time, the peninsula and...

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Canal du Midi

Canal du Midi

Canal boating from Négra Lock to Argens-Minervois July saw the realisation of a lifelong fascination near the end of my sixtieth year celebrations: a canal boat trip on the canals of old Europe. I had seen a TV documentary about the Canal du Midi some years ago. Its...

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Perdeberg Peak

Perdeberg Peak

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve The hike to Perdeberg Peak (640 m ASL) from near the bridge across the Palmiet River is relatively easy, following a gradual gradient over some 11.8 km there and back. It rewards one with spectacular views: south-west over the Bot River...

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Visgat reprise

Visgat reprise

Thirteen years after the last time down Visgat canyon, I had the privilege of another swim down this almost pristine gorge. The permit was arranged via the Cape Town branch of the MCSA by Paul Verhoeven at late notice. We dropped everything to descend it once more and...

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Wild Coast hike

The 5-day, 61 km (69 km by my GPS) Wild Coast hike down the scenic Pondoland coast featuring overnight stays at local homesteads, is one of those must-do hikes. Besides moving through the unfolding spectacle of the shoreline you will gain some insight into a...

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Summiting Sneeuberg

Cederberg Wilderness Area It took me 32 years since my first hiking experience in the Cederberg to summit Sneeuberg - in my 60th year and on the occasion of the Mountain Club of SA's 125th anniversary camp. Paul Verhoeven organised and led the hike and although it was...

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The Postberg Trail

West Coast National Park The Postberg Trail is pretty exclusive, only opening for the spring months of August and September and accommodating just 12 hikers per day. It is a two-day trail of some 26 kms in length but with negligible elevations. Bring your own tent and...

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Tierkloof abseil

  Paul Verhoeven arranged this exclusive adventure for a small group of mountain club members. It involved climbing the Peaks (¨Pieke¨), some of the highest summits in the Jonkershoek area and then 9 abseils down Tierkloof, the cleft that angles down south 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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