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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...

Cruising the Lycian Coast, Turkey

Unlike more accessible portions of Turkey's Turquoise Coast, Lycia is relatively undeveloped. The ancient sites of Lycia are centred on the Teke Peninsula that is bracketed by the gulfs of Fethiye and Antalya. Historical records of the ancient state of Lukka date back...

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Cederberg MTB Tour

164 km circuit in 3 days Colleague Johann Kistner organised this circuit of the Cederberg as a sort of team-building exercise. There was plenty of initial interest, but eventually the riders were pared down to 6, with Marion driving the backup vehicle - my trusty...

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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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