South Africa: Hiking Trail No. 1

Adventure Time!

Prepared some stuff to take with me while hiking, climbing the mountain: good shoes, a knife, a map and a radio. South Africa

Today I decided to spent my day off work hiking on the farm land. There are five trails you can choose from: a short walk around some sheep pens, an about 4 1/2 hour walk to the top of a nearby mountain to get a 360° view - rated low to medium difficulty, a mountain bike trail passing a flock of flamingos (they are only here in summer, so strike that one), a route circling the farm and a 6 hour canyon walk ending in Nieu-Bethesda.

With the help of one of my friends back in Austria I finally chose the hike to the top of the mountain. "Low to medium level" I thought, "I can do that!" So I prepared some stuff to take with me and started walking. Sadly the dogs were not allowed to accompany me (don't tell my mom I went alone!) because the sheep are currently lambing and they are afraid that the dogs could chase the mothers away from their lambs. Therefore I had to walk by myself.

The first part was not that difficult. I passed the staff houses, some sheep and followed the gravel road leading straight ahead. Soon I came to a crossing and not looking at the map I took with me or the signs there on the road, I went to the left. Wrong. Luckily the path didn't continue endlessly, it ended at an almost dry river where I saw some birds and then turned back to head the other way. I then reached a gate in the middle of the road - not the last one to come - entered and the path became a little steeper as I kept going. Every now and then there were some sheep at the side of the road, always fleeing when I came to close but nothing really exciting happened.

Various times I reached the point where I thought "Almost there!" but in the end I reached the top of the next hill and saw that the road continued endlessly! Sooner or later I got tired, I took off my sweater and reorganized the stuff I took with me to make it easier for me to carry them. That's when I realized: I did not bring any water! Why would anyone forget to bring water when climbing a mountain in South Africa?! On a clear day with nothing but the sun burning down?

Well...I soon hated me for that.

Path, road, gravel, street, mountains, grass, dry, landscape, Compass Mountain, South Africa.
"Endless Path"
Fence, Bush, Tree, Mountains, gate, Gateway, Landscape, South Africa.
Mountains, dry lands, hills, grass, Compass Mountain, landscape in South Africa
Compass Mountain

I eventually reached the part where my legs were starting to give up because the trail got really steep and every other step I slipped on the loose gravel and sand. Slowly thoughts like "Why did I choose this trail?!" creeped into my mind and I tried to focus on how lovely the way back would be because downhill is easier than up. Furthermore I started thinking about giving up, not climbing all the way to the top, but I wanted to achieve that. For myself. For satisfaction and pride. So, I continued on, realizing that I probably took way to long on my way up that mountain and that I was in really bad shape! But, I eventually reached the top! Shortly before reaching it there was a new sound to be heard. I looked to my left and saw a guinea pig like figure sitting on one of the bigger rocks, loking at me. I quickly pulled out my camera to take a picture and the next moment it was gone. I continued and, as promised to myself earlier, finally got the satisfaction of reaching the top of the mountain! I did it! But of course in a moment like that you're not dropping to the ground, tired and echausted. I suddenly felt new energy, climbed from one spot to the next and probably took way to many pictures! Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of oneself standing on top of a mountain when your camera does not have a count down mode you could pre-set? I had to get creative and as I found a good spot I started a video, posing a little bit and afterwards, at home, selected some images to save as a picture!

myself a human being on top of a high mountain after hiking it in south africa with sky and the kompaßberg in the background
Satisfaction right there!

Hiking, almost at the top. Compass mountain. Grass, dry lands, landscape South Africa. Hills.
Almost at the Top! Compass Mountain to the left.

Putting the beautiful and breath-taking scenery aside: I still regret not bringing water, never do that! I'm glad that nothing happened to me, my lips are still dried out! Always bring something to drink!

Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Barbara (Tuesday, 06 September 2016 10:42)

    Congratulations! But bring a bottle next time.... :) Great pictures