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Newlands Ravine - Cape Town SA, WW
mini location map2015-08-11
58 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Newlands Ravine - Cape Town SA, WW 
Newlands Ravine - Cape Town SA, WW
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2015
Hiking4.60 Miles 2,509 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   4 Hrs   12 Mns   1.19 mph
2,509 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Day 3 in Cape Town, South Africa

Originally planned as the longest, steepest and highest climb of our trip, all the way to the top of Devil's Peak, for various reasons we had to scale it way back. But it will still be the steepest Table Mountain hike of this trip... (Hey! I can dream of for a return can't I?)

I really had to think about this one... upon waking I found I could barely put weight on my left ankle. Yes, instead of resting it up for a few weeks after the injury, which was a week ago, I had been giving it a workout.
But what was I to do? As much as I'd like to dream of a return, most likely it ain't gonna happen so I'm going to make the best of it while I am here. So I just laced the boot as tight as possible, took another Naproxen and said let's get on with it!

Another hike where most of the numerous options up as far as the Contour Trail are used only by the locals so we tried to stick as much as possible to the most-traveled trails. During this part of the hike we caught up to a group of oldies but goodies, long-time locals who have hiked the trails probably thousand's of times. A few were in their late 70's early 80's yet were still spry as could be. We chatted with them for some time as we slowly worked our way to the front, which happened to be just before reaching the Contour Trail. From the Contour Trail on up to the top of Newlands Ravine, it is quite impossible to get lost... the trail is exposed enough to see the switchbacks ahead of time so it's a simple matter of plugging along the trail. Plod, plod, step... plod, plod, step... ad infinitum...

Eventually the ravine begins to open up and we know it can't be too far... ok, so it's another 100 meters more elevation. We take our time as I continue to ignore the loud wailing from my left ankle. But as long as the ankle continues to work, we continue on.

Finally! We reach an intersection at the top which is where the Newlands Ravine Trail ends, about 300 feet above the Table Mountain 'saddle'. Here we are treated with awesome views of Table Mountain, Cape Town to the east, Cape Town Waterfront to the northwest, Lion's Head to the west as well as the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Oh yes, and we saw the Cable Car in operation! Oh, oh, too late... but that's life...

(After the hike we got on-line and found the wait-time was over 3 hours, so it was a good thing we didn't rush our way back down in hopes of making it there in time.)

At the same time we dismissed all thoughts of the Cable Car, we came to the realization Devil's Peak simply ain't gonna happen. It's 300 feet down to the saddle followed by a 1200 foot climb to the summit, the last few hundred feet pretty much rock climbing. And then the return trip, that 300' from the saddle... we'd end up with over 4,000 feet of climbing, and of course the descents are proving more of a killer to my ankle than the ascents.

Ok, so we're this far, let's take a side-trip to Pulpit Rock, take a glance down Dark Gorge, climb back up to the top of Newlands Ravine and head back down. Just as we were about to head down me came across the group of oldies having their picnic lunch. They gave us a warm send-off and we headed back down.

Later, while on the Contour Trail we came upon a few rough-looking characters, one of whom seemed to be holding tight onto a young woman. At first I wondered if they were in the process of robbing her but as we approached he released her and the sauntered along together. Then all of a sudden I realized it was very possible WE were about to be robbed.

In a split second I planned how to react if in fact we were accosted:
1. Tracey has ahead so I'd hang back slightly so I wouldn't be in direct view
2. I'd 'lose' the rental car keys (that's one of the common things they want)
3. Swap the memory card from the camera for a throw-away 4MB card
4. Then I'd 'lose' the 32 GB card with all the photos
5. Then freely give up everything we had... very little cash, no credit cards with us and DL/Passport in the car

But in the next split-second I decided on a more aggressive response... I made sure I was in full view of the two rough-looking guys, then very obviously reached up to my chest, coolly unsnapped my K-Bar knife and grasped it while giving off strong vibes along with a piercing look directly into the eye of who I perceived was the leader... a look "Hey guys, you REALLY don't want to mess with me!" And just like that they kind of melted off the path and we passed by with no further ado.

And the rest of the hike? Thank goodness there was nothing else was worth mentioning.

The video includes a waterfall, Cape Sugarbirds having a tiff and the tram entering the Upper Cable Station.
Newlands Ravine Hike
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