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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en + 1 Go Out Walking: The SirkelsVlei Walk at Cape Point…

April 8th, 2014 · 14 Comments

And just like that a monthly hike in the Game Park has been added to our daily ambles. If my children remember nothing else about their childhood I would like them to remember the heaps of time they spent together in the great outdoors…

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Once a month we head for Cape Point Nature Reserve, for a morning out with a ranger…

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And that involves a little classroom time

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And exploring the great outdoors with friends.

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And a picnic lunch…

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But that is just the morning. The rest of the day is ours to explore… Some days are meant to be spent under clear blue African skies…

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We are still looking for a fabulous map of the area, but in the meanwhile there is a lot that you can download off the internet and we got our route instructions from this link, at Slingsby Maps. When you arrive at the Main Gate of the game park you receive a map and we headed for one of our favourite spots: Olifantsbos, we like going there because we can be sure to meet a little herd of Bontebok.

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Olifantsbos is a beach on the Atlantic Coast, and behind the beach is a mountain… Up you go… this is the hardest part of the whole walk and it is about fifteen minutes of rocky path and uphill…

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From the top there is a stunning view…

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The rest of the walk is almost entirely on the flat and very easy walking… I wouldn’t pick the heat of summer, a cool autumn day was perfect. As you walk across the plain. It looks like a blank canvas as far as the eye can see…

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But you will find a whole lot of lovely surprises… Rocks to twist and turn through…

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Not to mention clamber on…

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Did I mention it was a little bit windy…

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And on the sandy path… footprints…

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That lead to real live eland…

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We want to go back and visit that again…

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Rocky outcrops…

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That you can wander right through…

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Because we didn’t have a map we had to rely on the signposts… and the route was well signposted all the way. Though about half way through the hike some of my gang were a little concerned that it appeared that we were walking further and further away from the start of the hike… they could see how far they had walked… and “the circular route” didn’t appear to be turning back.

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Turns out that the path is taking you to an beautiful landmark. When the directions said that there was a lake, we were expecting a marshy spot… it has just been summer after all we thought the lake would have dried up. In fact we actually thought that we had missed it, but just as spirits were lagging the path gave a little twist and we were amazed to discover a real live and large lake…

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With it’s own beach

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And some bontebok at the far side.

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Spirits were lifted… a large patch of water can do that for children that live alongside the ocean… they were back in their comfort zone and good to go on.

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After the lake the path did indeed turn towards the ocean… we made our way back across the reedy plain, with lovely rocky stepping stones all the way… which means this must be quite the swamp in winter!!!

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Across the plain and back to the start along the ridge overlooking the most fabulous and what felt like to us, undiscovered beaches. We have to return here with a picnic.

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This part of the park felt totally untouched – of course it isn’t, we were walking along a path… but it is off the beaten track of the main road down the park that thousands of visitors drive up and down each day to visit the famous Cape Point. There was lots to look at…

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Even ruins to wonder about… we have to find out more about this spot… so we will have to go back.

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And then we were back at the start, looking down on the bontebok and quick walk back down the mountain slope and back to the beach.

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And the sun on its way down…

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This walk was well worth the effort… a 3 hour walk and it took us 3 1/2 hours… the first half we lingered and explored a lot, the second half we hurried, actually ran, because we suddenly wondered if we would miss the closing time at the gates… so that is something to remember to check next time… What time do the gates close? Sometime close to sundown, so if the sun is still way up in the sky then you are good to keep on ambling.

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Now there are lots of walks all over the park and we intend to explore a whole lot more of them… to figure out how easy or difficult they are for a family amble, to discover their hidden secrets. So you can expect, a couple more hike-like posts over the next few months, as we explore our local game park. I have a feeling that our daily amble, that has just become a monthly hike as well, could lead us on some great adventures and we love adventures. You really don’t have to be a multi-displined athlete with expensive gear to enjoy the great outdoors. This is very much a scenario where ordinary folk, like a family with a bunch of kids of very average athletic ability and very ordinary equipment: comfy shoes, a water bottle and a sweater, can do something extra-ordinary like spend whole days discovering the wonder of the great outdoors.

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Tags: Cape Town · Hiking · Outdoors · Outings · Saturday Spot

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