This weekend Jules and I went camping at a place called Tweede Tol in the Bainskloof pass. It’s about 1.5 hours drive out of Cape Town and a great little place for a quick weekend away.
We only managed to leave Cape Town at about 4PM on Saturday so it was always going to be a little tight making it by 6PM when the camp site closes. Then we got a little lost on the way there (roads weren’t named what the map said they would be) so it was getting a little tense. The day was saved when we got directions from a massive Afrikaans guy with a curly mullet and a red city golf full of family. He gave us great directions and actually drove with us most of the way. He also pointed out the many speed traps along the way which was a great help.
So we got there just in time, and to my surprise the guy at the gate was quite happy with the printed confirmation I got after paying online. We were extremely lucky to get an awesome camp site near the end of the park and next to a river. We rushed to get the tent up before it got dark. Luckily, ours is an extremely simple tent and we were able to get it up in about 15 minutes – not bad for the first time.
We made a fire and then had lots of fun chatting, laughing, drinking wine, looking at the amazing stars, and playing with the camera. We got some pretty eerie pictures using the torch and putting the camera onto night mode. Check these out.
We had quite a comfortable night thanks to some great sleeping bags from my dad. They have built in inflatable mattresses which worked out great. A relatively comfortable sleep, and it was great being away from the city sounds. Jules got a little cold, I was a little warm – nothing unusual there.
In the morning I got the fire going again and then it was time for tea, breakfast snacks and packing up.
I bought a map of the hiking trails for R1 and we chose the longest route available to day hikers. A 9km hike from the camp site, up around a small mountain, and then back down to camp past a waterfall. I must say that I have never hiked along such rocky and uneven terrain. It was nothing like the Drakensberg hiking of my youth. In fact it was so rugged that we often had real problems figuring out where the path was and landed up walking quite a bit more than the 9km on the map.
Highlights of the hike itself were:
- A delicious lunch of left-overs from the braai.
- Awesome views.
- This shy little snake (which I almost stepped on!)
- Wading around in the river. It was too cold to actually swim in.
After the hike we enjoyed the beautiful drive back to Cape Town. A great weekend out of the city.
I’ll upload more photo’s to a Google album later and post the link here.