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Picnic at Hangklip

The unmistakable Hangklip (hanging rock) peak is in the Hangklip Core Conservation Area, one of many such areas in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. It is a nature gem wedged between the growing and ugly sprawl of Pringle Bay and Betty's Bay residential areas. The...

Gantouw Pass

Recently I have been stalking the Cape Town - Elgin heritage steam train on Saturdays to shoot drone video as it winds its way up Sir Lowry´s Pass - sometimes without success either because of excessive wind or arriving either too early or too late for the train. On...

Paddling to Steenbras mouth

Deon and I had both suffered fairly serious physical injuries during the past two years and as a result our paddling adventures had stalled. Recently we had tentatively ventured back into the sea kayak, and this weekend we resolved to paddle around to one of our...

Cape of Good Hope Trail 11 years later

I had been wanting to walk this trail again for a while but had found it a little difficult to determine how and where to book it. Eventually it was booked in time for Peter's annual pilgrimage to Africa - and coincidentally it was timed for almost eleven years...

Botmaskop

Botmaskop is a 910 m peak near my home and is the first mountain I see when I leave for work each morning. Its form is unique in the Jonkershoek ranges, resembling the prow of a dreadnought. The hike up takes about 2 hours, following a spur through municipal tree...

Western Panorama Trail

Up Swartboskloof and down Kurktrekker, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve The last time we ascended Swartboskloof I ended up under the knife to fix a ruptured disc. So this hike, once more with Santie - and Dorette - was something of a rite of passage, a reckoning with past...

Coastal hikes in South Africa

Here is a guide to the South African coastal hikes I have had the privilege of experiencing. Hopefully it is useful to those who are planning to walk our beautiful and diverse coastline. The list starts at the north-eastern-most trail - the Wild Coast Trail from Port...

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Groothoekkloof descent

Traversing the Matroosberg from the Ceres side to the Hex River valley Paul Verhoeven proposed and led this 3-day kloofing trip as a more "sedate" version of the usual MCSA two-day dash down the kloof. Groothoekkloof descends rapidly from the ski slopes of the...

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Ordesa

Walks in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Pyrenees After the Canal du Midi we rented a car at Carcassonne and drove through the Pyrenees to Torla in Spain, a mediaeval town high up in the mountains near the mouth of the Valle de Ordesa. Peter had argued for the...

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Canal du Midi video clips

Here are five short, amateur video clips from our recent Canal du Midi boat tour. They are probably boring to watch, but they are a good record of our trip - and they may give you a sense of what to expect should you be planning a canal boating trip. For us, it was...

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Canal du Midi

Canal boating from Négra Lock to Argens-Minervois July saw the realisation of a lifelong fascination near the end of my sixtieth year celebrations: a canal boat trip on the canals of old Europe. I had seen a TV documentary about the Canal du Midi some years ago. Its...

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Perdeberg Peak

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve The hike to Perdeberg Peak (640 m ASL) from near the bridge across the Palmiet River is relatively easy, following a gradual gradient over some 11.8 km there and back. It rewards one with spectacular views: south-west over the Bot River...

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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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