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Orange Face Back Table

Camel Rock, Wynberg Caves, Table Mountain National Park This was an interesting hike, at Santie's suggestion, on the well-trafficked Table Mountain. It is a track less travelled on which we saw no one else although there were hundreds of walkers and joggers on the...

Dropping down Cascades

When Paul suggested a lockdown escape to Cascades in Du Toitskloof, with a little abseiling involved, I thought it a decent idea. I knew that the MCSA often scrambled up it and abseiled down the next day. My conclusion was that if you can scramble up it, it can't be...

Kloofing Visgat

Almost by accident I was nominated to lead a MCSA Stellenbosch section kloofing trip down the Visgat canyon. Visgat is a highlight of the MCSA Cape Town section's summer calendar and they kindly allocate a few dates to Stellenbosch. The fact that I could have easily...

Fighting aliens in De Hoop

My recent post, The Whale Trail in the Pandemic, has attracted enormous traffic, by the standards of my site at least. In it I opine that biological control of Acacia cyclops (rooikrans) in De Hoop Nature Reserve is failing because my - admittedly unscientific and...

The Whale Trail in the pandemic

As South Africa emerged from the hard lockdown in mid-2020, I became desperate to escape to the outdoors. On the off-chance that the Whale Trail was open, I contacted Cape Nature and easily obtained a booking for the trail in January 2021. The hugely popular trail was...

Burnt dogs, no Englishmen

A wilderness hike in the Cederberg in December is not everybody’s cup of tea, so when the weather report predicted the mercury rising to a scorching 40°C on day 3 of the proposed trip, I was quite surprised when there were no last minute cancellations, even from the...

Zebra stripes and yellow streaks

The MCSA Stellenbosch's first official post-lockdown outing was a weekend hike to Zebra Peak (1458m ASL; Sebrakop on national geo-spatial maps) on Piketberg. It is located on private land on the plateau rim, north-east of most of the cultivated lands. With the...

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HH Epic Trail

Hepic Trail for short. The Hepic is a private hiking trail that follows the route of the original Epic cycle trail above the railway line that snakes out of the Helderberg bowl. It is located north-east of the Gantouw Pass below Hanskop. Access has to be arranged...

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Turret Peak mission

Koue Bokkeveld mountains In 2009 the inaugural Rim of Africa mega-hike was aborted two days shy of our destination, Turret Peak, due to adverse weather. By then we had been on trail for 10 or 11 days. But I have always wanted to eventually get to Turret Peak, so when...

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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...

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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...

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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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