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A farewell to Stellenbosch Mountain

After 34 years of living and working in Stellenbosch, not to mention 4 years as students here, we are preparing to move to the Kogelberg coast for the next phase of our lives. Although I don't have any notion of deliberately taking leave of familiar peaks and trails,...

Recces and repeats

I haven't posted in a while, so those who believe that if an outdoor activity hasn't been posted on digital media somewhere then it didn't occur, might think that I have been idle. Although there have been other distractions - like grandkids arriving for a long visit,...

Simonsberg

Simonsberg has been a looming, brooding presence in my life for almost fifty years. It towered to starboard daily on the short walks to engineering classes, and later on the cycle commutes to work. In stressful times when I needed calm and to gaze at something...

Smitswinkel – Simon’s Town Traverse

As with most hikes on the Cape Peninsula, this traverse is visually spectacular. It can be walked in either direction, but on this occasion the MCSA trail leader thought it better to tackle the steep section in the morning because high northerly winds were expected...

The Kogelberg Trail

The Kogelberg Trail is a circular, 24 km hiking trail in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Last weekend's walk was fifth time that I have done it, as I remember. All the gradients are gradual, there is no exposure nor scrambles and the trail has few obstacles. It is...

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...

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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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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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