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Perdekop escape

While languishing in level 4 lockdown, we had been planning our escapes to the great outdoors where mega-social distancing is possible, and even desirable. Undeniably, outdoor exercise, fresh air and sunlight boost your immune system (along with other factors such as...

Botmaskop fly-past

Nobody said I couldn't fly the drone past Botmaskop while in lockdown, so here's a short clip of a virtual hike: [HTML1]

Kromrivier Kloof: bucket list stuff

Mountain man, Paul Verhoeven, has been the de facto custodian of my adventure bucket list, although he is unlikely to know this. It was he who pointed out the gaps in my admittedly-very-short list of abseil adventures, and insisted that the popular kloofing trips on...

Solitude at Agtertafelberg hut

Kevin had suggested a hike that has long been on our list: the Wemmershoek Traverse from Mont Rochelle above Franschhoek across the Wemmershoek mountains to the MCSA’s Agtertafelberg hut. When the designated weekend arrived heavy rain was forecast so departure was...

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...

Zambezi Canoe Safari

Tamarind Canoe Safari, Lower Zambezi, Chirundu to Mana Pools: 9 - 12 July 2001 Having eaten and drunk our way across Botswana and Zimbabwe,never having to lift a finger, we were quite keen to do something physical. The famous Lower Zambezi canoe safari (with Canoeing...

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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Visgat reprise

Thirteen years after the last time down Visgar canyon, I had the privilege of another swim down this almost pristine gorge. The permit was arranged via the Cape Town branch of the MCSA by Paul Verhoeven at late notice. We dropped everything to descend it once more and...

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Wild Coast hike

The 5-day, 61 km (69 km by my GPS) Wild Coast hike down the scenic Pondoland coast featuring overnight stays at local homesteads, is one of those must-do hikes. Besides moving through the unfolding spectacle of the shoreline you will gain some insight into a...

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Summiting Sneeuberg

Cederberg Wilderness Area It took me 32 years since my first hiking experience in the Cederberg to summit Sneeuberg - in my 60th year and on the occasion of the Mountain Club of SA's 125th anniversary camp. Paul Verhoeven organised and led the hike and although it was...

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The Postberg Trail

West Coast National Park The Postberg Trail is pretty exclusive, only opening for the spring months of August and September and accommodating just 12 hikers per day. It is a two-day trail of some 26 kms in length but with negligible elevations. Bring your own tent and...

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Tierkloof abseil

  Paul Verhoeven arranged this exclusive adventure for a small group of mountain club members. It involved climbing the Peaks (¨Pieke¨), some of the highest summits in the Jonkershoek area and then 9 abseils down Tierkloof, the cleft that angles down south of the...

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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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