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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...

Mad dogs and Englishmen …

... go out in the midday sun (in the Cederberg in summer) Or so the song goes. Except that the hiking group comprised a Belgian, a German, a half-Dutchman, a half-Greek-Cypriot and a boeremeisie - the instigator. All keen hikers and outdoorspeople. Almost exactly...

Arangieskop hike – take two

Arangieskop Hiking Trail is a very fine trail, well laid out by somebody who was determined to show the diversity of views and flora to be found on a single mountainside. Make sure that your knees are in good nick and that your pack is light, because the climb is...

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Full moon at Dwarsberg

So there I was in bed, sleepily easing into a lazy Saturday morning with no particular plans or obligations when an SMS pinged in on my 'phone: would I like to join the mountain club party that was heading up that morning to the Dwarsberg plateau to overnight under...

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The Otter Trail

19 to 23 January 2013 I last hiked the Otter Trail, perhaps South Africa's most famous hiking trail, circa 1994 with some friends. It was mid-winter, fairly cold and mostly cloudy. Nevertheless, I remember that it was spectacular and never really expected to walk it...

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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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