A short misty walk along the Silvermine Hillcrest Path

A couple of very busy weeks had passed since our last hike, so we were keen to get out into nature this weekend. After a series of blue-sky early-spring days, however, we awoke to some potentially wet and intimidating cloud cover on Sunday morning.

Ah well, wrap up warmly and just go anyway, is our motto… and besides, if we get cold and wet, we’ll just have the perfect excuse to find a snugly coffee shop afterwards, preferably with a roaring fire in the grate and serving thick and creamy chococinos or deliciously nutritious soup with a chunk of fresh farm bread and butter. It’s all good! πŸ™‚

You can cross the dam wall to the far side

So off we went to the western section of the Silvermine Nature Reserve, where we quickly found parking near the reservoir. I’d identified a suitably gentle circular route along the so-called Hillcrest Path, which overlooks the reservoir. I was still recovering from a rather nasty chest cold, and prone to getting out of breath very quickly, so climbing up the Constantiaberg or Noordhoek Peak, which were still on our ‘must do’ list, was not an option that day.

Yellow protea bushes

We thus set off across the dam wall, and followed the gravel road as it led us gently uphill, and promptly ran into a friend who was out walking his two beautiful bounding labradors. After a long chat, we waved goodbye, and turned off to the right and onto a small path, which led us ever up and up and up through flowering fynbos and past fluffy proteas and chittering birds that flitted across the sky. It was marvelous to be out in nature again – and a reminder that we really are extraordinarily fortunate to have such beautiful hiking areas literally on our doorstep and in the middle of our city.

After a steady climb, we reached a rocky shelter, which served as the perfect picnic spot with a view: southwards across Silvermine towards Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, eastwards across Muizenberg towards the Hottentots Holland, and northwards across the reservoir towards the peak of the Constantiaberg, which was swaddled in thick clouds. Oh dear, that didn’t look good at all…

View south across Fish Hoek towards Simon's Town

Our energy levels restored with a crunchy apple and a few sips of water, we continued to follow the path, as it led us along the ridge, with occasional glimpses southwards across to the white arch of Noordhoek beach far below. The views were glorious… but the rain-laden clouds moving in across the valley and hiding the encircling ridge from view, were not.

We walked on for a bit longer, camera now safely tucked away in the dry rucksack, but the path seemed to be taking us straight into the thick of the clouds, and a drizzle began to fall, misting my glasses so I couldn’t see clearly… and making the stones beneath our feet slippery… and gradually hiding the view more and more…

A sunbird poses for the camera

We reluctantly turned around and retraced our steps all the way down to the reservoir, chased by the strengthening drizzle and an absolutely icy wind. Thoroughly soaked by the time we made it back to our car, and with our noses, cheeks and fingers frozen with cold, we headed down to the Noordhoek Garden Emporium, a most wondermous place we have only recently discovered, to have a scrumptious lunch of butternut soup and chicken mayo sandwiches, with a seriously decadent chococino. And that may well be our favourite part of hiking! πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “A short misty walk along the Silvermine Hillcrest Path

  1. Glad to see you back on my PC screen and & go for a virtual hike – you have been very quiet for way too long, was beginning to wonder where you were! Beautiful pic of a sunbird in this post.

    • Hi Alison – thanks! The last few weeks have been extraordinarily busy, what with Richard’s sister Tanya visiting us, a lot of activity by the Defence Reserves to photograph and write about, a collision with a Golden Arrow bus, and a bad chest cold… so blogging slipped down on my list of priorities. It’s good to be back though!

  2. Oh boy, walks getting rained out seems to be an occupational hazard this time of year! I’ve got drizzled on and very nearly drenched several times recently πŸ˜‰
    Nothing better than warm clothes and a hot drink after being out in the cold and wet though.
    I’m wondering if the route you call Hillcrest Path is the one called Amphitheatre Path on my old map? I’ve done it a couple of times and its a fantastic walk. Hope you get a chance to go back and complete the walk sometime soon.

    • Hi Helen – I’m basing the name on Shirley Brossy’s ‘A Walking Guide for the Hout Bay to Simon’s Town Mountains’, where she calls this the Hillcrest Path – but the circle of ridges do kind of form an amphitheatre around the Reservoir, so who knows. πŸ™‚ Either way, we’re going to go back sometime to do the full walk… hopefully when my cough is gone and when it’s not raining!

  3. Reggie, it was delightful to walk along with you. I love how coffee shops are incentives for nature hikes! Sorry the wind was icy…isn’t summer approaching in your hemisphere? Thank you for sharing.

    • Hello Kathy – I’m so pleased you came along on our hike! You are always welcome. And yes, summer is approaching, but it’s still spring – and I love this kind of weather, which is faaaar nicer than the sweltering 30-40 degrees we get in summer, so I’m definitely not complaining! πŸ˜€

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