A cloudy day’s walk along the Silvermine Crags

One day in March, we hiked along the Silvermine Crags. A thick blanket of dark grey rain-heavy clouds was hovering above the city, and swirling around the tops of the mountain peaks in the southern peninsula. Luckily, the rain stayed away, and shafts of autumn sunlight eventually broke through the thick clouds and melted them away.

We walked up from the reservoir, following the signs towards Elephant’s Eye Cave (see previous post) on the side of the Constantiaberg (see previous posts here and here), and turned right, off the main path and onto a narrow sandy track through fragrant fynbos. This took us upwards onto the ridge known as the Crags, from where we could see the distinctive triangular shape of the Silvermine reservoir in the valley beneath us to the south, and the pine plantations of Tokai State Forest on the slopes far below us towards the north.

We found an expanse of flat rocks for our picnic of tea and chocolate croissants, and enjoyed the views, until it became too chilly. We continued to follow the path, as it climbed up and down along the ridge, crossing one rocky outcrop after another, until we came to a path that led down to the parking area where mountain bikers are allowed to park their cars. It looked as though the path along the Crags could, in fact, continue for a little bit.

Next time!

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6 thoughts on “A cloudy day’s walk along the Silvermine Crags

    • Glad you liked it… and agree with you – getting wet outdoors is not much fun, especially when your boots end up squelching and you have cold water running down your neck… brrrr….

  1. Very atmospheric pics, Reggie. Yes, next time do continue down the path for a little further – it will take you to a view spot. The path down from here will take you past the new(ish) tented camp (part of the Hoerikwaggo trail).The camp looks very nice indeed.

    • Ooooh, really? OK THEN! We definitely have to continue! As far as I recall the path kind of meandered down the top of the ridge, and then there was a V- or Y-intersection, where we could have turned back up. But we weren’t sure how much further it would go along the ridge, so we continued down. We really must explore that next time. Yes, the tented camp is indeed part of the Hoerikwaggo trail; have you been inside? I think one could overnight there, depending on availability, even if one doesn’t do the Hoerikwaggo, but I’m not sure.

    • I haven’t been inside, and from the path you can’t see that much. They are cleverly designed to ensure the privacy of the campers. I did hear that one can stay overnight at all the camps if they are available. I’m rather keen to try the Orangekloof one.

      • Ahh! How interesting!

        I’ve just found a summary of the 2-day hike to/from Orangekloof here and the official website of the Hoerikwaggo 5-day trail here. Having just re-read the route summary, I suddenly remember why I haven’t dared to book this trail yet, even though it must be simply magnificent… look at these adjectives:
        Day 1: Cape Point to Smitswinkel – Difficult – 15km
        Day 2: Red Hill to Slangkop – Moderate – 12km
        Day 3: Slangkop to Silvermine – Tough – 21km
        Day 4: Silvermine to Orange Kloof – Challenging – 15.5km
        Day 5: Orange Kloof to Tafelberg Road – Difficult – 9.5km…

        I just don’t see ‘leisurely’, or ‘relaxing’, or ‘gentle’ anywhere there. Luckily, they end with this paragraph: “Tented Camp Bookings: If spending the night in the beautifully serene setting of the Tented Camps appeals more to you than hiking the trail, simply book the accommodation and use it as a base from where you can enjoy all the surrounding activities.” NOW we’re talking! 😉

        So, Helen, are you planning to do the Orangekloof 2-day hike, the Hoerikwaggo 5-day hike, or just to overnight at Orangekloof? 😉

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