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26 Jun 2013

Winter Solstice-Watchman’s Cave

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June 21, 2013- I was invited by the Sacred Sites Foundation of South Africa to join for a winter solstice mid day hike to the Watchman’s Cave on Lions Head. At 12 noon exactly on the winter solstice day the sun comes thru and lights up the eye of the watchman. I was so excited for this hike as I’ve been to one of the hikes before with Dean Liprini on last years solstice and it was wonderful. This time his partner Fiona Hinds led our group. I invited a few friends, and we met another woman on the hike named Regine who does spiritual work and is in Cape Town. Our group was wonderful. When we got to the cave, the clouds covered the sky so we didn’t see any light coming through the Watchman’s eye. The Watchman is a rock formation in the shape of a man’s head which covers the cave. We had a little ceremony, played music and soaked up the energy on this special day. I love what Fiona and Dean are doing. They are bringing awareness to all about our sacred sites on Table Mountain and beyond. Thank you.

26 Jun 2013

Constantia Corner to Dams atop Table Mountain

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June 17, 2013- I met Sheila running along the R27 one day as I was doing a long run and when she ran past we started chatting. She has been in South Africa for almost a year from the USA doing missionary work. I offered to take her and some of the people she works with up the mountain with me sometime to show them up close what its all about. We kept in touch and today was the day for our hike together. We started around 10am, which normally I don’t do but since it is cooler now it was perfect. There were 11 of us in total and some people had never hiked in their lives. We took the more adventurous way up called Constantia Corner, otherwise we could’ve stayed on the jeep track all the way to the dams. Taking the adventurous route is way more interesting and fun. Each person did really well, even on the parts where we had to use our hands and feet to climb up. The weather was magnificent and once we got to the DeVilliers dam we took a little break. From here we went along to Ash Valley, a beautiful path which still has some alien pine trees so it almost looks like you are in the States or somewhere else besides here! It’s very mossy, green and lush. This path lets you out near in between the Hely-Hutchison and Woodhead dams, and from here we walked back down to our cars via the jeep track. As I left they all gave me a blessing which was something very special and much appreciated.

18 Jun 2013

Comrades 87.3km

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June 2, 2013- My husband and two friends of ours, Art & Bart have been training for about 9 months for the Comrades race in Durban, South Africa. We raised money for the Pink Drive and for the Starfish Foundation and together we raised over R32,000($3000). We wanted to run this as a challenge to see if we it was possible. I can’t thank you all enough for all the messages of love and support. It is truly an Ultra-Ordinary race and we felt like true champions. We actually really enjoyed the day even though they say it was the hardest uphill run in over 10 years because of the extreme heat and windy conditions. The pic on the right is of  bracelets with friends and family names for each 10 km for them to help me through. I would think about one person for each 10 kms and draw on their strength to help me get to the next 10 km. We did it in 11 hours 28 minutes which is amazing as we just wanted to get in under the cut off time of 12 hours. It was a challenge to achieve the impossible, or what our minds perceived as impossible, but we did it. I am so happy we did it together as a team, helping each other out when one needed a little bit of a push to keep going. I took a bit of time off after the race to recover the legs and have just started getting back onto the mountain again. I highly recommend doing something that scares you, setting a goal and achieving it, and also doing something extraordinary with your loved ones!

18 Jun 2013

American to American

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May 27, 2013-Brian was here in Cape Town for work but also stayed an extra week to do some of the fun stuff around Cape Town. He booked a hike and we ended up doing Skeleton Gorge to Maclears Beacon, the highest point on Table Mountain and finally taking the cable car down. Brian is from my sweet home Chicago!  So we had a lot in common and it was nice to hear what is happening over there first hand. When I picked Brian up the weather didn’t look so great, but he was up for a hike no matter what, and so was I. As we rounded Devils Peak as we drove to Kirstenbosch the clouds had lifted and we were in the clear. We ascended through the indigenous forest nice and early so it was still very cool and refreshing. Once we got to Maclears Beacon we saw only 2 other people who were up there having a picnic. As a South African you get a free cable car ride each year on your birthday. As you can see in the pictures there is a fog over the city but up above that fog it was a perfect day. So many people think it’s cloudy when it was just a bit of mist, and once you go above it you have blue skies. It is such a pleasure for me to show other people this mountain in a safe and fun way. Thank you Brian! Hope to see you again one day.

18 Jun 2013

The Roving Reporter

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May 20, 2013- Tara from Cape Talk got in touch with me via Twitter and was looking to do a cool hike so I asked her to come along on the adventurous India Venster route. She brought her friend Fenn and I had another girl join us, Lucinda from London. We all had a wonderful day out taking in the beauty of all that surrounded us. I always ask before each hike if anyone has any injuries or medical conditions and on this one, Lucinda said, ‘now don’t be alarmed but I’ve had a heart attack before’. So, of course I was alarmed. We chatted about the situation and I was pleased she let me know. I made sure she was ok the whole way. It amazes me how resilient people are and also how each person knows his or her own body and to what level they can push and when they need to relax and slow down a bit. Every person is so unique and that is one of the wonderful things I have learned on this journey.