Imagine – A Hike and Curry Cook-Out on Table Mountain.
What a glorious 28th January 2018, as weather goes, an early start 5.30 am, we mustered just a little ways up the jeep track at Constantia Nek, a party of 6.
Someone said we were going to cook Chicken Curry somewhere near the Woodhead Dam, 8 kilometers away and at 740masl, we would be cooking chicken curry and frying rotti’s in hiking pots on gas hiking stoves,
This was a 1st for me. #Learn More
It would be approx, 14 kilometers round trip, with a gain in altitude of 500 meters.
We started at 250masl and headed out in a Northerly direction, this I was told would be a Jeep Track walk all the way, a new hiking experience for me. I was relatively unfit but looking forward to the exercise. #More on Hiking
It was tough going at 1st but as we settled in and gained rhythm it all came back to me, that good feeling of slight discomfort and your body doing some work out in the raw elements of Nature. The pace was easy and we were in no rush. The climb to the rusty old metal bridge was steep and required some effort to reach,
Past the bridge the track became even steeper and I had to dig deep to reach the top. After reaching the top it was easy going reaching the the 1st dam, De Villiers on the plateau and a convenient water point where one could replenish water supplies in the form of a tap.
Continuing on Alexandra Dam was reached, passing it with just a few fleeting photos taken and a well timed breather. Staying hydrated in the heart of Summer is essential, due to exposure to the harsh African sun, Head, Eye and Skin protection is recommended.
The next one reached was Victoria Dam which seems to be a spill over for Alexandra Dam. Well thought out by the engineers of yester-year. Flowers were in full bloom around the dam area and pleasant fragrances were in the air, bees were pollinating and an easy feeling came over me, that of peace and harmony with nature.
The next dam reached was Woodhead, one of the big ones, we had to cross via the dam wall which has a path build on it passing the slues gates and valve house as we made our way to the other side, where we planned to cook Chicken Curry for lunch, Hiker’s Style.
Upon reaching the crossroads, our leading party of 3 was nowhere to be found, a miss-communication, I was not informed of the exact location of our cook out. They failed to wait for us at the intersection and some lucky guess work saw us re united some time later.
Take a lesson here, always wait for the rear of your party to catch up when line of sight is lost.
It was frustrating and time consuming, the fact it was blazing hot just multiplied the frustration.
In a wilderness area this simple incident could be life threatening, so lesson learned.
At the intended destination Robin and Chetty proceeded to prepare the Chicken Curry and Rottis (see video). The rest of us chilled, happy to relax after the 500masl ascent.
What a privileged it is to live in a city with such an awesome mountain in our back yard, most do not appreciate it, but I for one would like to share it with all responsible outdoor enthusiasts.
Chetty and Robin did an excellent job of cooking the Chicken Curry and Rottis, all the cooking equipment and fresh ingredients were carried in hiking bags and cooked by these two expert Hiking Cooks, it is a pity that flavors and smells cannot be conveyed via photo’s or video, it was just out of this world.
Lunch over we made sure to leave the area cleaned, just the way we found it and carried our litter out to be discarded at home in a safe and responsible manner.
The descent was challenging as all experienced hikers know going downhill is worst than climbing or going up. We took a short cut which intersected the winding jeep track periodically, but the jury is still out as to whether this was easier and quicker than just staying on the jeep track.
We arrived back at the vehicles with our spirits and dignity in tact, a great workout and start to the 2018 hiking season.
Thanks guys, this was a once in a lifetime experience, and that Curry, Mmmm!!!
My heartfelt thanks to (Robin, Chetty, Russell, Judy and Vic.)