(Video of our trip below story)
Some time ago Fiona had planned another great adventure. To mix it up a bit she had decided to do the Arangieskop two day hiking trail in Robertson. Without thinking it through properly I eagerly agreed to take part. I later found out that this is also affectionately known as the “Kilimanjaro of the Western Cape”, (I distinctly remember making a “Hmmm” noise when I was told this).
Normally when facing the unknown I like to prepare a bit if possible. I was told by a friend who had done it a few years ago that we should make it, however I wanted to a bit more tuned so I would at least be fit enough to enjoy the views and vistas, not staring at my boots while gasping for air. Not fun by any stretch of the imagination.
A little while before I would be forced into exercise by the impending departure date, life had other plans. My mom fell ill and subsequently past away. In a way that I would not wish on anyone.
Truth be told nor Fiona or I were particularly in the mood to focus on training of any type but before we knew it we were settled into our room ready to depart at sunrise.
With lots of apprehension and heavy hearts we set off. Once we had been walking for a while the weight on our back seemed to ease and we started to appreciate the spender of it all, even when going down hill to cross a valley only to find out we would need to hump up another higher hill. We both really enjoyed every moment. We reached our base camp in what seemed like a blink of a eye.
We did however meet up with a large group of hikers from a club. When I first saw them coming up the hill behind us, I will admit I did say to Fiona that we should prepare for hell. I will be honest I don’t really play well with others, especially large groups of super excited chatty people. I am sure some of you know what I mean.
Well I had a few head shaking moments at times BUT we were both blown away by how accommodating and welcoming they were. Friendly, respectful and all round great people in their own respect. We will be seeing them in the future. I am very sure about this.
We both had a really great nights sleep, far better than I have had in 4-star establishments. Even though some 0 degree wind,rain and hail tried to infiltrate our sleeping bags during the night I would not change a thing (okay maybe just a bit of snow, just to add to the experience). It was very strange to think that people in the valley below were suffering through 28-30degrees (well maybe not suffering).
I woke up fresh, lit the wood fired geyser (hot water donkey) and settled for a great coffee and an oaty breakfast from the comfort of my sleeping bag whilst looking through the frosty window at the vistas below. Its times like these mornings when I really enjoy a great coffee and a simple meal.
All packed up, we set off for the summit. It was almost anti climactic as it would mean we would be making our way down soon. Down kinda sucks. Beautiful, breath taking, awe-inspiring but heavy on the legs and feet. Well for me anyway. We both agreed we would do Arangieskop again tomorrow if we could. With this in mind we have planned a return trip for next year.
If I may be so bold I would like to offer some advice to those readers who would care to listen. We have all heard the cheesy sayings like, Life is short, One life live it. My favourite version is….
Live each day like its your last but bare in mind you might make it till tomorrow.
Unfortunatly each and every one of us will see the day where we meet our maker, we will all die. We cant really choose how that happens but we can take steps to choose how we live.Time is the most valuable commodity we posses and it only gets more valuable as every second passes. If we are very lucky we only get 70 trips around the sun so, surround yourself with good solid people, try avoid the noise and drama assosiated with modernaty. Life is a series of moments. Do things while you can. Strike while the iron is hot and make it your own.
Thanks again to Merridian Hiking Club for being as accommodating and helpfull as you all were. Also a big Thank You to Henk for a lift from the finish to our car in Robertson. We were not looking forward to an additional 10km walk along a road.
Thanks for reading our story.