Last Thursday's hike was perfect preparation for the Camino that I'm planning to walk in Spain next year. Loads of surprises with very few markers. I continue to be amazed at what Table Mountain has to offer - hidden yellow wood forests, streams, secret caves and views you can only dream of.
We spent most of the day on the mountain and I will admit, it's probably a good idea to walk with three bottles of liquid as opposed to the two I took. Thanks to amazing people in our group who share what they have and sparkling ice cold mountain water taken straight from the streams, we all had enough to drink but I will be filling up an extra something filled with an energy drink of sorts from now on.
Hiking is proving to be much more than just an exercise in climbing or walking. Being part of a group of people, walking in areas where anything can happen at any time, has made me realise how dependant we are on others in our group. The importance of being with people who you can depend on has been brought home to me. More than once now I've seen how quickly somebody can slip, either in front or behind you. Witnessing firsthand how the people in my group have always remained calm and did whatever they had to do when someone else needed assistance, is incredibly reassuring to me.
So, a long walk, taking in the Pipe Track, Corridor Ravine, Tranquility Cracks, Grootkop, Atlantic Traverse and Ou Kraal Ravine. Sore feet and a migraine but a happy heart at the end of it. Some of the beauty captured on film (well, you know what I mean...) and a bubble bath at the end of the day to top it all off.
Nobody can accuse me of being idle on a Thursday, that's for sure!
Lastly - I'd like to dedicate this post to one of the very special members of our little Thursday group. Our friend Eddie lost someone very close to him recently. Eddie - I hope you find peace and consolation and that the wonderful memories you have in your heart of your Vicky remain forever! What a blessing your shared love of nature turned out to be for both of you!
Thank you for always being there for us - helping us climb over rocks, crossing streams or sharing your food. Know that we are all there for you my friend, not only Thursdays, but every other day of the week.
So, I guess what I've learnt in the past two weeks is that hiking certainly is not all about just walking. It is about being grateful. Grateful for friends, grateful for good health, grateful for nature and the freedom to experience and enjoy it. Grateful to God and all He blesses us with, every minute, every hour and every day.