Jonkershoek Hike

Leon, Lana and I went for a EASY hike (as Leon put it) on Sunday afternoon to the first waterfall at Jonkershoek nature reserve.

We parked at the gate and decided to walk the 5 km to the next parking area. They only let 20 cars in at any given time, so there was already a line of cars, waiting for one to come out, so that they can drive the 5 km’s in.

For those of you that don’t know, there are a few hiking trails at Jonkershoek, including a first waterfall and a second waterfall. We decided that our best option would be to hike to the first waterfall and to do the more difficult trail to second waterfall another time (when we don’t have to walk the 5 km to the start, and 5 km back again to the gate).

My family and I love hiking. I’m not the fittest person, but I love the outdoors, exercise, beautiful scenery and thinking space.

All went well, and we comfortably walked the 5 km along a dirt road to the parking space at the start of the hike. First waterfall here we come…

We set out excited, the info board said “First waterfall 3 km”. After about half way the path started getting really steep, bumpy and had huge steps. I was checking my phone gps and telling my husband and daughter only 1 km left… 800 m… 400 m. By this time we we’re exhausted, I felt I couldn’t go on and was already worrying about the +- 8 km I’d have to do to get back to the car.

Checked the gps once more to see how far we had left … and that’s when I saw it …

Second waterfall on my phone screen … wait WHAT!? …

How did we completely miss the first waterfall?

We looked up at the remaining 400 m at it was almost straight up… no way, I won’t make it.

So exhausted, we turned around and wandered down to the nearest opening to the stream we could find. Leon and Lana cooled off in the water, while I laid like a beached whale on the bank.

Our water bottles were already empty. Thank you Google, did a quick search: “can I drink the river water at Jonkershoek?” Google’s Answer: “The water in the streams at Jonkershoek are generally drinkable…”

What does ‘generally drinkable’ mean? Too thirsty to ponder that thought for too long, so, what ever, let’s fill our bottles.

We re-grouped and wondered where we went wrong. Ultimately the 3 km’s on the info board probably meant to the first waterfall and back. Leon and Lana decided that on the way back they will look for the turn off and still go to the first waterfall, we came this far after all.

I decided, STUFF THAT, I will start the journey back to the car. Albeit Alone. So we split up and I made my way back to the dirt road so long. I was thinking maybe a returning car will stop and offer me a lift back to the front gate. It was 5 km to go and I was beyond tired.

Then a car drove by… they stopped… reversed back to me. I thought to myself: “Yessssss!, here’s my ride!” They stopped beside me and in a foreign accent said that a man (probably my husband) asked them if they saw a woman with grey pants. I said yes, that’s me. Then the guy said: “He told me to tell you, they’re right behind you, ok, bye.” … And they drove off. Noooooo! My ride!

We’ll needless to say the whole 5 km’s back to the gate my only thought’s were – Why didn’t you ask for a lift? – and – Just put one foot in front of the other.

I made it back to the car, took of my tekkies and laid down in the car, waiting for my husband and daughter to return. No I didn’t wait for them on the dirt road, I just pushed to get back to the car.

We ended up walking a total of 16 km’s! For me, that’s A LOT.

Do you also like going for a hike? Let me know if you know of any nice trails in and around Cape Town we can try.

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