Taken from IOL
Table Mountain set for new hiking breakaway
March 05 2007
By Environment Writer
Hikers looking for a bit of a challenge should sign up for the second leg of the Hoerikwaggo Trail, which will be opened at the end of the month.
The 18km trail, which begins near Slangkop Lighthouse and ends in Silvermine, is the toughest section of the hiking trail through Table Mountain National Park, which will eventually link Cape Point with Table Mountain.
Stephen Lamb, project manager of the trail, said that, when completed, the Hoerikwaggo Trail Tented Classic will take six days and five nights.
The two-day section from Silvermine to Table Mountain, with an overnight stop at the tented camp at Orange Kloof, was opened in October.
"The section from Slangkop to Silvermine has spectacular views and will be the most challenging on the six-day trail. You need to be fit and to carry plenty of water. There is a 5km walk along Noordhoek beach, which is lovely, and there we've constructed a trail from The Hoek, at the end of the beach, up to the top of Chapman's Peak, where the views are just spectacular.
"The trail then winds down and up again over Noordhoek Peak, and then down to the tented camp at Silvermine. We were proud of the camp we built at Orange Kloof, but we think the one at Silvermine is even better," Lamb said.
National Park staff take hikers' baggage by vehicle from Slangkop to Silvermine, so all hikers need to carry is their day packs. Hikers are accompanied by two National Park trail guides, who have radio links to 24-hour emergency staff.
Tough section of hiking trail "Eventually, hikers will be able to do the whole six-day hike, but until those are built, we are catering for local hikers who are looking for a two-day breakaway," Lamb said.
The Silvermine camp sleeps 12 and is equipped with hot showers, a fridge, stove, cooking utensils and a braai place.
"We've kept the theme of 'touch the earth lightly', so instead of bricks and concrete, we've used sandbags and recycled metal and wood. We've used energy-efficient designs and all the wood is made from alien vegetation. There's the most beautiful hand-cut pine panelling," he said.
The official launch of the trail is on March 30.
Thinking about the next trip