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Hiking with small children in the Kogelberg biosphere nature reserve

hike everlastings

Hiking sweeps cobwebs from the mind, casting off thought strands which harvest nothing but dust.  With every step on the Kogelberg Palmiet trail, summer blooms revealed delicate beauty.

A river runs through

A river runs through

hike tree & clouds

Previously in the Western Cape we undertook the hike to Elephant’s Eye cave, a breathtaking (literally and physically) activity.  With Acacia then only 3 years old, this was a blot on the page our parental wisdom.  The Palmiet River hiking trail in the Kogelberg was a return to practicality.  Acacia (now 4) loved the walk and hardly needed carrying.  The route is not circular, at the end you double back, the distance is a total of 10 km.

hike river rocks

Swimming in the Palmiet river

Swimming in the Palmiet river

Swimming spots in the river along the route are marked.  Despite a few childhood years in Girl Guides, I clearly failed to internalize the motto ‘Be Prepared’.  Not only did we sally forth without snacks or sufficient water but zero research left the swimming option as a pleasant surprise.  The lure of the water won over practical deficiencies.  The children splashed gleefully in their undies.  Other adults in our party leapt in fully clothed.  I on the other hand, in the sensible hiking gear (not) of an ankle length skirt and top faced a practical dilemma.  Undeterred, off came the skirt and I entered the water in my knickers and top.  A quandary arose when another hiking group arrived to swim at the point when I was ready to resume the hike.  Realizing that their stay may be protracted I exited the water and dashed for my skirt, hoping that my top was long enough to rule out being an exhibitionist.  Oh well, I’ll never meet them again (I hope).  Note – In the case of moral sensibilities, wear swim wear under your hiking gear and pack a small towel to dry your feet.

All creatures great and small

All creatures great and small

A mummy rain spider on her nest, for scale the nest was about the size of my fist

A mummy rain spider on her nest, for scale the nest was about the size of my fist

Due to impaired planning, we did not complete the full hike and doubled back at the 2nd main swimming spot.    Despite the few logistical hiccups, our Palmiet hike remains my favourite memory of our Cape visit.  With a few tweaks in planning, I intend to do it again next time.

Thank you to Al for the pics, my camera batteries died

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