Table Mountain Treks – About me
Closer to the end of my two year stay in England I spent the last two weeks at a country side home working on a farm for three days and the rest just lazing around in the garden of a Lovely caring family, the Jenkins.
I was taken in with open arms. When Burty and Moks (the dogs) jumped up with excitement to greet me, I felt a sense of peace and at ease for here is where I was supposed to be; I thought. Carol and Kim took me on walks in the nearby forest of Killerton and Exeter forest, never strenuous but long enough for you to have quiet down to feel at one with what is and connect with the Realms. Hearing the different bird calls in the trees and seeing the falling leaves of green and gold, the mist clears and there were a herd of wild Dartmoor Pony’s. They immediately came close and not even the fence could break that feeling of oneness with Nature and everything around it that lives.
Then it came to me that I should go back home and do what makes me happy but with the idea that I was to share the beauty of Nature with people from all over the world. After a year and a half I struck it lucky even when the odds were against me I managed to pull through a very tight selection to do a year long course in Tourist guiding, with the best training, lecturers and mentors. I was one step closer to realizing my goal but without knowing it. After graduating as Western Province Tourists Guide it was hard finding the right place to practice my new qualification amongst other experienced guides. In December 2008 I was a successful applicant at Table Mountain National Parks as a Hoerikwaggo trail guide. I lead hikes all over the Table Mountain chain informing guest of the types of vegetation found in the Cape Floral Kingdom, what types of birds are to be seen showing off its wonderful array of colors and calls, how Table Mountain was formed and over how many years, the different layers of rock formations. Moreover, who the local inhabitancies were and how the European settler’s came and changed things and pointing out the famous land marks and the different routes leading to and from the mountain.
The excitement and anticipation of not knowing how each trail will unfold, what type of insects or animal will show itself on the day; how the weather will affect the route we take. My first trail was a Hit, a two day Orangekloof trail with a maximum group of twelve ladies and colleague leading the way. The two Boom slang we saw on the way, the Jackal buzzard circling above us, sunbirds and sugarbirds enjoying the attention, Rock kestrel diving at prey. The stories to be told of the journey they made getting to the starting point and what they get out of doing these adventurous trails with close friends and family.
With today’s busy life style where does one find the time to keep in shape? Not only is ones intuition drowned by the fumes of the industrial urban jungle but also find it hard making time to get out and just connect with nature and enjoy its offerings that breathes life and clarity into the mind, body and soul.
Author: Christopher Smith