Llandudno Ravine

I recently negotiated another spectacular tabletop summit (see pics from the previous hike) with a bunch of top notch lads (and lasses). Llandudno Ravine offers superb views from the vantage point of Llandudno Peak, only a short walk from the main trail. From this view point one over looks Hout Bay, Llandudno and Camps Bay in spectacular fashion.

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Labouring up the last steep part – still managed a smile

The route leads up a remote part of the valley where you rarely encounter hikers, so it offers lots in the way of pristine nature and solitude – another reason why it’s one of my favorite hikes.

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Hout Bay’s very own “Little Lion’s Head”

Cape Town hiking doesn’t get better than this, as the way up is stimulating and engaging, varied and with challenging sections that reminds you that you’re climbing a mountain and not a hill.

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God’s rock garden

It was also great to catch up with my long time training buddy and general tank – Frans Smit. This was accompanied of course by the usual banter. My other paddling buddies and I have been puzzling over why he’s been missing so many sessions on the water. I wonder if this leave of absence has anything to do with him getting a girl friend? Maybe it’s just a coincidence…

Another great thing about this hike is that it is no more than 5 mins drive from our front door and it is one of the shortest routes to the top of Table Mountain! Talk about ‘bang for your buck’.

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Jame’s looking out Lion’s Head

We started off as a group of seven but my dad soon ran on ahead, darting up the rocks like a started rabbit, saying he needed to fit in a ‘good run’. I guess we should have known that he’s never one to take it easy (Check out some of his other adventures in his book on the Three Rivers of the Amazon – Tim Biggs).

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These epics would not be the same without Raff – our resident mascot

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed the scenery from this beautiful country we call home.

Until next time,

Benno

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Karbonkelberg Trails – Hout Bay

After a focussed  build-up to the SA Sprint Champs in March, I’m taking some time off to enjoy the scenery we have on our door step in the world’s most beautiful city – Cape Town. I’ve taken this chance to post a couple pics from a recent trail run I did with my brother where we did some exploring of the routes around the Republic (Hout Bay).

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Raphael and I grabbing some quality time (and a breather) at the top! On the right, you can just make out ‘Dungeons’ – the famous Big Wave surfing spot –  where adrenaline junkies from all over flock to when the swell is pumping.

It’s always tough getting back into running but with views like this, what’s not to enjoy?

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My big brother, Sam

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Even Raff was enjoying the scenery

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Lion’s Head in the distance

I hope you enjoyed the snaps. Until next time,

Benno

 

 

 

The end of a season…

2015 was a challenging year but when I reflect on all that has happened I come to realise I have so much to be thankful for. As my postgraduate studies (see what my research group has been involved with) at the University of Cape Town draw to a close, there are new goals to be set and new heights to reach for. Once I complete my masters in engineering (hopefully in the next few weeks!) my full attention and focus will shift to sprint kayaking.

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Breathtaking view of UCT Upper Campus

The next big local sprint event is the SA Sprint Champs, which doubles up as the trial for the African Sprint Championships and the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup. This regatta is taking place in Natal – my old stamping ground – at Shongweni Dam near Durban, mid-March.

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Action shot from last year’s SA Trial event – I’m being powered by Dewald Hattingh

It has been testing juggling the varsity and training – discipline has become essential for survival. I am grateful for the support from my family, better half, conditioning coach and training partners who have helped me to make good progress on the water and in the gym even though time has been short. I also believe it’s important to have fun and take time to enjoy the small pleasures lest we drown in the responsibilities that each day brings.

The training focus over the last few months has largely been on aerobic development, an aspect previously lacking in my physical arsenal. Most people think that sprinters don’t need to be ‘that fit’ or require to much volume training but this is simply not true. Having a big aerobic engine is particularly critical for the longer sprint distances such as the 1000m (my main event distance). Let’s hope I’ve done enough to carry me through the next few weeks of intense training leading up to the Champs. I am looking forward to burning it down the course on race day! 

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading! 

Ben