In the hustle and bustle of a busy semester we managed to squeeze in a hike just before the holidays. The plan was to make our way to the top of Perdekop in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve (near Franschhoek), yet the trail eluded us once again. A raging tempest put a halt to our plans, yet I wasn’t prepared to let this ruin our day! We thus set of to Jonkershoek with the full intent of having a rewarding day.

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We made good time reaching the second waterfall – I for one was excited to see the Protea nerifolia (Blackbeard Sugarbush) in full flower along the way. From here we made the grueling journey up Kurkterekker, to the top of Kurktrekker Neck. The route was steep, and aptly named for the zig-zag walking it lended itself to. We were, however, rewarded with a constant view of Jonkershoek below and an array of heath.

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At the top, the wind was equally icy to that we left behind in Franschhoek, yet luckily there was no rain! Having regained our stamina, we made our way around the back of Sterrekykerskop. This section was full of Protea cynaroides (King Protea) in full flower.

We stopped for lunch soon after the intersection that leads to Landroskop on the left, and to Jonkershoek on the right. We managed to find a stop amongst the rocks where the wind was calmer – such that we could enjoy our coffee.

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It was here, that Shane and I did our best to tackle a pine tree that had made the mountain its residence. We soon realised that our efforts were in vain, given that someone else had already taken the initiative to ringbark the tree.

The path further on the top of the mountain was a little overgrown, but given that we had to wade through Protea lacticolor (Hottentot Sugarbush), I could hardly complain.

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Protea lacticolor (Hottentot Sugarbush)

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Protea lacticolor (Hottentot Sugarbush)

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Our next stop was the lookout point from where one could see the Strand, Gordon’s Bay, Somerset West and Helderberg. I also pointed out (to Adri’s surprise) that we had passed the point where the Lourens river starts.

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The final stretch down Swartboskloof went relatively slow, as we treaded across loose boulders, but we soon made it back to the cars at the Witbrug. We had tried to swim at the same spot where Eduard and I had swam a few months before, yet the dryness of summer meant there was no water for us to wade in.

I have walked in Jonkershoek many times, and yet I always manage to see something new. It was also a huge treat to have Adri, Gerju and Shane along with us for the first time!

I have not included the GPX track for this trail, as the GPS switched itself off halfway through the journey. The tracks are available on the maps page, or on the previous post I made for a Jonkershoek hike.