This blog will be slightly different from previous posts. First, there was only one outdoor run. While the weather was great….we were just so busy that day-time running didn’t happen. Second, we weren’t staying in a great location for outdoor running (which meant taking the car to another location). Third, we had a gym at the apartment we rented.
The one run my hubby and I managed was amazing. Please follow along with the map below. Our route is highlighted in the red outline. The Kirstenbosch Gardens are reportedly one of the best in the world. It was pretty gorgeous even though we only saw one small section of the Gardens. When I picked it as a running site, I didn’t think about the mountainsides surrounding the park. Look at that mountainside behind me in the photo…..we ended up there just above the treeline.
We started our run in the actual gardens as we headed towards the trail.
We started on Stinkwood Trail (an awesome name for a trail). The pavement ended and the trail began and then stairs began. After the first and second series of stairs, I thought…”this is an unexpected stair-workout”. By the 5th and 7th series, I was working pretty hard and cursing my selection of running sites! I should have picked the beach run!
We then intersected with a dual traffic (foot and bike) Mountain Trail heading to the west. It was still an uphill climb but at least we were on road and not more stairs. We were starting to come above the ridge line and had expansive views of the gardens and of Capetown. The morning was slightly overcast and helped keep the temperatures perfect for running. Our initial climb had been through native flowers and bush which we had risen above and were surrounded by just trees. We had one final push up on the Contour Path. The temperature had dropped and the wind picked up as we neared the top. The wind was nearly howling in the treetops above us. Just as quickly as the weather turned on us, it reverted back to perfect running weather!
We finally had stopped climbing and were able to enjoy a mostly lateral run across the Countour Path into Silvertree Trail. The trail was more rocky through some sections and we had to be careful with our way across. I didn’t want to hobble on a sprained ankle down those stairs! At this point, we had seen a few hikers and one other runner. I felt like we had the whole mountainside to ourselves. We crossed some hidden gems- small water crossing, waterfall, and massive views. We had traversed manicured lawns and flowerbeds, climbed stairs with desert plants, traveled through forested areas, and then repeated back through each!
After we passed the waterfall, we were in a running groove and enjoying the scenery. It was the reason you run trails! We had a decision to make….continue on or head back? Unfortunately we had no cell coverage and had given a time estimate to our daughter; so we reluctantly picked to run down Contour Path to Yellowwood Trail. We hit an even 4.0 miles as we returned to the park, so we walked through the gardens (ever so briefly) to our car. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to bring the kids back.
I have had some great runs on this trip….but this is my new favorite!
The garmin data is included below. For some reason, the map doesn’t show the loop that we completed.