One of John Muir’s most famous quotes is, “The Mountains are calling and I must go.” So when the idea of exploring the famous Silvermine Nature Reserve was on the table, we couldn’t resist. On Saturday the 30th of July a group of us got together to see what the hype was all about. Some of us experienced this for a first time while others were already regulars.
With relatively easy hikes, Silvermine is the perfect place for anyone and everyone to escape to and when I say “anyone” I’m including toddlers and dogs that are about 5cm off the ground so trust me, even you can do it. Our group decided on hiking to the Elephant’s eye cave which is about 3km from the starting point. (In case of confusion, it’s named the Elephant’s Eye cave because that area of the mountain is shaped like an Elephant and of course the eye forms a cave). The estimated time for this hike is about an hour and a half but this depends on who you hike with and what they did the night before. On this note, I would highly recommend to rather go to bed early if you plan on going hiking the following day but like I said, this particular hike was an easy hike that anyone can do.
Walking alongside a little stream, overlooking Constantia on your right and part of Silvermine on your left, I honestly can’t remember when was the last time I’ve hiked in such a beautiful place. We took photos around every corner and on every rock, finding it hard to believe that the view could get any better from where we were. It was incredible. Exploring nature when it’s that beautiful is addictive. None of us wanted to leave.
Eventually when we got to the cave which has a very tropical vibe to it, everyone took in the amazing scenery in their own way. Antonio was standing underneath the waterfall, getting sopping wet in the middle of winter, while Katty and Hayley were hoping to find a skeleton somewhere in the cave. Needless to say, we all had a great time exploring this cave in a way we all wanted to remember. The cave is also the perfect place for a chilled picnic and there is a braai area by the dam which is by the starting point of the hike. I know that the next time I do this hike, I most definitely will end it off with a swim in the dam and a braai with some good friends. (Don’t stress though, despite Katty’s concern, there are no hippos in the dam but from a distance swimming humans might make you believe otherwise.)
If you didn’t plan on braaing and didn’t take enough snacks for a proper picnic, you can just do what we did and extend the adventure. Pretending to be tourists, we decided to go for fish and chips at Bayside restaurant in Fishhoek (also known as the Galley). The food was de-li-ci-ous! The only thing I will warn you about is that this is no place for someone who has a fear of birds, considering all the different species of birds just sitting around, staring at you and your food. If this is the case and you cannot handle birds but would love to try the amazing food, just try and get a table inside.
A day like this is the kind of days that I will always remember. I am lucky enough to have people in my life to share these experiences with. Again, if you feel like joining our adventures, just hala at me. It’s always nice to explore things and share memories with other people.
Leaving ya’ll with another John Muir quote, “in every walk through nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
Stay wild, stay free