Boyes Drive, Ou Kraal-Spes Bona Forest – Amphitheatre, 30 Sept 2013


Every time I drive along Boyes drive (alternate route that links the suburbs to the southern coast), I notice several signboards indicating hiking trails leading off the road up into those ancient mountains.  And I always tell myself, I should come and try one of those walks one of these days.  So, one day after work last week, feeling for hiking, but also something different which would not put me in peak hour traffic on the way back home, I decided to try one.  Driving in the direction heading away from the suburbs, I stopped at the signboard saying ‘Ou Kraal’, which is the start point for a hiking trail.  Its located at a point where Boye’s drive starts decending back down to meet the main road.   This is the sign board with the mapped out hiking trails on the path.

I decided since it was my first time, I would attempt to follow the path highlited in white.  It had two interesting things along the way, Spes Bona Forest, and Amphitheater.  I was very curious to see what these looked like, but didn’t really expect much  as sometimes the naming of things is grossly overstated, for things in the mountain.  Like the old cable station ontop of Kasteelspoort, which is simply some leftover slabs of concrete really.  Here are some beautiful views along the trail, with some directions along the way that kept me on the right trail.

I was curious as to the reason people were to strictly stay on the trail.  I wondered whether it was for safety reasons or for conservation reasons.  After walking through the forest, I figured it was probably a combination of both.

This is the beginning of Spes Bona Forest, which is probably one of the most magical places I’ve ever come across.  It could easily be the setting for “a midsummer night’s dream”.  My only disappointment about it is that its name could have held a bit more mystique and magic.  I am glad that it is high up on the mountain, as it will remain well preserved.  Generally litterbugs and vandals are not the type to walk very long distances into the mountains.  This is nearly right on top which I suspect is close to 1km up.  And its a steep walk even through the forest.

This here is where Spes Bona Forest ended, and basically the top.

This to me looked like some prehistoric creature.  Interesting looking rocks.

This here is the path which opens up into Amphitheatre.  Amphitheater is not very big.  Its just a kind of a level clearing.  There are several alternate paths which one can take from here (as you can see in the direction post two pics down).  I decided to stick to my original route.  I was starting to feel a bit lightheaded from hunger.  I’d forgotten to pack myself a snack.

There was a small section of forest again on the way down

Not sure what Weary Willy is about, but it does seem like an interesting name for a trail.

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