A random hike in extreme heat

In our previous post we told about our great camping weekend at Cederberg Park Kromrivier (read here). However, the main reason for our camp was to explore some of the magnificent sights in the Cedarberg Mountains.

There were two very specific places we were looking forward to see:

  • Stadsaal Caves (“City Hall” Caves)
  • Maltese Cross

During our first morning, we decided to only went for a random hike in the mountains. We however, realised very soon that we started way too late with our excursion … by 9:00 the temperature already reached a high of 33 degrees Celsius. And the route we had chosen to walk, were a long and hard climb – not ideal in the hot weather!

The start of our hike – the route was leading to the top of that highest mountain

We met a couple of hikers, who turned around due to the hot weather and after about an hour and a half, we also decided it’s wiser to rather go back down the mountain.

There are not a lot of shade on this route … maybe a few big rocks every now and then (under which we rested for a while to get out of the sun).

This rock didn’t provide much shade
It was great to see that the mountain was so beautifully green – even in the middle of a hot summer

It was not just us who sweated in the hot sun … even the little animals sought some shade. While we were resting, we saw a lizard sitting in the sun for a while and then scurrying back to the shade – he ran in and out of his sunny spot a few times!

After we crossed a small stream, the uphill started! And we were not even between the rocks yet, but only walking through the nice smelling fynbos bushes.

Fynbos bushes with the mountainous area in the background
The colours of nature
There were huge rocks to climb over to get to the top
It’s still a long way to the top of the mountain

As we were nearing the top of the (first) mountain, we realised that the route continues onwards (and upwards) to yet another mountain behind this one! It was here that we met some hikers who returned – exhausted and red faced … the heat was just too much!

When we looked back, we could see the car park in the distance (in the far-left hand corner of the photo)
Beautiful scenery
Up and up and up …

We still walked on for another 10 minutes, until we decided we should turn around … dehydration was definitely not on our list for this weekend!

Going down

I’m glad we listened to our bodies (and sixth sense) … it was definitely not hiking weather – and especially not in this extreme weather conditions! On our way down, we had to rest several times in the few shady spots we could find – temperatures were now close to 40 degrees Celsius!

During one of our rest stops, I noticed this tree that must have burned during a wildfire

We were more than happy when we reached our car. The Cederberg Mountains are a beautiful place for hiking, but you need to respect it. We drank our last bit of water and could not wait to get back to our camp site at Cederberg Park Kromrivier for a dip in the cold river!

On our way back (in our aircon car 😉), we stopped to take more photo’s of a stunning sight of rocks. These mountains are truly spectacular and we will discover more of them during the next few days (early in the morning)!

Just look at those rocks!
They look like (big rocky) needles

As promised, in our next post, we are taking you to an unbelievable place – the “Stadsaal Caves” (meaning City Hall Caves) … it’s quite impressive!

Categories: South African Break Aways


  1. I love the interesting rock formations, they are similar to the ones in Utah. I hope you can enjoy the hike on a cooler day. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all the interesting rock formations. Sorry to hear that you had to abandon your first hike in the mountains, but it sounds like you made the right choice given the heat and lack of shade coverage. Going underground to visit the caves sounds like a better alternative to dealing with the heat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The rock formations in the Cederberg Mountains are truly something special … you will see what I mean when we place the next two posts! Yes, to hike in such hot weather, was a challenge – but the caves the next day and an early start the day after that to the Maltese Cross were much better!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s beautiful, the rocks are really interesting. I can’t wait to get back to hiking again, and doubt we will have the hot weather challenge you faced here in England 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The scenery is beautiful and those rock formations amazing, but I’m sure you were right not to hike far in that heat. We recently had 32 degrees in Costa Rica and it was too hot for me even walking on the level!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It exhausts me just imagining such heat! When I was young I could tolerate it better but now it lays me flat. It’s good to know when to turn around. Beautiful mountains and rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful scenery, but I’m sweating just reading this 🙂 Smart decision to turn around, the mountains will always be there. Maggie

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sjoe, dis moes vreeslik warm daar in die berge gewees het, Corna! Die rots formasies is ongelooflik mooi en verstaan dat julle sommer baie foto’s geneem het!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Die onlangse hitte in die Wes Kaap was regtig dodelik gevaarlik, dis goed dat julle eerder laat oorstaan het eerder as om deur te druk. Nogtans n lekker voorsmakie hierdie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jy’s reg, hier was ‘n paar woeste hittegolwe … en daar in die Sederberge is dit altyd 10x erger! Maar dit is so mooi – ‘n mens hoef soms nie eens te stap nie, jy kan net die grondpad ry en deur die berge omring wees. Gelukkig vir ons, was dit so ‘n paar grade koeler die paar dae daarna en kon ons weer probeer!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Always smart to listen to your gut and not try to push it. Sounds like a brutally hot day. But you still saw some neat things (I love the rock needles!).

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great post with beautiful photos, I especially love the fynbos. I’m sure it was a great hike, although in very hot circumstances but then you could looked forward to cooling down and enjoy the pleasures that comes with it. Thank you for a great share 🌸💕

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The pictures of the rocks at the end of the post look really interesting and mesmerizing. It looked like and sounded like a nice hiking trail, just not in that heat. I’m glad you’re ok and you decided to turn around.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, those last few images of the rocks had our attention when we returned to the camp site … it’s expanded over such a big area and makes you wonder how they ended up like that. It was definitely the right choice to end the hike in that heat, at least the next two days were better and we could visit more amazing sights!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What an exciting adventurous hike you went on and amazing views of the rocky mountains! The heat takes over, you really want to keep going while common sense says no. Despite the heat, you managed to take many great images of the stunning impressive scenery. Well done!!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Lovely to read your post, I have got a lot of catch up reading to do! The heat must have been unbearable. I am glad you listened to your body. I have not been to stadsaal or Maltese cross. We were supposed to go there last October. I hope we will still get to go. Have a great day 🙋‍♀️🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Whoa, that is some serious heat for such a hike. Love the lizard shot, you caught the little guy at such a great, neck-craning moment. Amazing rocks, handsome landscapes and a fine sky, another great hike for your blossoming collection.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe next time, when it’s so hot, we’ll just stay at the campsite and have some cold beers! Thanks for your comment about the lizard shot Leighton – normally they are so quick, we can hardly get a picture, but I think the sun even left him without a bit of energy! But you’re right, we saw great rocks at a stunning (steep) pathway … look out for our next post to see THE most amazing rocks … and thanks for popping in.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you turned around! I started worrying about your hydration needs just after you first announced the temperature at 9:00 in the morning! I love the spikes rocks – reminds me of Brice National Park in southern Utah, but the ones there are reddish in color. Oh, and you had some terrific cloud formations! Hope this weekend is a fun one, Corna! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It was probably wise to turn around in the heat, but it looks like you still had an enjoyable and scenic hike. Looking forward to the rest of the story!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My husband is normally good in the heat but last summer he got heatstroke and was in a bad way for several days. It certainly teaches you caution!

    Liked by 1 person

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