View of the pass road from the monument, built by the Italian POWs
The first time we hiked this trail was on Christmas Eve 2016. I had ‘won, in one of our (Mike and I) friendly golf competitions at Worcester the choice of a hike. We had returned over the old pass road rather than through the tunnel and seeing the cross highlighted on the Ridgeline I thought this would be a great hike to do. We stopped by the trailhead, got the details and then did some research on the internet. Peter Thompson’s website came to the rescue again (Muisvoel Meanders my favourite hiking sites).
We decided to put off going until we had a cooler day, and Christmas Eve happened to be perfect for the hike. My Facebook post for the next day read
Happy Xmas to our friends and family. We had our Christmas Eve hike up to a summit (1300m) where there is a cross to celebrate and remember the Italian POWs who built a road over a nearby mountain pass in WW2. Beautiful Day. Enjoy your Christmas Celebrations.
We both felt very inspired by the effort that had been put in, both initially and on two other occasions, to erect the cross and to repair / reinstall it in later years. The monument is very moving. I love seeing it when the conditions are right and we are travelling along the pass far below.
Back to our hike. We were well advised to start fairly early in the morning and still have some shade as we hiked up the side of the valley to the col. This is fairly steep and unrelenting but one advantage is that it does not take long to get the altitude. From the col the views are outstanding across both sides of the mountain range. A good place for our second breakfast!
From the col there is a much easier climb along the Ridgeline to a plateau before the final climb up to the Huguenot Peak. It is a relaxing hike with plenty to look at, including the flowers. What is good is that when we revisited this hike after the 2017 fire we found this area had not been impacted and the fynbos was in bloom in spite of the drought we are currently experiencing.
The hike back down from the col seemed harder than the hike up was, probably because we were in full sun. However, the river at the bottom provides a great opportunity for a paddle and cool down in some welcome shade before heading back to the car.
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title
- Distance 9.00 km
- Time 2 h 17 min
- Speed 4.0 km/h
- Min altitude 545 m
- Peak 1294 m
- Climb 862 m
- Descent 859 m