Calling all my fellow adventurers, this post is for you!!
It’s easy to always feel the need to go somewhere far away in order to have an adventure or experience something new. However there are almost always a lot of undiscovered gems sitting right in the cities or towns that we live in!
A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I got up bright and early on a Saturday morning for a hike! Bear in mind that this isn’t our usual, routine way of spending Saturday mornings after an exhausting school week, lol. This was our first proper hike in quite some time. My sister had been to the location, Settler’s Park, before with my Mom, and I’d always wondered what it was like and wanted to go after seeing so many pictures of it!
What made this hike so interesting is that the gorgeous Settler’s Park Nature reserve sits right within the heart of the city. Many of the trails we followed were intertwined with, and around familiar roads and neighbourhoods as well. It made me see Port Elizabeth in a whole new way! We go about our day to day routines mostly oblivious to the fact that we’re surrounded by so much nature, especially when parks like this aren’t as in-our-face day-to-day the way the beach is. And even the beach is something a lot of us who live here largely take for granted.
Settler’s Park sits right along the Baakens Valley, and we saw the most beautiful river views, bird-life and lush greenery and flowers along during our hike!
I think it’s so, so necessary, especially if you live in a city to make a habit out of spending time in nature, getting outside and getting some fresh air in order to clear your head and feel grounded.
An important disclaimer is that a lot of trails and parks around the city are notorious for being spots where people often get mugged/robbed, so if you’re thinking about doing a little walkabout, make sure you have a dog with you, or even better, go with a big group, which is what we did.
The hike was organised by a lady, Pamela Tite, who organises regular hikes around the city through the group ‘Hike 4 Health’, so keep an eye out on their Facebook page if you live here in PE! The next hike is actually coming up pretty soon, Lady Slipper, this Saturday.
The Settler’s Park trail is roughly between 10 to 12 km. I was a little nervous when I heard that, but I can honestly report that whatever your fitness level is, you should be able to complete the course with ease.
I most definitely would not call myself a hiking expert, but I do have a few tips from the experience. They’re mostly basic/common sense lol, but aren’t the obvious things oftentimes the first things we seem to forget?? :
-Leading up to a hike, try to train and prepare yourself a little bit (walks, jogs, exercise) so that it isn’t a complete shock to your system!
-Bring a bottle of water with you, even if you’re like me and have the tiniest bladder in the woooorld
-Bring a cap to shield yourself from the sun
-Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you can move around in freely!
-Bring something to eat during times when the group stops for breaks. It’ll keep you going and keep your energy up!
I think hikes are such a fun way to see more of the world around you while getting a good workout in! If you’ve got any hiking tips, leave them down below! They’ll be much appreciated!
That marks the end of this blog post, see you soon!