Jonkershoek Waterfall Hike October 2020

One Sunday, together with our friends Gavin and Lee (we were still working at Trokkie at their workshop) we joined my sister Lut and husband Gerhard for a tasting day in the winelands. Gerhard’s brother and his wife joined the party and we worked our way through cheese platters and wine at Fairview followed by gin and chocolate tasting at Spice Route. Yummie!

By the time it was late afternoon and time to go home, we most probably were all bursting at the seams! 

And because our home is our truck, we decided to find a good spot with a view on top of a hill somewhere.

Our ‘view’ eventually became an amazing view from a lookout point on the top of the Franschoek Pass, with beautiful vistas overlooking the town and a beautiful sunset over  the valley. 

Yes, we know. Trokkie does attract some attention now and again of people who are interested in our newly adopted lifestyle and our daily life in the truck. While parked on the top of Franschoek Pass it was no different and before we knew there was a knock on the door and we met Armando and Elsbeth, a beautiful young couple brimming with a zest of life and soooo fascinated with our truck. 

Armando is on Instagram and when we met for coffee at Big Dog Cafe the next morning, he was kind enough to promo our truck and lifestyle and… bonus for me: he was more than happy to give some tips and advice and (tried ) to teach me how to post “a story” on Instagram. He actually gave me a homework assignment. (Not sure if I’m gonna make the grade … I’ll need time to ‘get’ this.)  Elsbeth was brimming with enthusiasm about her studying wine and discussing some of the finer points of recognising flavours and bouquets in wine. A wonderful morning!

(Although Armando did his very best to explain “stories” on Instagram,  I’ve also learned that the stories disappear after 24 hours. I tried to download the clips about @truckwithaview but unfortunately there is no sound – at least it gives a tiny view inside our truck. Extra note: Armando called our globe (a high school memory of Stefaan) our GPS 🙂   )

When we said our goodbyes to Armando and Elsbeth, we continued to Jonkershoek Nature Reserve just outside Stellenbosch.

We arrived early afternoon, but after a chat with the office guy, we realised that the hike to the waterfall would be something for the next day. We decided to go for a short stroll on the nearby paths as a recce and just as we passed the entry boom, we saw the biggest troop of baboons coming down the mountain and taking over the road. We guess at least 50 or so with the imposing males exuding testosterone, mommy’s with babies and the “toddlers and teens” going crazy in all directions, to great annoyance of the car traffic!

After our walk to the dam and back we made some supper and chilled for the rest of the evening with a glass of wine and a good book.

That evening (and early next morning) we were quite amazed how busy this place was for mountain bikers and hikers. From before 6am (way before our wake-up cup of coffee) the cars rock up with walkers and hikers, and cyclists come in to take on any of the many mountain bike tracks.

After our morning coffee at a decent time (say 7am – 8 am) we set out to the waterfall. The parking area is actually about 2km or so inside the reserve so we took a slow drive onto the gravel road until we saw the signs for the Waterfall hike. The  road is a circular/loop road and we soon figured out why: the road is simply too narrow for two vehicles to pass and the spots where you could possible reverse were few and far between. We parked Trokkie and off we went.

Because we had some rain during the night and the morning was fairly cloudy and misty it was a paradise for taking “water droplet” photos. Although my enthusiasm was greater than my skill, I got a few that made me happy!

The hike was not too difficult: easy pathways and just one or two serious climbs. 

This is fynbos and protea world alternating with pine tree plantations.

The deeper we walked into the valley the more protea’s we saw. Looking at the mountain slopes around us, we had to conclude that we had never seen such a proliferation of protea bush. It was as if the mountain side was draped with a carpet of green velvet. 

After about 40 minutes walking, we veered of the main path to the first waterfall: a cool little oasis with lush greenery and the  constant soothing surround sound of dripping water. 

Back on the main path we continued to the second waterfall. The path took us closer to the mountain stream and we could hear the croaky conversations of the frogs and toads. We were lucky to catch one who was making a special effort for us, basking in the sun on a rock in the river.

After huffing and puffing my way up a steep climb or two, we eventually came to a spot where we would see the second waterfall, but were a bit confused about the path. Stefaan climbed a little bit more up, but returned as there was a sign indicating closure for dangerous circumstances.

So we concluded that our only way to the waterfall would be boulder hopping in the little gorge. Not so much hopping as careful negotiating my way over the slippery boulders and rocks, but we made it! 

Stefaan took off shoes and socks and planned to  walk up to the waterfall where it tumbles in the pool in an effort to capture the movement of the waterfall with the go-pro, but after a few steps he had to return because his feet were freezing.  

Our walk back was a little bit easier surrounded by flowers,  greenery and critters.

We camped another night at Jonkershoek and then we went back to the workshop to do some more work!

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2 thoughts on “Jonkershoek Waterfall Hike October 2020”

    1. Thank you. It was a beautiful walk with especially the last part of boulder hopping giving us some real exercise! Glad you like our adventures.

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