Once upon a time, before trail running, before Parkour, we hiked up various mountains in South Africa and ran down like crazy people… we called it Extreme Jogging. This blog is a tribute to the good old days, friends & family, my Creator and everybody that love running in nature!
Extremeness: Lots of fallen trees and a big spider
Location: Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Joggers: Deryck Nel & me
On Saturday morning when I planned this route using Google Earth, I did not take into account that the satellite picture was taken before a Jonkershoek fire or two! Also, I did not really take cognisance of the fact that only a few people has ever taken this so-called MTB route. It turned out to be a 'GREEN' with several meters of climbing fallen trees! We started with the Canary MTB trail and, ignoring the stops for tying our shoe laces and waiting for mountain bikers, we jogged all three sections without a break! For the next 5km it was easy contour jogging to where the Ellioti ("Never Ending Story") track starts. The Ellioti started promising, but after a 100m or so we started to jog into trouble. There were fallen half-burned-out trees everywhere! In some places it was so bad that it was impossible to even see the track. After a 17 minute kilometer we decided to head downward towards the circle route. On our way down we found the single track again. However it has not been used for months and we struggled to follow the narrow path overgrown by fynbos. We found the sign-post for the final section of the Ellioti, but did not find the trail. We hit the circle route after 13km and headed back to the gate with tired scratched legs!
Deryck jogging in the shadows of the Pieke
Start of the Ellioti trail
One of the few jog-able parts of what use to be the Ellioti trail
On the Ellioti looking in the direction of Stellenbosch
Extreme tree climbing 101
Where Downhill Deryck was almost caught by a huge spider
An old sign post for the Ellioti trail... no trail tough?