One cloudy, misty morning I decided to head up to Elephant’s Eye with my boyfriend. He is from KwaZulu-Natal and has never been up this side of Silvermine before. The walk to the cave is about 3 hours with a break in between to take photographs.
To my surprise there where a lot of people but it was a beautiful Sunday morning and it is a great way to get the kids out. I really didn’t think so many people would be out hiking on the mountain on a day like today since the weather wasn’t that great and it looked like rain.
To begin this walk we had to drive to Silvermine and turn right into the Gate 1 of the Silvermine which where the dam is located. This dam is a good stop for once you down to take a dip in the water. It was once used for sending water to the people in Kalk Bay back in the 19th Century. This has stopped now but they would only let people and dogs swim in the dam from the year 2000. One drives up to the parking lot where people park for picnicking at the dam. On the right there is a rocky path which goes straight up. This path goes on for a bit until it reaches a jeep track. You can go up this track but it is the longer why up to Elephant’s Eye or one can up a another rocky path. One carries on the jeep track for a while longer and then turns right onto a narrow rocky path. This path makes its way up with Fynbos on either side until one goes over a slight hill and then makes ones way next to a thicket of pine trees on your right which have half been cut down. By this time I realised where I was since the last time I hike this route I was just a kid myself. Then I could tell it shouldn’t be much longer until we reached the lookout point. Kieron and I kept having to pull a side and wait for people to come down or let them go ahead because they were either big parties or they were too slow or way too fast for our liking. Our aim was to enjoy ourselves instead of rushing.
Finally after a long stretch (In all I tried not to recite a saying an old editor friend once said to me as a kid). It was by someone called James Thurber “The way is long and getting longer. The road goes uphill all the way, and even further. I wish you luck. You’ll need it.” To be honest I am sure he made up his own lines at the end just to annoy us kids by saying “The road is long and getting longer, if you call for help there is none”
By then we finally got to the lookout point and then I realised how much worth the hard effort it was to hike up here and make the top.
After a pit stop of some water and some food we walked down and then took the path up to the beginning of the eye’s itself. The path zig zags to the top and it is definitely not over grown and it’s a nice wide path. The only problem I had was people taking short cuts down which usually leads to rock falls or accidents. Finally after a windy way up we finally made it to the cave. The path near the cave it a bit over grown and some hikers don’t really care where they walk. Once in the cave one can see it is quite big inside. I sat on a rock and just drank some water and looked out at amazing view over Tokia, Constantia and looking out to Muizenberg Beach. I thought that this walk was seriously worth waking up early for in the end.
When at last we made our way down to the dam, which was an awesome feeling and the happy feeling to take those boots off.
People ask why it is called Elephant’s Eye. The answer simply is that if one looks at the mountain at a certain angle then one can see that the trunk, then the eye (the cave) then by running your eye to the right and along the rest of the mountain one can see the back hip and the legs of the elephant, which is sticking out from the mountainside.
So hiking has always been part of my family that is probably why I know so much about it. My parents are keen hikers and so where my grandparents. So the love for the outdoors is in my blood and nothing can change that.
Let’s see where the next hike or outdoor adventure will take me.