Falke Delvera Full Moon Hike – A Twilight Adventure

Falke Delvera Full Moon Hike – A Twilight Adventure

 

In the ever changing and fast paced world we live, everything has become a rush and we end up not spending quality time with our kids, if you have any, and with our spouses or significant others. For some, the answer is to plan the family holiday well in advance and get away from the demands of work and life in a bustling urban environment. How about having a family outing away from the hustle and bustle of City life and a romantic getaway with your soul mate all packaged together in one evening event, less than 45 minutes from Cape Town? Welcome to the Falke Delvera Full Moon hike run by Dirtopia. Delvera Wine Estate is an agri-village situated on the R44 in the Stellenbosch winelands with lots of little arts and craft shops, restaurants and kids activities.

 

 

Dirtopia is an outdoor, off-road event & trail construction company that is located on Delvera Wine Estate. It has a bike shop as well that offers bike sales & bike servicing. Dirtopia’s main focus is mountain bike events although they also organise trail running and hiking events.

I am actually surprised that it took us so long to find out about this event. It is really something special and something that we intend doing again and again.

The hiking and mountain hiking trails are open all year round, but the Falke Full Moon Hike only happens once a month, between September and April. The hike begins at the Trail Centre and goes to the top of Klapmutskop. You and your family can enjoy watching the sunset over Table Mountain with majestic views of the Stellenbosch Winelands, while enjoying snacks, or even a picnic. If you hang around a few minutes longer, you can then see the full moon rise.

The cost for the Falke Delvera Full Moon Hike is R100 for adults and R50 for children under the age of 10. Klapmutskop is part of Simonsberg Conservancy and a percentage of the permit fee is donated to this non-profit organisation.  Unfortunately, as the hike takes place in a conservancy, no dogs are allowed. Poop!

 

The schedule for the remainder of 2018 is as follows:

  1. 29 April
  2. 30 April
  3. 25 September
  4. 24 October
  5. 23 November
  6. 21 December
  7. 22 December
  8. 31 December

 

If you just want to go through for the day there is Dirtopia Trail Centre on site that can hook you up with a fun activity on the estate. There are three hiking trails and three mountain bike trail option on the Delvera Wine Estate. The hiking trails are advertised as:

  1. The Bird Walk – 1.4 km
  2. The Vineyard Trail – 6 km
  3. The Klapmuts Hiking Trail – 9.75 km

The mountain bike trails are advertised as follows:

  1. The Vineyard MTB Trail – 7.5 km
  2. The Porcupine MTB Trail – 15 km
  3. Black MTB Trail – 3 km

 

 

 

How to get there:

To get to Delvera Wine Estate is situated along the R44, near Klapmuts, just outside of Cape Town.  The easiest way to get there is to travel along the N1 (direction Paarl), and take the R44 turnoff.  Turn right over the N1 and drive for approximately 7km. You will see Delvera Wine Estate on your right (it is the wine farm next door to Warwick and Laibach).  Here is a link to the GPS location of the Dirtopia Trail Centre parking on Google Maps.

 

Opening Times and contact information:

The opening times of Delvera Wine Estate are as follows:

 

Monday to Sunday:

Dirtopia Cafe and Trail Centre

Trail Centre: 07h00 – 17h00

Dirtopia Cafe: 08h00-17h00

Cafe Fridays: 08h00-19h00

 

For general enquiries contact  (0)21 884 4352

Email inquiries can be sent to info@delvera.co.za

 

If you want to become a friend of the Klapmutskop Conservancy you can contact the secretary by email on info@delvera.co.za or call (021) 888 4615

Delvera Hiking & Riding Trail Rules

  1. Be Responsible – this is an unsupervised facility
  2. Safety First – helmets are mandatory for all riders
  3. The use of these trails are at your own risk
  4. Do not litter

 

The Speedy Review [tl;dr]

I have seen this hike advertised on Facebook for many months now, and always thought that it was too far to drive, there would be too many people, and just generally it would not be worth the effort. After all, we live 300m from Blouberg beachfront where we can watch the sunset for free.

But Ken and I have been really busy these last few months, and despite having done lots of hiking, we haven’t really had time to just relax and be together. So I suggested this hike, thinking it would be great to just see a different part of the city, enjoy an easy walk (for once!) and spend some time together in nature. I had been quite sick in the days leading up to the Easter weekend, so was contemplating bailing, but once I had my hiking shoes on, there was no turning back.

It was so worth it! The sunset was spectacular, the route was easy, and the company was excellent. We got to spend some quality time together, exploring a new part of the city, which is really not as far away from our home as I originally thought.

We decided to complete the full route (you have the option of taking the shuttle to the Pepper Tree, and hiking from there to the top, but you miss out on the beauty of the vineyards along the way). If we do this again, I think we would start a little earlier, so that we could enjoy some more time at the top, and get a better spot to watch the sunset.

Whilst many of the people at the summit decided to stay to watch the moonrise (about 20mins after the sunset), we started hiking down before the moon made an appearance.  We missed the crowds who would be coming down from the top, and also managed to watch the moonrise along the route down – it was magnificent, and the first time in my life I had actually watched a moonrise.

We are unfortunately away in the Cederberg for the next event, so will have to wait until September when the next one takes place.

This is a really enjoyable activity, for all ages. Do it! You won’t regret it.

Dirtopia hosts a whole lot of other events which you can check out here.

 

 

Trail Ninometer

 

 

 

Nina rated this trail 0/5 paw prints because there are no dogs allowed in the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy and she felt quite left out.

 

 

 

The Nitty Gritty

On Saturday 31 March 2018, Belinda and I arrived at the Delvera Wine Estate and reported at the Dirtopia Trail Centre. We were briefed on the route we had to walk and were given a map and a free Easter egg each. We were also given a lucky draw number each and told that the winner would be announced on our return to the Trail Centre later that evening.

At about 17h17, we left the Trail Centre [225 m elevation] and turned left and followed brick path through the Falke feather banners. The brick path became a gravel jeep track as we descended toward the dam. At 17h20, we reached the dam and were directed by the Dirtopia Full Moon Hikes signage around to the left and then right so that we were walking with the dam on our right hand side and the vineyards on our left. At 17h24, we reached the end of the dam and turned left. The distance that we had walked until that point was 470 m.

 

 

We followed the wide gravel jeep track through the vineyards, passing rows and rows of Pinotage and Merlot vines. At 17h39, we reached the shed [225 m] which is one of the points of interest indicated on the map we were given. The distance to that point was 1.8 km and took us about 22 minutes to get there. The jeep track turned right and went around the back of the shed and up a fairly steep hill directly into the path of the setting sun.

 

 

The jeep track then turned right and we walked up a slight incline toward Klapmutskop. At 17h52, we crossed a small wooden bridge and the jeep track narrowed into a footpath. The distance to that point was about 2.9 km with a walking time of about 35 minutes. The trail then went around to the right and split into 2. There was no signage indicating which way we should go so we followed the rest of the crowd and went left. It ended up being the correct path which was good. We had a cloudy view of Table Mountain way off in the distance on our left. At 18h01, we turned left onto the gravel jeep track again [3.5 km] and walked a short distance before turning left and on to a footpath. It had taken us about 45 minutes to get there. We followed the footpath as it zigzagged gradually towards the top.

 

 

At 18h05, the footpath crossed over a gravel jeep track and headed up the hill again. If we had turned right there, we would have ended up at the Pepper Tree which is another featured way point on the map we were given. We continued straight over the jeep track and headed up the wooden plank staircase.

At 18h30, the footpath took us under tree cover into a type of forest. It was so nice and cool in there on a day that had become surprisingly warm. The distance to that point was 5.2 km with an elevation of 488 m. The walking time was 01h12m. The rate of ascent definitely stepped up a notch and we climbed that steep section toward the summit. The trail surface also changed quite significantly from gravel to small rocks and boulders.

 

 

The trail took us to the right of the top of Klapmutskop and went around the back of the hill. At 18h40, we reached the top of Klapmutskop with an altitude of 520 m and a walking distance of about 5.4 km. It took us about 01h20m to get there. I would describe the ascent as gradual with a slight sting in the tail, just before the summit.  We sat together and watched as the sun set off to our left, while we had a clear view of Paarl Rock off to our right. Our hiking stats to the summit:

Trip Odometer  5.40 km
Total Time  01h20
Moving Time  01h09
 Max Speed  8.3 km/h
 Overall Avg  4.1 km/h

 

 

We waited a little while after sunset for the moon to rise. None of us on top of the mountain were sure where to look for the the moon to rise, which didn’t help. We were informed that we needed to leave the top by 19h00, at the latest. After the moon was a no show, everyone began to pack up and leave. We stuck around for a few more minutes and also started to descend at about 19h10, by the light of our head torches. Well actually, head torch. Belinda couldn’t find hers so I ended up giving her mine and I used a normal torch with batteries that had seen many a dark winters evening. Not too long after walking down by the light of a head torch and a pap flashlight, someone called out that the moon had started to make an appearance. We all halted our descent and turned around to witness a show stopping moon rise. After taking a few photos, we continued on our way.

 

 

At 19h40, we had descended as far as the Pepper Tree jeep track after cover a walking distance of 6.8 km.  We continued to descend and about 5 minutes later we reached to point where the Dirtopia bakkie (pickup) was giving free rides back to the Trail Centre. We opted to walk the rest of the way back and turned left and continued along a wide gravel jeep track. We continued along the jeep track following the Dirtopia Full Moon Hike signage and turning away from the red traffic cones. It was hardly necessary to walk with a head torch, by that stage, as the moon was high in the sky and lighting our way back. At 20h08, we arrived back at the Trail Centre and the end of the hike.

 

The Stats

This is really a family friendly hike and there were really young children that seemed quite comfortable on the trail. The return journey in the dark was a little tricky, but quite manageable if you take it slow and have a good head torch.

Here are the hiking stats for this trail:

 Trip Odometer  9.0 km
 Total Time  02h52
 Moving Time  01h56
 Overall Avg  3.2 km/h
 Elevation Gain  295 m



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