This post is part of The Art of Living series from Bacon and the Art of Living. Chapter 99, where this is posted, is an addendum to the book. In the “Art of Living section, I write about family and the many great experiences we had as part of “the art of living.” Most of these experiences make it into the main body of the work.
Hike from Suikerbossie to the highest site of the Apostle battery and through to Moordenaarsbos.
Hout Bay’s Apostle Battery is a reminder that until the late 1950s the Cape Sea Route was considered one of the most pivotal strategic points on earth. In total there were nine 9.2” guns in three batteries located at Robben Island (Subsequently called the De Waal Battery), Hout Bay (The Apostle Battery) and Simons Town (The Scala Battery). Each battery had three guns and was connected via a telemetry network to track ships around the Cape their principal mission being to defend Cape Town from enemy attack.
Together with the two other batteries, they were a very formidable and successful deterrent. Coastal defense batteries like those of the Peninsula will never again be built as they could be ‘taken out’ by the first enemy missile strike. (http://www.houtbayheritage.org.za/)
Right at the point where you get onto the mountain, I came face-to-face with a solid wall of thicket and shrubs. Despite numerous attempts, I could not get through and turned back. It is a hike that I would not suggest. The trail is almost non-existent and I can not see how one will get through. The scenery is nevertheless spectacular and I am glad I made it to the battery position.
The easiest way to navigate from the last battery position is to find the water pipe and follow it up. It is very easy to lose the trail. Be sure to leave early in the morning if you want to attempt this and wear protection for your legs! 🙂
From start to finish took me a good 4 and a half hours! I lost the trail several times and at least 10 times decided to turn back. As soon as I turned back, I would pick up the trail again. It was very difficult finding the ropes to go down and this is a potentially very dangerous situation. Unable to get through to the top and unable to find the rope to go down creates a potential disaster. Had I not been able to find the ropes, I would have had to turn down and try and make for Lundadno, but I could not find the trail that is indicated on Slingsby. I say again, its a hike that I wont do again.