Sunday, February 9, 2014

The People’s Trail

A very long time ago [October 2005, actually] Kaartman wrote up a walk for the Cape Argus; it was published under the title ‘The Trail for the People’, a sub-editor’s choice that landed me in trouble with a raving lunatic [see blog post at Kaartman if you really want the sordid details]. Mrs K and I duly republished the article in ‘Walks with a Fat Dog’ under the modest and trouble-free title, ‘Muizenberg Catwalk’. This is how the article began ...
“There is only one great walk in the whole City of Cape Town that is truly a Trail for the People – all of the people. It’s a trail of stunning beauty and variety, and you can walk it pushing a pram, with toddlers, in your wheelchair, in your jogging shoes, after lunch, barefoot, with your granny, by yourself, with your whole extended family, after your office party, before dawn ... and you don’t need to own a car or even a bicycle to get there and back again, because it’s served by buses and taxis and trains from everywhere in the City. It’s a thirty-minute stroll or a five hour hike, and when you seek refreshment it has everything from your own sandwiches to fish ’n chips to gourmet meals and the finest wines.”
Yesterday was a perfect Sunday, one of those champagne Cape summer days that was only slightly tarnished by some people called Dolphins beating some others called Cobras by two runs, but let’s leave that. Mrs K and I set off for Moozies at about 8:30 am. We parked at Checkers – Moozies beachfront has serious parking issues on great weekends. The People’s Trail lived up to its promise, a 3km stroll with a dip in the magic St James tidal pool, which I have enjoyed since the age of about three. Here are some pics; if you need a map try Cape Peninsula or Silvermine – we recommend them both, of course. ‘Walks with a Fat Dog’ is sadly out of print, but watch this space [note that I did NOT say ‘hold your breath’, hay].
Enjoy the pics!
The pillar off the point at Bailey’s Cottage is actually a sad
 memorial to a child lost off the rocks here, more than a century ago ...
Muizenberg Beach, always a weekend hive of activity
... and don’t skrik when the trains thunder by ...
Kayaking ...
... surfing ...
... hanging out ...
... HERE!!!

Kaartman, Feb 2014


  1. Real maps for real people. Thank you to the team.

  2. There's a recursive link between this post and a similar one on the boardwalk on your other blog, so maybe the 'sordid details' are supposed to be elusive. Either way, I'm commenting here (and a bit after the fact on both of them!).

    I live round the corner, so this 'trail'(we call it the promenade to feel fancy) is one of my staples. Be it a jog to Clovelly and back(I have a 5km route mapped out, with my own km mileposts where I know them to be) or walking the little one in the stroller hopefully not at high tide.

    Yesterday was no different, except granny and grandpa came along, with...their brak. Now there are rules for dogs, some of them silly but mostly for a reason. You just can't take a dog everywhere, the other 95% of places you can take them will have to do. My dad likes to cause a fuss by being a conscientious objector on these sort of rules, and just recently took two hours extracting said brak from the Hout Bay police before they whipped off to the pound in Atlantis.

    Anyway, so there we are on a rather busy day going about our thing (brak on leash). We stop off at a bench to explore the sandy bits for toddlers, and a concerned citizen comes up shakes my hand and informs me that we are breaking the law as dogs are not allowed there. AND there is a fine applicable. I thank him for his due caution and he goes along his merry way towards St James. We were on our way back, but notice that he is alerting the authorities that there are some illegal activities happening in the muizies direction. Unfortunately the two cleaning ladies with their faded yellow bibs don't seem too concerned, but next thing we see a security guard with a brighter bib striding our way. We have the benefit of a good gap, and the dog is gone before he's halfway towards us. Crisis averted, grandpa in a bad mood anyway.

    The funny thing is that "the people's trail" is sort of an apt name in a roundabout way, if canines are banned. My feeling is that at busy times dogs will hassle people, and the 5% of not so friendly dogs will be a real nuisance. Incidentally I note on the big sign at the start of the trail that fishing is also one of the potential no-nos here. I don't think I've ever not seen someone with a rod in hand (never actually seen them catch anything, but that's not the point)

  3. Thanks for the comments, Steve. We know it as the 'catwalk' which might not be as fancy as 'promenade', but there it is. Some of our problems with illicit dogs on the catwalk are [a] we've been good and left ours at home, dammit; [b] some of them lawbreakers don't even pick up their doggy-doo; [c] what about them cats?
    Like you we've never seen anyone catch a fish along there, but the Marine Protected Area from Moozies to St James is a Sanparks responsibility, not the Metro cops. The Sanparks rangers are too busy catching people with dogs in no-go parts of Table Mountain to worry about people catching fish ...
    It's all very complicated. Leave it to the people, I say.

  4. Baileys Cottage is actually a good fishing spot. I have seen myself catch numerous Galjoen , kob , Shad [Elft] and White Steenbras there. So did my dad and his dad. It [fishing] is not luck? But then again-thats where I was conceived and have lived a lot. Peter