When you get an invite from Jaco from Extreme Jogging to go and explore his home ground of Botmaskop, you drop everything and go!
I met Jaco at the Trail Magazine Clinic in 2016 and we’ve kept in contact since then with the hope of going on epic mountain adventures together. Unfortunately, Jaco was side-lined with an Achilles injury for most of 2016. The good news is that he’s back and has been charging out on hard-core missions again. Now it’s me who is a bit stressed at keeping up with him lol
Henk (from The Secret Adventurer) and their mate Deryck formed the rest of our crew as we headed from Jaco’s home in Stellenbosch through the ‘burbs and onto the lower slopes taking us up to Botmaskop.
When @jnroux invites you for a trail run you must be insane to say “No” Flipping awesome jol in the mountains here in Stellenbosch. First visit for me to Botmanskop and Jonkershoek plus it was great to meet the lads @thesecretadventurer and Deryck #leavethecouch #extremejogging #thesecretadventurer #mountainmissions
It was my first time running in the area and I now see why okes from Stellenbosch are always better than us at most sports. Everything is steeper and bigger than anything us Kaapies have to train on.
The route up Botmaskop was the first example of this as it was barely runnable (except if you’re AJ Calitz). An awesome scramble up into low hanging clouds started the adventure on a very Lord of the Rings kind of vibe. Once we tagged the summit we made our way across towards Saaltjie and then descended into the Jonkershoek reserve.
The views at the top were simply incredible and the landscape (although scarred by fires) was beautiful. Our off-trail shenanigans through the burnt protea bushes caused some hilarious chirps once we arrived at the Jonkershoek Reserve gate covered entirely in soot.
And no we didn’t crawl our way across from Botmaskop lol