There are very few things that make you feel more submerged in nature than the sound of a waterfall in the midst of a green forest. Crunchy brown leaves and twigs beneath your feet, panting dogs sniffing out every scent, orange leaves rustling for perhaps their last time before winter seizes them totally. Birds calling to each other, the sound of your footsteps and spring water pouring down over the slippery rocks and down into the depths of the deep green.
The remaining day’s sunlight settles on the vineyards of hilly Groot Constantia. Rows of lime green and yellow leaves stream down in flowing ribbons across the farm. The white Dutch farmhouses perch proudly atop the hill overlooking the vines that will yield a harvest of wine when the time is right.
Empty, bare trees grow up the mountainside in stark contrast to the bark-laden pine trees in the forest. Knawed pine cones and pebbles lay strewn across the red-brown sandy trail. The path is completely engulfed in shade on this late afternoon, but through the shutters of tall trees, I get a peak of the sun bathing the valley in warmth.
I pass an art gallery in the middle of the forest. Seems to be by appointment only. Families, couples, runners, hikers and their furry companions pass us by. It feels so good to stretch my legs. I find myself back at the car. The vendor asks me to pay him to take a photo of his stall selling sour figs, oranges and konfyt (jam) at the Constantia Nek circle. When I give him my I’m-not-a-foreigner-smile and walk away, he says its ok and allows me to capture it. I decide this is a trail I have to return to more often when I want to relax and take a deep breath of fresh, forest air.
To get here: Drive up to Constantia Nek and at the circle, pull off into the parking lot and walk from there.