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Arangieskop Trail – 22-23 November 2014

Arangieskop Two Day Trail – 22-23 November 2014

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This 2 day hike up and down the Langeberg mountains north of Robertson in the Dassieshoek Nature Reserve is a 9km 1200m climb on day 1 and a further 11km, 200m climb and 1500m descent on day 2.

 

Day 1:

The trail passed through Fynbos and  Protea fields on the upper reaches until a lovely hut is reached, carved into the mountain-side with stunning views overlooking the Koo Valley. We pitched or tent on the grass patch as we wanted to practice hiking with a tent and sleeping in it.

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Day 2:

This day we summited Arangieskop Peak itself at 1700m above sea level. The peak was clear, and overlooked a sea of clouds below us. The decent was steep and radical, taking us 2 hours to do 2 kms! This is probably not the preferred route down as it was quite overgrown, but because it was Trailblazing at its best, it was our preferred route down :) (some hikers opt to descend the same route they came up on day 1)! This included some serious climbing out of one of the gorges.

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We noticed spiders spinning their webs between the Proteas which only occurred at a certain height above sea level.

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Finally, hungry and tired, we stopped at the last water point for lunch. No sooner had we unpacked our lunch, when we were attacked by a swarm of bees. What followed was a scurry up the hill, frantically trying to wave the bees away. The result – a sting in the behind for Lisa and one to the eye for Joseph! The last 5kms of the descent winds its way down the foothills of the mountain and past the Dassieshoek Dam.

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Trail du Mont Rochelle Trail Run – 31 August 2014

This 13km version of this inaugural trail run in Franschhoek was a circular up and down route on the mountainside above the town. The relentless lung busting uphill set me up for a lovely downhill that puts technical single track trail running on another level – pure excitement!

Google Earth

Mobii layer map

 

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On the way to the summit – snow in the distance on the Hottentots mountains!

 

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As one summits, so the view through the Hottentots-Holland mountain range of Table Mountain comes into view.

 

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At the summit of the Du Toitskop Peak, one feels like one is at the top of the world…!

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Coffee Journeying

Yes, that’s the title; it’s as simple as that – the journey in finding the best, most simplistic, compact and somewhat lightest travelling coffee brewing kit for my journeying on the trails. Oh, yes, let’s not forget, the coffee travelling kit that produces the best cup on even the remotest trail; brewing coffee in often the remotest places on earth (that is defined by where there’s no cell phone reception and that takes one up to eight hours to be evacuated only over land in an emergency!). After months of research, here goes, testing (most important!) and reviewing…it’s a work in progress and there more to improve on.

On our latest speed hiking (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Speed+Hiking) trip on the 7 night and 7 day 108km Outeniqua Hiking Trail (6 – 13 December): IMG_1529

The complete kit so far, from L-R: AeroPress (www.strictlycoffee.co.za) which contains Porlex Mini Hand Coffee Grinder, 2 x Able Stainless Steel DISK Aeropress Filters, Able Aeropress Travel Cap & Brewing Grip; Coffee Beans (www.beanthere.co.za); Jet Boil 230ml Gas Canister (www.orca-industries.co.za); Kovea Titanium Stove; Kovea Solo 2 Cookset (both www.campandclimb.co.za); long life milk (Pick n Pay/elsewhere); GSI Outdoors Cup (www.orca-industries.co.za); sugar (Pick n Pay/elsewhere) and AeroPress coffee scoop (comes with AeroPress).

 

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Dissembling the packaged AeroPress with Porlex Mini Hand Coffee Grinder (www.yuppiechef.co.za): remove the Able Aeropress Travel Cap & Brewing Grip (www.capecoffeebeans.co.za) from the top of the plunger part of the AeroPress and remove the cap of the Porlex from the underside of the handgrinder itself which is inserted into the back of the plunger upside down:

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The rubber sleeve that comes from and with the Porlex grinder is placed around the main section of the AeroPress to carry and hold the grinder handle. Remove the two Able Stainless Steel DISK Aeropress Filters (www.capecoffeebeans.co.za) from the filter basket and choose the normal (right) or FINE (left) filter depending on taste preferences and/or grind size:

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Use the AeroPress Coffee scoop to add the desired amount of beans into the grinder. Grind the coffee – what a great sound and smell!

 

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Ready for brewing…

 

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Patiently waiting…

 

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…brewing and steeping. Use the handle of the AreoPress scoop to stir the brew.

 

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Extracting…

 

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Milk and sugar according to taste?

 

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What a delight!

 

Review: With the aim in mind above of portable, compact, best, most simplistic and somewhat lightest travelling coffee brewing kit for my journeying on the trails, this set up certainly does tick a lot of the boxes. Here’s how:

  • The compactness and fitting of the Porlex into the AreoPress does well.
  • Both are excellent tools that produce excellent brews portably, literally anywhere.
  • These two tools need to be used together with the Able Aeropress Travel Cap & Brewing Grip, and work brilliantly together.
  • Two variable coffee disk filters prevent having to travel with paper filters, save space when packed and produce a range of taste notes that easily match any paper filters.
  • The cooker and pot is great and heats the water to a desired brew temperature fast and efficiently. The self-starter Kovea Titanium Stove folds up and fits well into the pot for compact travelling and the gas canister can also fit into one’s bag easily in small spaces. No need for matches or a lighter to get the water heated.
  • The AeroPress scoop being used for measuring the desired amount of beans (a flat scoop of beans allows for approx. 16g of coffee) and used as a stirrer saves space and weight.

As with anything there is always room for improvement. These include:

  • The Cup – has a permeated coffee smell so any other beverage gets coffee whiff, and the cup loses the coffees’ temperature quickly.
  • Bag – a large Ziplock bag does not keep all items packaged nice and snug together while travelling.
  • Frother – for that Cappuccino! A device is being tested at present…

Version two of this article coming soon…now, where’s that coffee?