PAARL ROCK | ADVENTURE OF THE SEASON

It’s that time of year again – the holidays and summer feels are slowly drawing to a close and, for some, long lazy afternoons spent lolling on Cape Town’s world class beaches and basking in the setting sun are nothing but a distant memory. But, just because the vacation is technically officially over, doesn’t mean you can’t still live your best summer life on the weekends.

To ease myself into a new year, I like to continue going on adventures even once the university semester has started. After all, it’s still summer here and the sun is still shining late into the evening so there’s literally no excuse NOT to pretend like the weekends are mini vacations.

So, if you’re looking to do something fun (and new) this weekend, Paarl Rock is worth a visit.

In spite of its name, Paarl Rock is not so much a rock as an immense granite boulder that forms the centre piece of the nature reserve amidst indigenous flora and glassy reservoirs, and presides over Paarl, which is a mere 45-minute drive from Cape Town.

Gabemma Road (also referred to as the Taalmonument turn off) – which is a quick left once driving into Paarl’s main road from the N1 – takes you to the entrance of the reserve (R15 per passenger and R40 per vehicle). It’s mostly a gravel track that winds around the mountain side, with the tangled shrubbery that lines the road giving way at times to full views of the patchwork landscape down below.

The drive to the entrance is just the start of the various outdoor activities that’ll keep you busy throughout the day. But, whether you’re in for a chill or a thrill, be it mountain biking, abseiling, using the chains to ease your ascent of Bretagne Rock, climbing up the 355 stairs (I counted, and those Kayla Itsines leg workouts have got nothing on these steps…) from the reservoir or having a picnic under the trees, be sure to take a photograph that’ll prove you still now how to live your best summer (weekend) life.

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