Hi-Tec SA

Hiking to the grave of Just Nuisance

Visit the Hi-Tec factory shop for great deals:
Mon - Fri | 09:00 - 17:30
Sat | 09:00 - 17:00; Sun | 09:00 - 14:00
 
+27(0)21 555 0707
Shop F1&F2 | Access Park | Chichester Rd
www.hi-tec.com
HiTec_SA
Hi-Tec SA

Hiking to the grave of Just Nuisance

Simon’s Town and Red Hill: the perfect area to explore with Hi-Tec

It’s the year 1939, and the Royal Navy in Simon’s Town is enlisting their new recruits. One of these new sailors still hasn’t found their sea legs (and never will) but is given the name ’Just’. His occupation is put down as ‘Bone Crusher’ and his religious denomination as ‘Scrounger’.

This strange new member is Just Nuisance, the first and only dog to be enlisted by the Royal Navy. This Great Dane loved the sailors whom he recognised easily from their distinctive uniforms. He was often caught travelling by train without a ticket, and he would join the navy men on their trips into Cape Town. The irate conductors would escort him off at the next station. Joining the navy ensured Just Nuisance received all the standard benefits – one of which was a free train pass.

Just Nuisance became a local legend and when he was put to rest it was with full military honours at Klaver Camp on top of Red Hill in a solemn ceremony that included a firing party of Royal Marines.

Visiting Just Nuisance
After a quick visit to see the statue of Just Nuisance looking noble in Jubilee Square in Simon’s Town, we drive to the bottom of Red Hill and start the climb up the stairs. It’s a sunny day so we’ve come smothered in sunblock. I’m wearing my Hi-Tecs: V-lite Total Terrain Lace, which support me and keep me stable on the walk.

What to bring

  • Hat and sunblock. Even if it’s overcast it’s a good idea to keep your skin protected.  
  • Hiking shoes. To give you support and traction on the paths and rocks.
  • Water. Make sure you bring enough to keep you hydrated.
  • Camera. The hills and mountains behind Simon’s Town offer spectacular coastal views.  
  • Children from age 10 and up.
  • Warm top. The wind can pick up quickly so make sure you’re prepared.
  • Snacks or lunch. Just make sure you keep it packed away in sealed containers; as there are baboons in the area who would love to eat it.

Routes

It’s a short walk up to Just Nuisance’s grave or you can park near it and hike on to the Kleinplaas Dam. If you’re looking for a much longer hike then make the trek to Smitswinkel near Cape Point from Swartkop in Simon’s Town.  

Just Nuisance’s Grave
Easy
Make a day of it: catch the train to Simon’s Town and visit the statue of Just Nuisance in Jubilee Square. Then walk up to Barnard Street, which ends at the bottom of Red Hill where you will see a sign for the Signal School Steps. Here a flight of steep steps and path will lead you to the grave. 

Duration:
This walk will take you an easy hour with a quick break at the top. 

Kleinplaas Dam
Moderate
Take the Red Hill road onto the area above Simon’s Town where you will see a sign to Just Nuisance’s grave. You can park here and pay him a quick visit before setting out for the dam. About 100 metres along the road is the start of the trail. Once you’ve been on the jeep track for about five minutes there’s a fork in the road – turn right and keep going until you reach the dam wall, then take the left turn. Here you can take a break, and enjoy the view.

Duration: The walk there and back will take about two hours.

Swartskop to Smitswinkel
Difficult
This hike takes you up Swartskop and over to Smitswinkel in Cape Point. The walk is a section of the SANParks Hoerikwaggo trail route and ends at their tented camp (where you can spend the night).

You will need someone to drop you off and pick you up on the other side, or go in two cars and drop one off in Cape Point before going to Simon’s Town. The hike starts at the end of the dirt road off of Jan Smuts Road, you will go up Old Mule Trail and up to the Blockhouse Gap. The path will go along the Swartkop Ridges, up to the peak and then down to Smitswinkel. There is a bit of scrambling and exposure to heights on this route.

Duration:
This is a long one; it’ll take about six hours to reach Cape Point.

What to look out for

Flora:
There’s an abundance of fynbos and the pincushions were in their full glory when we were there. Keep an eye out for the Swartkop spiderhead – a rare plant that flowers from July to October. You will also find the fiery red Ericas and the pretty rooikappis. There are also amazing sandstone formations, which have all sorts of lichens growing on them.

Fauna:
I spotted quite a few black girdled lizards sunning themselves on the rocks; these spiny, black reptiles are solitary creatures which usually sit still enough for you to have a good look at them before they slip away. We also encountered a large troop of chacma baboons complete with cheeky little ones sneaking off to eat where the large males couldn’t see them to steal their food.

By Lindsay Callaghan

Tip:
Visit the Simon’s Town Museum to find out more about Just Nuisance and his time in the Royal Navy.

Opening times: Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm, Saturdays: 10am – 1pm, closed on Sundays and public holidays.

*Sponsored by Hi-Tec

Check out our Facebook album of the hike and follow us on Twitter to find out where we’ll be hiking next.

Cape Town Events Calendar
January 2015
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Shadowclub at The AssemblyAssembly Presents: Shadowclub & Friends

Dance along to some moody rock ‘n’ roll courtesy of SA’s hottest blues ...

Up the Creek Breede RiverUp the Creek Music Festival

One river, three stages, four days, loads of local music and barrels of laughs

Cape Cobras Logo Cape Cobras Momentum One Day Cup ...

See our boys in blue and yellow go up against several provincial teams in this ...

Origin electronic dance festival 2013Origin Electronic Music Festival

Things are set to get seriously stomp-tastic at this three-day trance party ...

Othello at Maynardville Park Shakespeare in the Park at Maynardville ...

See Shakespeare’s well-known tale of passion, love and jealousy, Othello, ...

David Kramer's Orpheus in Africa 1 Orpheus in Africa at the Fugard Theatre

The new proudly South African musical from writer/ director David Kramer

Sammi Morales DJ at Shimmy Beach ClubFriday Anthems Party at Shimmy Beach ...

Cape Town’s premier oceanfront club pays homage to summer with a series of ...

Darling Music Experience Classical FestivalDarling Music Experience

This picturesque West Coast dorpie celebrates classical and contemporary ...

Oude Libertas Summer Music FestivalOude Libertas Summer Season Festival

Catch this series of Stellenbosch music concerts showcasing some of the finest ...

orchestra1Cape Town International Summer Music ...

Be entranced by some of classical music’s finest soloists at the Cape Town ...

Samsa-Masjien at the Baxter Theatre Samsa-masjien Play in Cape Town

The thought-provoking piece of local theatre that delves into Kafka’s ...

Stellenbosch Wine Festival LOGOStellenbosch Wine Festival

Enjoy the fruits of the Boland Winelands at this annual three-day ...

Barnyard Theatre Willowbridge 80s RewindBarnyard Theatre’s 80s Rewind Party

Take a trip down musical memory lane with this rocking fiesta

Fire and Ice Pool Shot Cape TownFriday Night DJ Sessions at Protea ...

Welcome the weekend with a free and funky party at the Mother City’s ...

Super Cool Beer Tour Bottles at Devil's PeakFree Beer Friday Special with Super ...

Embark on a fun Friday brewery excursion and get two lagers on the house

Dinner Club at Borage Bistro Cape TownFriday Dinner at Borage Bistro

Ease into the weekend with a superb supper at this urban-chic CBD eatery

Julep Cocktail BarHappy Hour Cocktails at Julep Bar

This speakeasy-type watering hole offers up a late-night drinks deal in Cape ...

Art of the Brick Lego ManThe Art of the Brick Lego Exhibition in ...

Don’t miss the world-renowned expo at the V&A Waterfront that transforms a ...

Battlefield Live Corporate LogoTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

Abbott Nu Jazz Band at SotanoFriday Jazz Dinner at Sotano

Start the weekend in style with soulful beats and supreme fare at this Atlantic ...

Wembley Tap Bar Craft Beer Beer Pong at Wembley Tap Bar

Mix ping pong with artisan ale at this industrial-chic house of beer every ...

HQ Friday night DJ Dance partyFriday Night DJ and Dancing at HQ ...

#AfterDark with DJ Rene: start the weekend with a steak dinner, stylish ...

Dutch Haven BarAfter-work Drinks and Live Music at ...

Enjoy an authentic Holland-style borreluur every Friday evening at this ...

The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum LogoThe Springbok Experience Museum’s ...

Visit this world-class Waterfront attraction and enjoy a free Castle draught at ...

Wine Flies Forgotten Route TourThe Forgotten Route Train Tour to ...

Take the road less travelled on a two-day adventure to the Klein Karoo

Richard's Bistro supper and stage Kaapstad“Kaapse Stories” at Richard’s ...

Supper and Stage make for a delectable evening’s entertainment

Outside of Peter's House on Kloof NekOpen Mic Night At Peter’s House

This cosy Tamboerskloof restaurant hosts a free intimate live performance ...

Marcel's Frozen Yoghurt BlizzardHow Awesome Would It Be If this Cape ...

We’ve reimagined some of the Mother City’s hotspots as cool and quirky ...

Tyrannosaurus Rex at Dinosaur ExhibitionDinosAlive Dinosaur Exhibition & Play ...

Grab the kiddies and jump back to the Jurassic period at this awesome ...

Diesel women's dresses sale from Labels4Less shopDiesel Jeans & Clothing Sale

Get an extra R50 off already marked-down designer denim, bags, belts, tops and ...

Dinner at Dish Restaurant Inn on the SquareBraai Lunch Special at Inn on the ...

Friday is braai day at this Cape Town accommodation’s laidback eatery

Vibe at the Hout Bay Harbour Market in Cape TownFriday Night at The Bay Harbour Market

Ring in the weekend with live music, craft beer, hearty fare and happy shopping ...

Glenelly 1Meat and Cheese Platters at Glenelly ...

A Stellenbosch wine tasting with true French finesse

Bright Day Art Classes in WoodstockCreative Corporate Team Building with ...

Harness the power of creativity at an edgy customised workshop

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips