CapeTownMagazine.com

Hiking to the grave of Just Nuisance

Always exciting discoveries around the corner.
Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Un-clicking the clique-iness
 
+27(0)21 4222 444
Cape Town & Surrounds
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
partner@capetownmagazine.com
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
CapeTownMag

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
September 2017
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

saflag1Things to Do this Heritage Day in Cape Town

Celebrate South African culture and history and make the most out of this annual holiday

Swordfern Exterior by NightSwordfern Hair Emporium’s Bring A Bro Hair Special

Bring your bro and get a haircut on the house from Swordfern

Cape Town Fringe - 2017 - 1Cape Town Fringe Festival

Find out why Cape Town is SA’s capital of creativity at this popular arts fandango

Cafe ExtrablattSunday Brunch at Café Extrablatt

Home to one of Cape Town’s most affordable all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets

Kelly John Gough solo exhibition at ODA GalleryAGAINST THE GRAIN: An Exhibition by Kelly John Gough

Oil meets wood at this unique fine artist’s showcase in a hip gallery

Ukhamba beerworxBeerworx Heritage Day Extravaganza

To beer, or not to beer?

Official Second Hand MarketSecond Hand Clothing Market in Cape Town

Market mad? A treasure trove of vintage goodies await at this retro affair

La Motte ConcertsClassical Concerts at La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte's culture of excellence reaches far beyond wine-making, by embracing the wonder of classical music

La MotteHistoric Walk at La Motte in Franschhoek

Discover interesting history and heritage of the Franschhoek area on the La Motte estate in the Cape Winelands

La MotteSip and Swirl the Nectar of Yesteryear at La Motte

You had me at Merlot

SwordfernSwordfern Hair Emporium’s Gender-Neutral Cuts

Cutting costs, and saving water, with gender-neutral haircuts at Swordfern

Bruce Little Gallery opening- Touch Africa exhibition 1Launch of Bruce Little Gallery in Stellenbosch

The artist’s gallery will be opening at its new location in Stellenbosch

decodanceWild West Presented by Decodance Night Club

Dress to impress for the Wild West

cape town comedy club logoHalf-Price Sundays at Cape Town Comedy Club

Laugh 50% off top-notch entertainment every last day of the week at this one-stop-funny-shop

EclecticaEclectica Design and Art Presents ‘Dream Rift’

Brush away all the facts, and journey to a world connected by dreams and realities

Painterly Group Exhibition‘Painterly’ Group Exhibition at the Grande Provence Gallery

The beauty of oil paint steals the show at this art showcase

Markets3Sunday markets in and around Cape Town

Take it easy this Sunday at one of these great Sunday markets to take a stroll through

Earthdance 2017 - 1Earthdance Cape Town

This epic global get-down kick-starts the Mother City’s outdoor party season with a bang at the much-loved Nekkies Resort!

We Cannot Be Silent Exhibition launch 2017Exhibition: We Cannot Be Silent at the Castle of Good Hope

A dynamic multimedia exhibition seeks to challenge ideas around gender violence in Cape Town. We Cannot Be Silent – it’s time to take action.

MAReSOLMAReSOL’s Mouth-Watering Winter Menu

This authentically Portuguese restaurant brings the heat this winter

sea kayaking 12 apostlesSea Kayaking Weekend Family Special

Buy one adult kayaking ticket and get a kids ticket FREE with Kaskazi

ScootoursJunior Passengers Ride FREE Every Sunday with Scootours®

This exciting off-road adventure provides fun for the whole family

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

GONOW LogoGet a discount on Sunday Sunsets with GONOW Electric Bicycles!

Watch the sun set over the Sea Point Promenade from an electric two-wheeler at half the price!

grand-africa-cafe-and-beach-image-4Jazz Sundays at Grand Africa Café & Beach

See out the weekend with a cozy session at this iconic seaside destination in Cape Town

Food at Thali Thali Game Lodge and Reserve Sunday Lunch Buffet at Thali Thali Game Lodge

Cap off the weekend with a hearty, affordable spread at this family-friendly West Coast reserve

The Backyard Grill Lounge RibsBBQ Ribs Special at The Backyard Grill Lounge

Savour succulent, sticky ribs for just R150 per kilogram on Wed, Sat and Sun

Dizzys Camps BayDizzys Beer Pong and DJ Sundays Competition

Are you Cape Town’s next beer pong champ?

Bugz Playpark in Cape TownSunday Funday at Bugz Playpark

Every Sunday, CapeTownMagazine.com readers can enjoy a day of fun and learning with their children.

Kloof Street HouseSunday Lunch & Free Live Jazz at Kloof Street House in Cape Town

While away the last few hours of the weekend with some smooth tunes and good grub at this hidden gem

Camissa Tour 5 2015Sunday Gospel Experience with Camissa

Embark on a spiritual Sunday journey through one of the Mother City’s most soulful settlements

Piano Bar 2016 food and cocktails 5Bubbly Special at The Piano Bar

Make this charming musical revue haunt home on Sunday afternoons for half price glasses of MCC

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.