Hiking San Diego: Big Laguna Trail

Hiking San Diego- Big Laguna Trail
It shouldn’t be any surprise that San Diego county offers some really beautiful hiking trails. One of my favorites is the loop created by the Big Laguna Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.

Hiking San Diego: Big Laguna Trail

The trail is a bit on the longer side – 10 miles that can quickly turn into about 12 if you make a few wrong turns like I did – but the hike itself is pretty easy. The beginning part of the hike takes you through an area that suffered a fairly recent forest fire but is still beautiful.

I was shocked when we came up to the top of the loop that offered incredible views of the surrounding deserts. Absolutely gorgeous.

The most memorable – and scariest – part of the hike was when we came across a herd of cattle. I don’t know if you’ve ever been within 100 feet of a big herd of cattle but holy shit they are terrifying.

They were even more terrifying when they chase a man and his dog because they didn’t like the latter. I seriously almost peed my pants.

Overall, I would highly recommend this hike for anyone in the San Diego area. It is also worth noting that the Big Laguna Trail (not the section of the Pacific Crest Trail) also welcomes dogs that are leashed (but clearly proceed at your own risk) and mountain bikes.

Have you hiked the Big Laguna Trail or can you suggest any other trials for those interested in hiking San Diego?

Lion’s Head: Last Day In South Africa

Lion's Head Hike: Cape Town, South Africa

View of Table Mountain from the top of Lion’s Head
It’s hard to believe that a little more than a year ago I was settling into my new South African home. While I’ve recapped almost all of my time there, there are still two posts that I want to share: my last day in South Africa and our concerns about safety. The latter post requires a lot of thought and care so I plan on taking my time writing it.

Lion’s Head Hike

We woke up early on our last day in Cape Town. Our bags were packed and the apartment/cottage/shack/room was cleaned. We called a taxi and headed up to Lion’s Head before it got too hot. Lion’s Head is a big peak in Cape Town, shaped like a sphinx, that is overshadowed by Table Mountain. Since the peak offers incredible views of the city we decided that it was the perfect activity for our last day.

Lion's Head: Cape Town, South Africa

A view of Lion’s Head while hiking up
Flower Along Lion's Head Hike: Cape Town, South AfricaTable Mountain from Lion's Head Hike: Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain from the hike<

Overall the hike was moderately difficult and included areas were we had to climb up some rocks (with the use of chains and metal hoops). Scrambling over rocks is terrifying for me but I had a feeling that the view would be worth it. And it was.

Lion's Head Hike: Cape Town, South Africa (2)

So much fog at the top of Lion’s Head
Lion's Head Hike: Cape Town, South Africa

Last South African selfie
I can’t think of a better way to spend our last few hours in Cape Town, South Africa.

[linked with Travel Tuesday with Bonnie & Megan].

Hiking Tolkien’s Forests

While Away With The Fairies was a fabulous experience, the highlight of any trip to Hogsback is the amazing indigenous forest packed with waterfalls.

Hogsback, South Africa

How incredibly beautiful is this waterfall? This was one of three waterfalls that we saw on how four hour hike through the Hogsback forest. The hike started at the back of the Away With The Fairies property, so we were able to start fairly early before it got too warm. Since the two dogs on the property love going for hikes, we took them along as our guides through the forest.

Hogsback, South Africa

Overall the most of the hike was fairly easy but incredibly gorgeous. The only rough bit was the hike up to one of the waterfalls … this sign should have tipped me off:

Hogsback, South Africa

The 20 minute rock scrabble was a nice little surprise but worth it. From the moment I stepped into the forest I felt as though I understood how it inspired some of Tolkien’s greatest works. From giant 800 year old trees being preserved deep within the forest to the tiniest little snails on the forest floor and cute monkeys hopping around the tree tops, the whole forest is filled with beautiful life.

Hogsback, South Africa

Hogsback, South Africa

Hogsback, South Africa

Hogsback, South Africa

This was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on. It was really as if I had been transported over to Middle Earth and was hiking around Rivendell (too nerdy?).

Have you ever been on a hike or trip that made you feel like you were transported to another world?

[linked with Travel Tuesday with Bonnie & Megan].