Walking is a great form of exercise and is highly therapeutic. I recently tripped over my cat in the dark and damaged an old injury sustained whilst in the police. My knee was swollen and walking was difficult. But as the last part of my therapy, I have to go for daily walks the knee is improving and even though I am not in favour of it I now turn the lights on when the cat wants attention.
The walks have allowed me to explore my suburb and its parks more than ever before.
The one park that I knew well was Verity Park situated in the heart of Parkhurst it is a dog walkers’ paradise and my Jack Russell used to go there and amble around virtually every day but it is just a square park adjacent to the library tennis courts, clinic and the recreation centre. I still go there occasionally to catch up with friends. It has a beautiful play area for youngsters as well as a swimming pool.
I suppose my favourite park is one of the smallest as I am involved in a scheme to rehabilitate it. Hamilton Park is situated between Craighall Park and Parkhurst. And a river flows through it, although that is where the environmental damage has set in, council have approved a project but now needs to find a budget.
I like the park as it has some steep gradients which is good for my knee. I can not bring myself to walk with a stick so use a trekking pole. We have put in additional paving, benches and tables and it is indeed gratifying to see families having picnics and using the park
Then we have a small park bordering the Braamfontein Spruiit, it is solely maintained by a single resident He has staff that clean every week and has installed numerous benches, a climbing wall as well as a trampoline for the little ones.
The park also offers direct access to Delta Park. However, it’s using a large plank as nearby residents forced him to remove the bridge he had constructed. Sad though as I will not “walk the plank”.
However further up there is the “Blue Bridge”- constructed by the council with full engineering approval, this allows you to access Delta Park and its beautiful tree-lined dams.
A full walk around the perimeter will take the best part of the morning or afternoon, but it is best to be out before dusk.
There are numerous picnic spots as well as hiking, running and MTB trails.
If you return via the “Blue Bridge” pop in at “Delta Cafe” for a bite. They do amazing Pizzas and Burgers as well as other munchies. I avoid the bird hides as they are a bit run down and full of waste.
The safest parking is either near the “Blue Bridge” or at the Delta Environmental Centre. Be aware though it can get hectic on weekends.
Now this last spot is not a park but it is a good walk for me and offers the opportunity to get a coffee en route or even there. It’s a good walk on decent pavements.
Pirates Rugby Club in Greenside is one of the three oldest clubs in South Africa. It offers multi-disciplines over and above Rugby and has recently introduced “Paddles” to the list ( a combination of squash and tennis played in glass-walled cubes )
I realise that even when my knee is healed I will carry on exploring the terrain and will branch out further afield. I would like to some routes adjacent to the city, but may leave that for a while. Or even join a hiking club. We owe it to ourselves to get out and explore. After all, we are “All Terrain” people.