Following hard on the boots of “Adventure Hikes in the Cape Peninsula” which was self-published in 2010, Karen Watkins learnt a lot from that experience and finding she enjoyed it, decided to get busy with “Off the Beaten Track”.Off the Beaten Track by Karen Watkins

“It’s an update of most of the 28 routes from her first book “Adventure Walks and Scrambles in the Cape Peninsula” (published in 2003 by Double Storey) but with variations to eight. There are also 14 new hikes with variations. All hikes are divided into easy, moderate, difficult and very difficult including about three where a rope should be used.

The routes are colour coded relating to where they are to be found on the Cape Peninsula and where they are shown on the maps.

Karen is an award-winning journalist and amateur botanist who has been taking people “off the beaten track” for more than 20 years, to unusual and special places and sharing her knowledge with them. Now she shares these routes with you.

“A great and selfless contribution to hikers and hiking in theCapePeninsula,” Graham Bellairs.

“The finest selection of hikes on the Cape Peninsula,” Laurence Lombard.

“Easily some of the most interesting hiking I’ve ever done!,” Jackie Borel-Saladin.Off the Beaten Track to be launched at Bill Bowden Pavilion, Wynberg Boys’ High School, Aletta Walk (Link to map) on Friday November 25 at 7pm. At 208 pages with over 45 hikes and variations including many new routes, with maps and GPS readings, this makes a great Christmas gift. Don’t miss it. There will be a special presentation where you may see yourself but if not, it’s sure to make you smile. Please forward this to anyone who might be interested.  Not necessary to RSVP, enquiries to: karen.watkins1@gmail.com Normal selling price at independent bookshops R195 and R250+ in mainstream bookshops.

Your special offer book launch price will be R155.

The story behind the Book: Back in 2003 digital cameras were new and hardened photographers were sticking to using slides. This meant that all routes from the first book had to be re-done, often two or three times to illustrate the path ahead with step-by-step images and details.

“I worked with a team of more than a dozen intrepid testers. Many were experienced hikers, others newbies, who were probably more suited to testing the path for accuracy. It was a lot of fun shadowing the team and really helped seeing where they faltered, hearing their input. They’ve also enjoyed it but I’m sure they’re sick of me asking them to ‘wear bright clothes’, and giving directions of where they should stand for the photos,” said Karen. Many pictures have been taken by these hikers and the book also includes historical pictures as well as others on the fauna and flora to be found on TableMountain.

Her main challenges have been the weather and also the sad lack of maps. “Thankfully cyclist Daniel Dobinson, owner of iRideAfricaproduces freelance maps and, after hearing from his mates that they were lacking in my second book, he has offered to do them. This book also includes GPS co-ordinates for some of the routes,” said Karen.

Designer Louise Topping once again came up with an awesome lay-out for this full colour book, printed by Paarl Print. As with the previous books, there are boxes and mountain-related information as well as tips on safety, rock scrambling and taking children to the mountains.