There’s a first time for everything. In decades of guiding I have never had guests from Malta – until this week. I am currently escorting the Zammit (extended) family around Cape Town. Yesterday we travelled along The Atlantic Seaboard, over Chapman’s Peak . . .
. . . to The Cape Point Nature Reserve. We were extremely lucky with wonderful weather and I think everyone enjoyed it (even Amanda who was not feeling 100% healthy).
We stopped above Smitswinkelbaai to enjoy the views across False Bay and learn a little about this incredible Nature Reserve.
From here we went over to The Atlantic Ocean side
We saw some wildlife – a couple of angulate tortoises, a distant Bontebok and this Rock Kestrel enjoying the coast.
We could not resist a last stop to enjoy the dramatic scenery before leaving.
On the return journey some of the party got “up-close-and-personal” with an African Penguin.
Then Caroline managed to squeeze in some retail negotiation before we headed off to Canal Walk.
Check-in with us tomorrow to see what we get up to at Kirstenbosch, Green Market Square and The Lion.
If you are interested in our walking holidays visit our affiliated website at www.walkinafrica.blogspot.com
There is ongoing debate as to whether day 4 or day 5 of The Mountains in The Sea is the more breathtaking. It’s a tough call. Have a look at this photo taken on day 5, and formulate your own opinion.
We started the trail above “Patience Bay” with views onto – and memories of – yesterday’s descent.
In spite of the (very easy) ascent Ken still had a smile, and so did everyone else.
Perhaps the smiles had something to do with the views that greeted us at every turn.
We eventually made it back down to sea-level – and a very beautiful sea-level it was.
But we weren’t the only Simians walking on the beach that day.
I love this photo of an “inter-specific inter-section”. It seems artistically staged, with the two groups representing different primate families going in opposite directions and metaphorically separated by a sinuous line of kelp.
I like this photo too. It’s amazing that none of the players in this scene acknowledges the existence of the other species. It’s as if they are denying that the other exists! Do we deny the ape in ourselves? Yes, I think we do.
Enough esoteric philosophizing . . . Soon we were on the rocky shores headed for a very special ascent.
This is what it looked like on the way up.
And this is what it looked like from the top.
Then it was just the small matter of getting up and over the never-ending hill.
And finally we could enjoy the bubbly.
My apologies for the long hiatus in the blog of the epic trail of Ken, Linda, Gordon and Judy. I have been away training San (bushman) youngsters aspiring to become guides. Yes – the irony of a white man of Eastern European ancestry training bushmen how to track animals is not lost on me. This is simply another indictment on our species . . . but the story of the training is material for a separate posting. So, back to the epic walk. You will recall that everyone had been spelling very badly in semaphores and we captured some fine portraits. Then Kili found the cutest little baby Angulate Tortoise.
After that it was time to tackle the most spectacular descent imaginable. As we started, a light mist, formed from moist air rising off False Bay, was lifted up the knife-edge and condensed.
But then the mist cleared, revealing unbelievably beautiful scenery.
In the distance our final destination was visible . . . but that is a story for our next posting.
What a day! I’m not sure how I can limit this posting to just a few pictures . . . so I may have to do two postings for the one walk. It was just too much fun and too beautiful to fit into one short post.
Kili was determined to look handsome and so assumed a pose on every prominent rock.
The ascent from Simonstown was much easier than everyone had been led to believe. And once at the top, the views improved all day. Here the Atlantic Ocean and False Bay (influenced by the Indian Ocean) are both clearly visible on either side of the Peninsula.
And then the ascent did become a little steep. At this point we are more than 1,875 feet above the sea.
The team decided it was time to send a semaphore message – and as you can see they quite clearly spelled “RUY” and then Linda requested annulment of this “word”. It was time that we overcame differences in accent and tried communicating verbally because I didn’t understand “RUY” and anyway Linda was determined (symbolically – that is) that the message should be cancelled.
Eventually it was explained to me that they were copying the Beatles off their immortal (unlike poor John) album called “HELP”. Well if you are not too young, you will probably be aware that on that album cover The Beatles were desperately signalling the word “NUJV”!
It is really not surprising that Linda, Ken, Judy & Gordon didn’t receive any HELP. In fact it is not surprising that John, Paul, George & Ringo didn’t receive any either!
Tomorrow we will be having spelling lessons instead of walking.
We did get some smashing (they use that word in Rutland – don’t they?) portraits:
Cape Town is known for it’s unpredictable and changing weather and we certainly experienced it today. Yesterday we walked in 30C weather (86F for those of you still stuck in the 19th century) with cloudless skies. We (most of us) were awoken at 04h30 by a very loud electric storm. By the time we started walking across the gorgeous Noordhoek Beach, the rain had abated but the weather was cool.
We continued to the wreck of the Kakopo and beyond. Ken was so happy that he threw all his collected feathers into the air and grinned like a child! In the picture below, the wreck is visible in the background . . . and so is Chapman’s Peak (covered in cloud).
Not much later the sun emerged and the temperature soared, tempting insects into activity. We found this beautiful, but dangerous, Blister Beetle feeding on a Roella flower. When disturbed these beetles produce a nasty defensive secretion which causes skin blistering.
By the time we stopped for lunch the sun had been replaced by thick mist and a chill wind, and fleeces appeared miraculously. Soon thereafter rain begin to fall and the colourful apparel followed . . .
Our last surprise before descending into the historical town of Simonstown, was a Golden Orb Spider on her web. These beautiful spiders produce an extremely strong silk – as strong as Kevlar.