Eleven Hurriers turned out this morning to walk Dot’s Dash. The weather was cool, with quite a cold wind blowing, and it was partially overcast, so good walking conditions. Our climb on the initial section reminded us of our advancing years, with many stops to mend bellows. Once up on Spooknek, however, we were relieved at the prospect of some downhill hiking. This we did through the magnificent fields of Erica pillansii, which is once again back to its pre-fire splendour, along with good showings of Erica perspicua, whilst the entire walk was characterised by wonderful, colourful fynbos.
A three night visit to Kagga Kamma, with Roy and Avril as our companions, proved to be most enjoyable. The small privately owned reserve is situated in the Koue Bokkeveld, and was an ideal place to find some solitude amongst the wondrous rock formations that characterise the area. It was so quiet that we often wondered whether we were the only living souls in the area. Obviously everyone else there was enjoying the same and did not want to disturb the peace.
We went for a couple of hikes, one of 7 km and one at 10 km. They provided a good opportunity to get close to nature and even see some of the antelope that roam the reserve. Birds were pretty scarce and we struggled to see more than around 15 species in the reserve. These did, however, include some of the Karoo birds which we do not see around Hermanus.
Our return journey took us down the long gravel highway that stretches between Calvinia and Ceres, and we passed a large number of intrepid hikers, who were walking the 270 km long Tankwa Camino. We did not envy them at all! They walk around 27 km per day with absolutely no shade along the entire route, and nothing but glaring, bright, semi desert plains all around.
The walk on Wednesday can best be described in musical terms as “the Fractured Heart Symphony” AMOEBA
Eight Hurriers met at the Fernkloof Visitors Centre for the advertised walk. It was a good day for walking; coolish with some light high clouds. After wishing Gert a happy birthday, the Octet set of on the first movement, an Adagio, through Boekenhout forest and up the Adder Ladder. Taking a break at the bench we enjoyed drinks and the goodies brought by Gert
In the notice of the walk Gert said that he would consider a Brexit if the party so desired and, unlike Mrs May, he would be happy to consider suggestions, hard or soft. This was his mistake. A sextet opted for a lighter version of the symphony and their next movement was a little Minuet to the top of Kanonkop. Here a duo including a departing swallow decided that they had early arrangements to get down so they set of for an Allegro down the face of Kanonkop back to the Visitors Center. The remaining quartet took an intermission, enjoyed their sandwiches and instant cappucinos and did a leisurely Allegro via Klipspringer to the VC, completing the left ventricle of the Fractured Heart.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch the orchestra leader and his 80 something protégé, set off in an Easterly direction on a somewhat lengthy Allegro along the Jeep Track, down the zig-zags and along the contour path towards Fernkloof. At the end of the contour and before crossing the Mossel River they stopped off at a local hostelry at the top of Reservoir Road for some liquid refreshments and then did a quick Scherzo back to the VC completing the Right Ventricle of the Fractured Heart Symphony AMOEBA
From the sounds of it all enjoyed a lovely day in the mountains although with different tunes.
P.S. Photo’s by Jenny
Ten lucky walkers enjoyed some perfect Autumn weather for their hike in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve this morning. We climbed up the front of Kanonkop and joined the Jeep Track, which we then followed to the top of Adder’s Ladder. This brought us back down to the Visitors’ Centre, after a couple of hour of walking and around six kilometres covered.
We spent Tuesday morning birding at Strandfontein, after a quick foray into Rondevlei. The latter is being drained and undergoing some upgrades, so there were not that many species around, although we did see many Avocets.
At Strandfontein there were the usual large flocks of birds, especially Sacred Ibises, as well as many gulls, one flock of Greater Flamingos, many Pelicans and a plethora of various ducks, but very few small waders. It was nevertheless, an enjoyable outing!
Our walk to Mooiwater, which John has been promising for the last few years, eventually materialised this morning. It was worth waiting for, as eighteen Hurriers discovered on arrival. We were greeted by Nicky with tea and coffee, after which we set out up a stream to the source of the farm’s domestic water. The weather was perfect and we were treated to a view of four Klipspringers on the mountainside above us.
On our return we gathered next to the dam and enjoyed our picnic lunch, before returning to Hermanus. The promised swim in the dam did not occur as it was a bit chilly, but the surroundings were beautiful!