Elsa broke new ground for the Hurriers today, when she led us on a 7.4km walk which started just west of Teslaarsdal.  No less than 16 walkers participated and we were lucky with the weather, having to endure no more than a stiff breeze, which was the forerunner of a deep cold front approaching from the west. 

We commenced in farm lands, but quickly entered a fynbos area on the lower slopes of the mountain.  The going was relatively easy as we had farm tracks to walk on.  Despite many proteas, it was sad to note the presence of numerous alien species, dominated by the dreadful Hakea.  As we ascended, however, the aliens disappeared and by the time we left the track to make our way up the mountain we were in pristine fynbos, with many Brunias, Ericas and Proteas in evidence.  The path at this stage was pretty well non-existent and we had to keep our eyes peeled to follow an animal track with occasional pink ribbons marking prominent points.  As we ascended, the wind picked up and by the time we reached the crest of the mountain it was blowing hard. We were able to shelter just over the top, where we had our picnic and were stunned by the beautiful view over Stanford and on Gansbaai.  As a bonus we found ourselves surrounded by the rare Erica lanuginosa (Margaret was especially delighted, but had previously painted this species and was therefore not frustrated by being unable to take a sample).

It was an enjoyable outing, all the more so since we were in a new area.  Those of us who returned to Hermanus, did so via the Hemel-en-Aarde valley which was looking spendid in its winter greenery.


Defying the weather

On Wednesday 8th June a massive cut-off low pressure system threatened to flood most of South Africa, but in Hermanus our draught conditions persisted.  We had planned a walk through Vogelgat via Leopard Camp, over a distance of around 11 kilometres.  With dark clouds looming, only Debbie arrived to join Renee and me on the outing.  We set off up Lex’s Gulley in cold and very windy conditions.  On reaching the crossroads at the top we decided to rethink our route and opted for the more sheltered path to Sip Lodge.  It was a wise decision and the rest of the way via Sip and Quark and then back to Base Camp was very pleasant and it did not rain at all, so, whilst we were tempting fate by setting out, our efforts failed to bring a much needed shower to augment our meagre municipal water supplies.  Three very exhausted people returned home after four hours on the road, but it was, as usual, very worthwhile and we thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Debbie and Renee at the top of Lex's Gulley

Driving on Our Beaches

I can’t believe that its so long since I last posted anything on this site, but the recent e-mail from Mike Ravenscroft describing how his walking group witnessed people flagrantly ignoring the ban on beach driving and his request that we publish the means of reporting such contraventions has woken me up.  I have therefore copied the response that Mike got from the DEA below, so that anybody who comes across such violations will know what to do.

Hi Michael

I have seen your email from Alan.
Any assistance from the members of the public is always welcome in assisting in the enforcement of ORV regulations, and you are advised to do the following:

1. Take photos of a vehicle indicating that it was really being driven on the coastal zone;
2. Take GPS coordinates, if possible;
3. Make a statement commissioned by a either a police or commissioner, stating that you really did see the vehicle being driven;

4. Take registration numbers, time and date when the incident happened; and

5. Send all of that to me (see my signature).

Once we get all of the above, it is easy to act.

I hope this reaches you in order.
Looking forward to cooperation in these matters.


Sandiso Zide
Institutional & Legal Development
Department of Environmental Affairs
Physical Address:
East Pier  Building II
East Pier Road
Cape Town