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.


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