Why we loved the Genadendal Trail

In August 2010, we walked the Genadendal trail with Garth, Elsa and Biddy.  I remember it as being a really interesting and beautiful walk.  I am writing this as I feel the need to try to recall some of its magic.  Perhaps we can arrange another walk there in the near future.

It was misty when we arrived in Genadendal and the museum complex, situated adjacent to the old Moravian church, had an ethereal feel.  We looked around the village before setting off on the climb up to Wonderklippe.  This is only the first leg of a long hiking trail that would take a couple of days to complete.

The first thing that struck us was the profusion of beautiful pink ericas covering the lower slopes of the mountain.  These were the wonderful Erica hirtifolia.  As we progressed upwards we emerged from the mist and enjoyed the warm sun on our backs for the first time.  There were many interesting flowers along the way.  Perhaps the most unusual was the mountain dahlia (Liparia splendens) and we had to stop many times to try to identify plants.  We only went as far as Wonderklippe.  Unfortunately there are many alien pine trees along the next section and it did not appeal to us, but Wonderklippe makes a good destination and by the time we had returned we knew we had had a good walk.

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Teslaarsdal 2

Elsa said it would be a stiff walk and we certainly felt, on returning to our cars, that we had had a fairly strenuous bit of exercise, but it wasn’t until we got home and measured our route that we really appreciated why.  We had walked 10 kms up and down a steep mountain in three and a half hours on a very warm day!!  No wonder we all felt completely broken at the end of it!

Nine of us set out, but John Duval had to return with a sore leg.  So Garth and Liz, Ross, Mike Bryan, Elsa, Keith (a visistor from Stanford) and Renee and I carried on.  The final climb to the top of Boskop (768mamsl) was very strenuous with no path per se and we were mighty relieved when we eventually made it to the summit.  Once there, the views were splendid, but would have been even better without the prevailing haze.

As usual the summit was characterised by the beautiful Erica lanuginosa, which seems to only occur on the very tops of the mountains. Not only this, but it appeared to be at exactly the same flowering stage as when we first saw it on the Teslaarsdal outing on June 22. Also on top was a single occurrence of the giant vygie, Carpobrotus acinaciformis, along with Adenandra brachyphylla, Gladiolus debilis and many Anaxetons.  I was frustrated by my inability to get a good image of the beautiful Diastella divaricata, which we saw plenty of on the final approach to the summit.

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Africa Goju Ryu Karate Championships

This morning we travelled to Stellenbosch to watch Travis taking part in the AGK Championships being held there.  Mike and Nicky had travelled from Knysna with the family and were staying with David and Tanja in Cape Town for the weekend.  David came through with the boys to watch as well, but had to rush poor Keagan home after he had a bad fall and hurt his chin, but he returned to see Travis performing in both of his sections.  These were the 10-11 year old, Orange Belt Kata and Iri Kumi events.  He did well in the former and even beat the boy who won, in one of the early rounds, but probably ended up about fourth in the end.  He did even better in the Iri Kumi (fighting) and managed to get a well-deserved Bronze Medal.  Well done Travie!!  We look forward to seeing you doing even better in future championships.  Of course, Mom was not too happy to see him fighting, but despite receiving a few hard blows, he acquitted himself very well and made us all proud.

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The Hermanus Spring Flower Show

The 2011 show is no exception.  The display is superb with wonderful flowers from the Hermanus area, beautifully displayed in a forest theme.  For the botanically minded there are individual specimens showing some 350 to 400 different local species.  (Needless to say we were thrilled to see that most of the specimens we collected on Wednesday at Vogelgat were on display.)

It is a show well worth visiting and it combines with the Eco Fair where environmentalists have their exhibits and items for sale.

The organisers are to be congratulated on the fine work they do in putting this show together every year.  It is a highlight of the Hermanus calendar and a wonderful attraction for Spring visitors who want to see more than just whales.

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Collecting for the Hermanus Flower and Eco Fair

Renee and I joined Giorgio Lombardi and spent the day collecting specimens for the Flower Show which starts tomorrow.  It was quite an effort and we covered a distance of 13 kms at Vogelgat Reserve.  We went up to Sip first and then around to Beacon Head, before coming back again via Quark.  Giorgio had the list of what was required and we managed to achieve most of it.  The weather turned quite cold and a few showers threatened to wet us, but they passed fairly rapidly without any ill effects.  Unfortunately some of the specimens that were on the list could not be found or were in such short supply that we decided not to cut them, but overall, I guess the outing was quite successful.  One that we found (for the first time in Vogelgat!) was a single Sonderothamnus speciosa.  Giorgio was delighted!

It was certainly very tiring, especially as we did not have the wonder drug that Giorgio puts into his water and which gives him extra vuma!  (something called Empact?)  We must get some – but first I need to put my feet up!!

Nicky suggested Sepia

I was thrilled when Nicky emailed this morning saying that Travis, our grandson, had made the local provincial cricket side, having been involved in trials all weekend.  Well done Travie!!  That’s fantastic!

She also said that she liked my macro shots enough to have some printed on canvas, but wanted them in sepia.  I immediately set about making a set of sepia images and these are displayed below.  I think they worked out rather well and hopefully will provide sufficient material for her to choose from.

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Spring in Macro

The first warm days of spring always stimulate me to go out into our garden and, armed with my macro lens, try to capture some of the beauty that surrounds us at this time.  Getting close to my subject and composing soft abstract images is my aim and those shown below were captured this morning after a couple of hours of tension endured whilst watching two matches in the Rugby World Cup pools.  There is nothing better to get one’s emotions back in check than a session through the viewfinder.  Enjoy the images.

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