Its been over a year since the fire swept through the mountains behind Kleinmond and the fynbos is recovering well, but still has a long way to go. There are no signs yet of the magnificent Erica pillansii, or of the hundreds of other beautiful wild flowers that have always characterised this area. Ten hikers, led by Tricia, nevertheless enjoyed a good outing in warm, windless conditions and had a good work-out in the process. I managed to make a hash of the notice concerning starting times, but those who arrived at the notified time were patient and waited for the rest of us.
We stopped for tea at Spooknek, where a very gentle breeze helped to cool us down, before the slope down along Dot’s Dash. Along the way we were rewarded with many pink Tritoniopsis lata blooms as well as occasional Watsonias, Spiloxene (?) small pink Ericas, Mimetes, which seem to be recovering fastest, and a new bloom to all of us, which we were unable to identify, but which looks like a Stilbe. Christine Wakfer later identified it as Lachnospermum umbellatum. I was also amazed to see field mushrooms growing amongst the rocks at Spooknek. One wonders how they got there, but Lynette had a theory – she suggested that someone may have been riding there and that the spores might have been deposited by the horses.
The final descent was remarkable for the wonderful new path which has been made into a virtual staircase by the Kleinmond walkers, who have done magnificent work heaving huge rocks into place to make the stairway. When it was all over most of us stopped in at the Kleinmond waterfront where we had a very good lunch. I re-measured the walk and it was 6.8 kms.