From De Kelders to Grotto Beach

Eight Hurriers set out from De Kelders this morning at the start of our walk to Grotto Beach.  The weather and the tides were perfect and we enjoyed a really wonderful excursion on this lovely stretch of beach.  Gulls and Oystercatchers abounded and watched our progress with interest, along with occasional Plovers, Wagtails and Whimbrels.

Sadly our enjoyment was somewhat marred by the presence of fisherman driving on the beach – where they had no right to be.  We questioned their being there and they said they had permits, but a subsequent enquiry at Cape Nature revealed that there is no such permit available.  We also saw people harvesting vast numbers of white mussels – way in excess of the allowed catch – further adding to our frustration. It really is sad to this abuse of our natural resources.

We walked a total of 18.5 km in just under 5 hours.  Tonight we will sleep well and enjoy dreams of unending beaches!

Perdeberg Revisited

We last walked on Perdeberg in February last year.  It was beautiful, so we decided to go again, this time in Spring.  It was still good but very different.  There were many flowers as can be seen from the pictures below.  The Gladiolus debilis was in flower and there were wonderful Adenandras along the path.

Eighteen walkers set out, but we split up as some did not want to go the whole way.  We even managed to lose Piet and Martha along the way, but luckily they were found and all was well.  The weather was good and the breeze in our faces on the return was welcome.

I was pleased to see a number of birds, including Black Harrier, Jackal Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Yellow Bishop, Cape Grassbird, Grey-backed Cisticola, Rock Kestrel and Blue Crane, but I could not find the Hottentot Buttonquail, which was my aim.

Walking Above Hermanus

Our walk this morning took us along the contour path, westwards from the Visitors’ Centre, then up Elephant Path to Rotary Way.  From there we went east until we eventually arrived at the top of the Kanonkop Path, which we descended back to our starting point.  The weather was perfect for walking, but we underestimated the time, so some of us had to break away in order to get back in time for other commitments.

The walk was 10 km long and we went through plenty of recently burnt fynbos, giving the botanists lots to enthuse about.  The pictures come mostly from Liz, who had her camera at the ready throughout.  There were also some good birds on display, including Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Rockjumper, Ground Woodpecker and Verreaux’s Eagle.

We really stretched our legs and had a good time, enjoying the splendour that surrounds us!

Volmoed Walk

This morning Mick led us on an interesting and challenging new walk at Volmoed.  First we went up the river to the base of the De Bos dam, then back through the burnt fynbos to the hill overlooking the Volmoed base and the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.  We stopped there for a welcome coffee break before descending a steep rocky path back to the base.  From there we did another walk up the stream to the beautiful waterfall, before returning to our cars and home.

We covered a total of around 5.5 km in very windy conditions, however, the mountain afforded us shelter from the worst of it for most of the way except when we were on the high ridge and almost got blown off the path at times. It was good to see the fynbos recovering from the burn, but the number of alien species was cause for alarm.

A Cold Morning in Fernkloof

Only four intrepid Hurriers turned up for our Fernkloof walk this morning.  We traversed around Lemoenkop, past the dams, and then down along the Mossel river as far as the main road.  Yesterday’s rains meant that the water was up and we could go no further.  It was really good to see the odd waterfall and walk along the burbling stream and, luckily, the rain had stopped so we stayed dry.

It was our first walk since Robin passed away, so we stopped and had a minute’s silence whilst we remembered him and the great contribution he made to our group.  We will miss him and his wisdom.

Blown Away!

Our walk this morning was planned by Fran to ascend the ZigZag, traverse along the Jeep Track, and then descend down to Vogelgat via Mossel Nook.  It started off pretty windy but six brave ladies and I decided to proceed – until we reached the top of the ZigZag – at which point the wind, which had, until then, been impeded by the mountain, hit us with its full force!  I was blown off the path and Fran had her spectacles blown off her face.  Luckily we found them, along with her hat, but we quickly decided to abandon the windy heights and set off back down to the contour path instead.  We had a good walk in the end, covering only around 4.3 km, but it was at least in a protected environment and we could proceed without fear of being blown away.

Fernkloof Walk

This morning’s walk in Fernkloof could not have taken place under better conditions.  No wind, and some welcome sunshine to warm our backs when we came out of the shade.  There were nine of us present and we walked 7 km over Kanonkop and down Adder’s Ladder – and I still cannot find that elusive Hottentot Buttonquail!