A Walk to Sopiesklip

A break in the miserable late December weather allowed us to take a walk to Sopiesklip and back.  Needless to say, with many holiday makers around the beach was very active, but the numbers had thinned out considerably by the time we reached our destination, 6 km from the end of Grotto Beach.  It was a really pleasant walk and gave us a good appetite for the lunch at The Hermanus Brewery on our return.

Hiking at De Bos

De Bos

The cool weather this morning was perfect for the beautiful hike up the kloof to the ruins on the farm. The hiking paths are very well sign posted and the route established by Frank Woodvine a few years ago, is very well maintained. It was exciting to walk through vine growth that had a different leaf shape and to learn that the Bosman family grow some of their rootstock on the farm which is grafted with many varieties of vines including vines that come from Sicily that can handle the the dryer and hotter weather that we are experiencing in South Africa.

The coffee after the hike in their tasting room was delicious and there was a great light lunch menu for those of us who need to escape our “village” that is filling up with happy holiday makers.

We also enjoyed the company of 2 younger walkers who had great smiles on their faces on the way down.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and much joy with your family and friends.

Jenny

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.