29 January 2009

Jonkershoek - Part 1 (The Walk)

Date: 27 January 2009

Location: Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, near Stellenbosch

Walkers: Dorothy, Michele, Helen, Delphi and Jo

This was a first visit to Jonkershoek for all of us. We arrived in the drizzle, with the clouds low down on the mountains. The reserve looked green and empty, with a lonely road winding along the valley floor (this is the 10km circular drive off which the various trails lead).

(Photo by Michele)

We chose the Swartboskloof-Sosyskloof route, a circular walk of 7km, that started by heading gently up the slopes, through the proteas. Even with our rain gear on we quickly got soaked from the wet fynbos, overgrown and waist high in places, and occasional rain showers.

(Photos by Michele)

Taking a wrong turn, we wondered off along a forestry road for a km or two.

(Photo by Michele)

When we caught a glimpse past the pine trees out the reserve and back towards Stellenbosch we confirmed that we'd made a mistake and headed back again.

(Photo by Michele)

Now back on the correct path, we climbed quite steeply, past a look-out hut, and on up the slope. There was still a bit of rain about, and the cloud was low, but this made for dramatic scenes.

(Photo by Michele)

(Photos by Michele) (Photo by Delphi)

The path then flattened out and we walked along the contour for a while. It was windy and felt a bit exposed.

(Photo by Michele)

This path led us deep into the kloof and a patch of ancient forest.

(Photo by Michele)

At last, some shelter from the rain!

(Photos by Delphi)

It was magical in the forest.

(Photos by Michele)

We took the time to take in the details.

(Photo by Delphi) (Photo by Michele)

We made our way out the forest.

(Photo by Michele)

And out of the kloof. The view of the valley below showed us that we had a bit of a descent ahead of us to get back down to the road.

(Photo by Delphi)

But it was an easy walk down and before long we were back at the cars. And the sky was clearing!

(Photo by Michele)

Part 2 of our day in Jonkershoek to follow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely site. Thanks a lot for taking the trouble to put it up. I am going to explore it and come back to it again. Paul