Date: 18 July 2009
Location: from Constantia Nek to Newlands Forest via the contour path
Walkers: Michele, Helen, Dom, Ant and dogs Henry and Sharky
**** Route plotted here ****
After meeting and leaving a car at Newlands Forest we drove on to Constantia Nek, and set off along the contour path back towards Newlands. This path starts as a wide forestry track through the pine plantation, facilitating side-by-side strolling and lots of chatter. And all the recent rain meant plenty of mud and puddles for the dogs to bound through.
As we passed Cecilia Forest the path narrowed and began to climb and we got a wonderful view down to the reservoir at Kirstenbosch (full after all the rain!) and the Southern Suburbs beyond.
The contour path along this stretch hugs the side of the hill and offers superb view of the peaks ahead. We were now walking through fynbos.
The contour path then lead us past first Nursery Ravine and then Skeleton Gorge, through deep shady forest and past streams and waterfalls flowing strongly. In several places we saw rocks strewn about, fallen trees and wooden boardwalks adrift, no doubt recent storm damage.
Beyond Skeleton the path began to zig-zag rather steeply uphill, to get above some scree. Phew, it was a short but tough climb! We followed the route markers across the moss-covered rocks, and took a break to catch our breath, enjoy a snack and look up to the cliff-face above us.
We continued on into Newlands Forest.
Here we left the contour path and made our way downhill. The streams here in Newlands were in full spate too, and there was plenty of debris about. Part of the path was covered by a mudslide. It was a quick walk down and back to our waiting car.
(Photos by Michele and Helen)