18 October 2009

Silvermine: Klein-tuin Kloof & Crassula Path

Date: 18 October 2009

Location: Silvermine East

Walkers: Helen, Michele & Dorothy

**** Route plotted here ****

Setting off from the parking area at Silvermine East (Gate 2) we followed the gravel road, past the waterfall and up into the hills.

Wow, there was an abundance of yellow flowers! Daisies and vygies...

... gorgeous Wachendorfia paniculata....

... and cape gorse, Aspalanthus (more than one variety) amongst others.

We walked towards the peak, Klein-tuinkop, finally leaving the road and taking a path to our right that contoured around the front of the mountain.

The view of Silvermine West behind us was breathtaking!

Noordhoek came into as we rounded the hill. The blue of the ocean matched the dazzling blue of the sky. And look, there's Chapman's Peak!

A couple of purple flowers caught my eye along this stretch. Roella ciliata.

And this spectacular Pseudoselago. There are two similar varieties, spuria and serrata, most easily told apart by their leaves. I think this is spuria.

But I wasn't paying much attention to the leaves. Oh, the buds! The flowers!

From the contour, our path began to climb as we got into Klein-tuin Kloof.

About midway along we looked back at the path we'd come along, snaking along the hillside behind us. And we looked up towards the top of the kloof. It was a very gentle climb. What a lovely valley this is - we didn't see a soul and felt very far away from the city and civilization.

It wasn't long til we reached the crest.

Hello False Bay! If we'd carried on straight we'd have gone down Echo Valley, into Kalk Bay.

Instead we turned left to the Amphitheatre.

From here we took the Crassula Path, clearly signposted. This route took us up and out, and then along the central plateau of Silvermine, in a northerly direction.

Behind us we could see all the way to Simon's Town, and ahead all the way to Constantiaberg and beyond. Aah, yes, there's nothing like that 'top of the mountain' feeling. I love it!

Some flat rocks provided the perfect picnic spot.

Then it was a short climb down, and an easy walk on the sandy flats.

Very typical Cape fynbos scenery seen here: reeds and grasses on the damp sandy flats, with shrubs and bushes growing vigorously on the slopes, and rocky outcrops above.

Moraea collina and everlasting, Syncarpha speciossisma.

Also, sundews, Drostera. These were plumper and larger than any I've seen before (about 6cm in diameter) but sadly not in flower at the moment.

After crossing the road we joined the Old Fisherman's Track which look us to the right of Maiden's Peak and back to the Waterfall, where we re-joined the road and had a short walk back to the start.

(Photos by Helen and Michele)


louise said...

Hi Helen. Came across your excellent blog whilst looking for Cape Town walking info. A group of friends are starting a twice monthly walking group and I was looking for inspiration which you have certainly provided. Wanted to ask you about safety. We have decided not to walk if we are less than a group of three, but notice that you sometimes walk with only one other person. Do you feel safe enough to do that?
Well done on your blog, you must put a lot of effort in, which is much appreciated. Regards Louise

Helen said...

Thanks for your kind words Louise.
Yes, security is a concern, and I would definitely recommend a group of three or more. There are one or two places that feel safer, like Cape Point or Silvermine or Lions Head, and then sometimes only two of us walk. Not ideal though.