24 January 2010

The Saddle

Date: 22 January 2010

Location: Devil's Peak, from Tafelberg Rd

Walkers: Michele & Helen

**** Route plotted here ****

We've been wanting to go up the Saddle again ever since our last attempt was rained out. So we took the opportunity one lovely Friday afternoon. As we started up the steps the late afternoon sunshine beamed down - no chance of rain this time round!

I like the walk up... the path zig-zags at a very comfortable pace.

Before long we'd climbed quite far up and the views down were super.

Across the city bowl we could see Lion's Head and Signal Hill (also known as the Lion's Rump) quite clearly. It is rather sphinx-like isn't it?

Alongside the path we saw some familiar flowers in bloom: Erepsia anceps, Erica abietina, yellow Aspalanthus and this little pink flower which must be something in the pea family.

Also pretty Pseudoselago serrata. Hello, old friend! This is one of the first wild flowers I learnt to identify and remains one of my favourites.

The grasses and dried leaves alongside the path are charming too.

It was really good to be up on the mountain again.

At the top of the ascent the path contours to the left, around to the Saddle itself - namely, the plateau between Devil's Peak and Table Mountain.

What a treat awaited us around the corner... the whole hillside was pink!

As we walked through it we saw that it was erica (Erica hirtiflora I reckon). The sweet little flower tubes were slightly fuzzy and in every shade of pink.

The path went right through the pink slope.

Dotted around we also saw this yellow flower which I think is Helichrysum cymosum, common name yellow-tipped strawflower.

And handsome bright red Crassula coccinea.

Behind us the sun was getting close to dropping behind Table Mountain. Everything seemed to glow in the last rays.

We wandered around a bit on the plateau, thinking that as soon as the weather cools a bit we should come back and continue the walk from the Saddle up to the top of Devil's Peak.

Up here we also spotted a pretty dark blue Agapathus. Psoralea pinnata, with small blue flowers, was growing in the steam bed.

There were several Watsonia tabularis blooms to be seen too.

Once the sun had gone we made our way down the same route.

(Photos by Helen & Michele)

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