16 February 2010

Silvermine: Amphitheatre Path Again

14 February 2010

Location: Silvermine

Walkers: Dorothy, Helen Richard & Claudia with dogs Daisy & Roxy

**** Route plotted here ****

For my first walk along this route see here.

Our plan was to follow the Amphitheatre Path in a clockwise direction. Setting out from the parking area near the dam, we headed along the main gravel road for a short way before taking a path to the right. This path climbed steadily through the fynbos.

We were heading to the top of the hill and then walking along the contour path that runs along the top of the amphitheatre, towards Contstantiaberg. The dam in the valley was almost always visible on our right below.

The climb was an easy and pleasant one. We were glad it was fairly early in the day as it was really warming up. Hot and sunny!

We were happy to reach the rocky outcrops at the top of the hill.

Fabulous views in all directions! The Back Table and Devil's Peak to the east; Noordhoek, Long Beach and Chapman's Peak to the west; and the rest of Silvermine, with Elsies Peak and Simonstown beyond to the south.

We saw plenty of summer flowers. These included: pretty blue Aristea africana, lots of lilac Pseudoselago serrata with bright red Crassula coccinea, yellow pompom Hermas villosa (common name: Tinderleaf) and gorgeous orange Wastonia tabularis.

And just starting to open: the handsome King protea, Protea cynaroides.

Beasties! Teeny tiny spider on Hermas villosa, and a beetle on a Watsonia tabularis.

My favourite part was the walk along the plateau on top.

Richard found a rock with a hollow, a perfect natural drinking bowl for the thirsty dogs. Roxy even had a wallow! The dogs went through four litres of water on this walk, which Richard carried as there were no streams running now in the middle of summer.

As always, it was nice walking with the dogs - they have so much fun! Daisy liked leading the way, while Roxy ran back and forth the whole time. She probably did three times the distance we did. We walked on; the path is very clear. At the cairn we went straight.

After a while the path began to descend gently.

We stopped for snacks in the shady spot.

As we continued down there was a section where the vegetation was thick and tall - this aea is boggy in winter. Not sure what this plant is called, with the little red bobbles, perhaps some sort of Brunia? I love the soft green foliage, it's delightful to walk through.

The path came out on the gravel road, which we followed back down. It was really hot now and that dam looked very appealing.

We had a wonderful swim in the cool water, so refreshing!

(Photos by Helen)

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