02 May 2010

Newlands: Contour Path Loop

Date: 1 May 2010

Location: Newlands Forest

Walkers: Michele and Helen

Have a look at the Newlands Forest archive for all the walks done here.

As we set out on our walk we looked up to see the moon hanging in the sky. Hello beautiful moon!

We followed our usual route, left at the main entrance and along the lane.

Instead of taking an early right we walked on a little further, crossing a stream (very low, winter rains urgently needed!) and following the gravel road until we saw our path. This stepped path headed right, straight up into the forest at a very comfortable gradient.

The morning light filtering through the trees was just gorgeous!

And here, growing in the pine needles, we saw quite a few mushrooms.

There is something so special about the hushed calm under pine trees. Even though we'd been walking for only a short while I was feeling so relaxed and far removed from the bustle of the city.

The path dipped downand we passed under tall tree ferns growing beside the boggy path.

The variety of leaf shapes textures and shades of green in forest shrubbery is truly astonishing. The abundance of nature!

Every now and then we got glimpses of the mountain above.

We were now on the Hiddingh path; I remembered walking here once before. The plan was to take the Hiddingh Steps up to the contour path. The route looked straightforward on our map but we could not find the turn-off.

Instead we popped out in a clearing and walked along to join the main track up to the contour path.

From here we proceeded up. It's a short but steepish slog to the contour.

There were wonderful views across to the mountains and city below.

We'd turned left onto the contour and now proceeded across the scree and onto the wooden board-walk section, all the while looking for the Hiddingh Steps down. Again we could not find them, so think perhaps this route has been closed off (or we somehow missed it, or I'm confused about my understanding of this section of the forest!).

I'm pretty certain we came down via the Fernwood Track.

This rather impressive shelf fungi was growing on an old log.

When the track rejoined the road we walked through a clump of a sweet smelling shrub with delightful pink flowers - Indigofera jacunda.

From here it was a short trot down to rejoin the path we'd stared on.

(Photos by Helen and Michele)

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