02 May 2010

Tokai Plantation

Date: 2 May 2010

Location: Tokai

Walkers: Dorothy and Helen

On our last visit to Tokai forest we strolled around the Arboretum and explored the stream.

This time we decided to walk up the hill and into the plantation proper.

We took the main path up. This route goes all the way up to Elephant's Eye cave. We followed the little elephant signs, although we had no plans to walk as far as the cave.

This path was a pleasant climb, getting the heart rate up nicely. At regular intervals we crossed the forest jeep tracks (mostly used by mountain-bikers on the weekends). They're conveniently labelled Level 1, Level 2 etc. so we could track our progress easily.

I'd walked in a similar forest the day before and again appreciated the gentle light, the stillness and the clean scent of the pines. I adore trees!

There were boulders amongst these pines. We also noticed evidence of logging. I think the authorities are slowly but surely clearing away the plantation here like they have done elsewhere. I wonder what it will look like in ten years, fifty years?

Although as we climbed higher we saw plenty of younger trees too.

Once we got up to Level 5 we could see out over the trees tops. To our left we looked towards Muizenberg, an usual view of those familiar mountains.

In the other direction we saw Table Mountain and Devil's Peak.

Directly below us stretched the suburb of Tokai.

We strolled right along the Level 5 road. It was lovely and peaceful walking along here, with mountain bikes occasionally whizzing past us.

After a way we emerged from the trees onto the open hillside. Sunshine!

We loved it here, a part of the mountain we'd never walked on before. And we couldn't have been blessed with a lovelier day for a walk outdoors! After a while the road looped back and headed into the plantation again.

We rejoined the main path and followed the steps back down.

Finally we wandered through the Arboretum and back to our waiting cars.

(Photos by Helen)

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