08 July 2010
Jojolu Track over Cave Peak
Date: 4 July 2010
Location: Silvermine East, above St James and Kalk Bay, from Boyes Dr
Walkers: Dominic and Helen, with dogs Henry and Sharky
*** Route plotted here ***
Previous walk in this vicinity here.
We set off up the Old Mule Path towards Ou Kraal. As always, this was a lovely way to get up the mountain... a gentle steady climb, with glorious views: St James and Kalk Bay directly below, Fish Hoek and Simon's Town across the bay in the middle and far distance respectively.
The dogs were excited to be out and about. So many interesting smells!
False Bay looked calm and blue down below.
I was so happy to see Lobostemon in flower again.
It wasn't long til we reached Ou Kraal, the rocky rise to the left at the top of the path.
From here we looked out to False Bay again, seeing Hangklip in the distance. It was a very clear day.
When we looked towards the mountains to our right we could clearly see Cave Peak on the left and Ridge Peak on the right, with Echo Valley between them. This was where we were heading: Echo Valley first, then up to Cave Peak.
We turned left onto the Hilltop path, following it down to the stream and the intersection called Weary Willy's. From here it was right towards Echo Valley. The path climbed through lush fynbos.
After a while we saw the path we wanted, clearly signposted, to the left: the Jojolu Track. It is called "Jojolu" on the sign and on my map, but "Jojulu" in Mike Lundy's Best Walks - I'm not sure which name is correct. This path led us directly to and then up Cave Peak.
We made quick progress up the rocky path.
The slope was very sunny, with several sunbirds darting about.
After a final short steep climb we reached the top!
I almost got vertigo looking back down.
Up top there were all sorts of interesting rock formations.
As we walked across Fish Hoek came into view on the other side.
Our path took us down a short way onto the Fish Hoek side of the peak. On this south-facing slope we were surprised to find some large yellow-wood trees and lots of bushy shrubs and ferny undergrowth. Beautiful!
And amongst the rocks and into the cliff-face: many caves!
We didn't explore into the caves at all, other than peeking into the entrance of Boomslang Cave. I remember walking around these Kalk Bay mountains with my brother many years ago, looking for the entrance to this cave but not being able to find it. Now the name has been daubed onto the rock at the entrance. Apparently Boomslang Cave goes right through the mountain - if you know where you're going and are prepared to wriggle through on your tummy you can go in here and pop out on the Echo Valley side of the mountain. Pretty amazing, but not for me.
A very attractive Hangertjie, Erica coccinea, was growing beside the path.
After exploring the area we got one last look down to Kalk Bay Harbour far below before a short climb took us back up on top.
From here the path led onwards across the plateau beyond Cave Peak. Along this section we passed a couple of sink-holes. It would not be sensible to stray from the path or wander up here in bad weather or low light as falling down a hole is a distinct possibility. We saw signboards near them but the wording has completely weathered away - I presumed they warned of the potential danger. New signs needed methinks.
We saw one lone Protea cynaroides in flower. Reminds me of a sun.
After a way a path came in on our left: the path that comes up from Klein-tuin Kloof. We continued straight, signposted towards the Amphitheatre on the route marker. But at the next fork, instead of turning left and heading to the Amphitheatre, we turned right down to Echo Valley.
False Bay was again visible in front of us.
It was an easy walk down into the valley.
And it was peaceful there, the valley very protected between the two peaks.
Spindly felicia bushes with cheerful blue daisy flowers lined the edges of the path. I'd hazard a guess at this one being Felicia aethiopica, which apparently grows in bushy and rocky places on upper and lower slopes. If not, it could be one of several other felicia varieties that grow in the Cape.
We walked down into and through the indigenous forest. It was noticeably cooler here... a treat in summer, but really rather chilly during winter. We stopped for a short while but then hurriedly walked on into the sun.
We continued on. Down - down - down.
These old trees covered in old man's beard caught my eye. Such beautiful forms, they hardly looked real.
We soon passed the turn-off for the Jojolu Track that we'd taken earlier. We'd now completed our circuit, and continued back down the same way we'd come up, via Ou Kraal and the Old Mule Path.
Alongside the path we spotted our first babiana of the season. Babiana villosula I think. It looked like it had just opened up!
And this cutie-pie is Romulea flava if I'm not mistaken.
We spotted one or two Chasmanthe aethiopica too.
And we walked past many lime-green-yellow Leucadendrons as we we made our way back down to the road below. Excellent walk.
(Photos by Helen)