05 December 2010
Lion's Head: Training Walk, Week 5
Date: 4 December 2010
Location: Lion's Head
Walkers: Michele & Helen
For other training walks see here, and for the Lion's Head archive see here.
Before: I needed a lie-in this morning so only met Michele mid-morning for our fifth walk up the Head. Time was limited so our plan was to walk quickly. And we were certainly hoping for a little less excitement than last week.
A friend wondered if we were getting bored doing the same route very week, but we're not - at all. Of course Lion's Head is a great walk with fabulous scenery round every bend, but it goes beyond that. We're enjoying the ritual and routine of following the same path every time, of keeping track of our progress and comparing our experiences each walk. And observing the changes in the environment week by week.
The walk: First thing we noticed was that the verges along the jeep track had been mown. Boo, nothing whatsoever left of the Watsonia we'd admired a month ago or any of the other wayside plants.
The trudge up the hill doesn't seem to get any easier. Every week I find it tough to climb straight away, without a proper warm-up. The best way for me to manage this is to walk really slowly and steadily, without stopping, until I've got into my stride. Michele was leading the way today so I did my best to keep up with her, which got me huffing and puffing a bit. I thought I was doing okay though, until the paraglider porters whizzed past us with their enormous packs! Man, those guys are speedy and super-fit!
As we continued on we saw that the cloud had descended, and was wafting around the peak.
We paused briefly to admire this yellow daisy shrub (not sure what it is).
And to see the bees and bugs enjoying the flowers of the blister bush, Peucedanum galbanum.
As we circled round towards the city bowl again the misty cloud was pouring over Kloof Nek into the city bowl and racing across the slopes.
It was breezy on the path but not so much that we felt in any danger. And the drifts of cloud were very atmospheric and beautiful.
We made it up to the plateau, where we stopped for a few minutes for refreshments. Cloud was thicker up here, cold wind blowing. We decided against the final climb (more to do with time than weather or energy-levels) and turned around here.
On the way down we got occasional glimpses of view as the clouds cleared momentarily. Hello, Camps Bay.
Despite the cloud, the paragliders were still jumping. We watched a take-off. The wing gets laid out, and all the connections checked carefully. This was a tandem jump, so both jumpers were clicked into their harnesses and strapped together. The helpers then lifted the wing to catch the wind and just-like-that they sailed up into the sky, to join the others.
This looks like such a jol. I want to do it!
After: An easy walk, all good. Home for tea!