22 September 2011

Table Mountain: Return to "Puff Adder Alley"

Date: 17 September 2011

Location: Table Mountain

Walkers: Helen, Dominic and dogs

*** Route plotted here ***

Archive off all my walks on this route here.

"Puff Adder Alley" is a nickname for a route on Table Mountain I used to walk often: up Platteklip as far as the intersection with the contour; left along the contour path, taking the right fork at the split (that is, the upper contour), til you reach the Saddle Path; then down and back along the road. The upper contour section is home to at least one puff adder, seen several times sunning himself right on the path - hence this name a friend came up with. Of course every time I walk there I now think about snakes ;-)

As I hadn't done this walk for a good long while, I was excited about heading out on a bright spring morning, with my friend Dom and his gang of dogs. The route up Platteklip Gorge was very busy.

All the rain we've had recently meant that the steams and waterfalls were all flowing strongly, and the vegetation was looking very green and lush.

And of course there were lots and lots of flowers!

Albuca... Moraea... Spiloxene... Lobostemon...

... and darling little Gladiolus carneus, the painted lady.

The views from the contour path over the city and harbour were wonderful.

It made me so happy to see all these bright colourful flowers, many of them old friends from previous spring-times.

First of the season (for me) for Protea nitida...

... and Watsonia tabularis.

There was so much to see along the path that walking was slow, and there was lots of bending down for close-ups.

These two were particularly tiny: Drosera and Heliophilia.

A highlight of the every walk here is passing under the oak tree. It provides welcome shade on hot summer days, but this time of year its bright green canopy was the attraction. A leafy cave.

Hereabouts we spotted Cyphia and another Moraea...

... and a plenty of Pelargoniums.

The waterfall along "Puff" was mossy and ferny. I love this part of the mountain. It was quiet - we didn't encounter any other walkers. Or snakes either. I was half-hoping to see a puff adder even though they terrify me.

These drier slope is home to Trachyandra, Hermannia and Serruria.



Firefly the Travel Guy said...

The amount of flowers on this route are really amazing and then there are the views across the city bowl to add to that. I'm planning to try and do Platteklip Gorge when we are in Cape Town late December / January, and hopefully there will still be something to see at that time of summer.

Marie said...


Quin said...

Wow the most beautiful scenerie and the gorgeous flowersare all so stunning, would love to go on a trip like that!!!