05 February 2012
Newlands: Ruins in the Forest
Date: 4 February 2012
Location: Newlands Forest
Walkers: Dorothy, Delphi & Helen
February is the hottest month in Cape Town and Newlands Forest is one of the few places to find a walk under cover of trees. Even late in the afternoon and in shade it was still uncomfortably warm, so we took it slow, deciding to meander towards Kirstenbosch rather than taking our usual route uphill. We stopped to peer into the window of the little abandoned cottage nearby the road. It was wet and dark inside. (Perfect spot to dump a body, said D.)
The path led past some beautiful and enormous trees.
And an area where various ferns were flourishing.
After a while we came across the ruins of "Paradise", a cottage from the 18th Century used by the Dutch East India Company's master woodcutter.
Not much to see - just some stone walls and foundations - but it is a peaceful spot, under very tall oaks.
Our path continued on. Many riverbeds were dry, but some still had a trickle. Signs indicated that we were in land that's part of Kirstenbosch Gardens.
We took some steps to our right, a steep climb up the hill...
... until we reached a jeep track, the gardens not far away to our left.
Not many flowers around, but we did see some stems of pretty Heliophilia.
And this pale blue five-petalled star, identity unknown.
We turned back to Newlands, through a stand of messy eucalyptus trees.
Down the hill and up again into the deep shade of the pines.
And then down a sandy path through the bracken...
... to a secluded spot beside the river, where we rested for a bit. The day was cooling off at last.
And beyond that yet another, more recent, ruin. What a mess.
And from here a short walk down through the trees. All in all, an interesting and varied walk. We all felt glad we'd ventured out.