22 May 2011

Kloof Corner: Up and Down

Date: 18 May 2011

Location: Table Mountain

Walkers: Dorothy, Helen & Michele

More Kloof Corner walks... see the archive here.

Got to love a public holiday in the middle of the week! After voting in our local government elections we decided to head up the mountain for a short walk. It was a warm and sunny afternoon, with a bit of cloud swirling around on the mountain. Great weather for walking.

I love the views on this walk. City Bowl, Devil's Peak and beyond to the left, and Twelve Apostles and Camp's Bay to the right.

And on the slopes: fluffy Brunia.

Also, lots of Oxalis, mostly in various shades of pink.

But also some white ones, with buttery yellow centres.

This walk is a steady climb uphill. We took it slow. Dorothy's still recovering from an operation on her foot and I've not exercised as much as I should have over the last couple of months and have been feeling very sluggish and unfit as a result. It felt very good to be out on the mountain again, and the exertion felt good. Must get back to walking more regularly.

Once we reached the contour we sat for a while, enjoying the view, before heading down the same route.

This little guy was hopping about the rocks.


21 May 2011

Newlands: Mid-forest Meander

Date: 14 May 2011

Location: Newlands Forest

Walkers: Michele & Helen

For all walks in Newlands Forest see the Newlands Forest archive.

Michele and I headed to our favourite Newlands Forest for a late afternoon walk. The weather was cool, still and misty. Distinctly gloomy.

We turned off the main path and walked up alongside the river.

There was some water in the stream, but not much. When are our winter rains going to start in earnest I wonder? We need them so badly.

We followed the pipe up the clearing and then straight onwards.

When there was a gap in the trees we could see how low the clouds were.

Before we reached the Woodcutters trail we took another path to the right and then proceeded to zig-zag our way down the hill, slowly, through the lovely indigenous forest.

I presume these net trays are there to collect something, seeds perhaps? This time of year all they seemed to be catching was falling leaves.

Autumn very much in evidence in the foliage.

It wasn't long til we reached the quiet of the pines.

I'm not sure what this plant is... a garden escapee of some kind I would guess. Such a vivid orange on a grey day.

Won't be long now til the last of the leaves fall.


18 May 2011

Lower Zambezi: Chongwe Falls

Date: 2 May 2011

Location: Royal Zambezi Lodge, in the Lower Zambezi Valley, Zambia

Walkers: Helen, Dorothy, Dom, the rest of the gang, plus our guides

More from my visit to Zambia: the lodge, various fishing trips, game drives, a walking safari and a canoe safari.

Our group went on an expedition to see the waterfalls on the Chongwe River. This meant a half an hour drive into the bush, up into the hills.

As we arrived we were delighted to see that the staff from the lodge had set up a picnic lunch for us: under a magnificent tree there were drinks and a delicious lunch waiting.

We thoroughly enjoyed our refreshments.

Then we strolled down the road to the big pool at the base of the falls. It looked fabulous for swimming but we were warned that it is not safe due to crocodiles. Eeek!

Our guide led us up a path and over the rocks to see the falls.

The water was flowing strongly through the weathered rocks. We'd been heading for a small pool that is sometimes good for swimming but there the river was far too full.

Instead we went back to the road and took another path up the hill.

There was a lot of this pink flowering shrub on the wayside.

This route brought us to another body of water above the falls. This pool was shallow and rocky, and was deemed safe for paddling and swimming. It was so good to cool off in the water!

Lots of large red dragonflies were flitting about.

What an idyllic spot to while away an afternoon.

All to soon it was time to go, an uneventful drive back to the lodge.