30 April 2012

YUM! Quality Street Toffees

Good old-fashioned Quality Street toffees. Sugary snack on our Landeskloof walk.

YUM! Oat Snap Biscuits

These delicious cookies were part of our picnic beside the stream in Landeskloof in the Anysberg.

Anysberg: Landsekloof

Date: 13 April 2012

Location: Anysberg Nature Reserve

Walkers: Dorothy, Michele, Brenda & Helen

Anysberg Map (.pdf 1.6MB)

Our second day at Anysberg was clear and sunny, and we set off after breakfast for a walk to Landeskloof. We had a signboard to point us in the right direction and a sandy road to follow, along the plateau towards the Anysberg ridge.

We paused along the way to watch a herd of shy hartebees pass by in the distance. Well camouflaged!

And we saw few flowers: this one is chironia I think.

Quite a lot of this tiny pink erica.

This is also a fynbos plant. Some sort of leucadendron perhaps?

Slowly but surely we got closer to the mountain. The road swung round so that we approached the kloof straight on. It was really quite exciting!

The road ended in a small parking area (the road is rough, suitable for 4x4s only) and a footpath continued on into the kloof itself.

It was easy walking. And the rocky scenery was spectacular.

A citronella pelargonium was growing everywhere, scenting the air with its lovely fragrance. When we rubbed the leaves it was quite overpowering.

Deep into the kloof there were rocks and ferns...

... and a gorgeous stream!

We sat near at the water's edge for a while. It was so peaceful. The sun came out. We filled our water bottles from the steam: the water cold, crystal-clear and sweet... delicious!

Red cliffs above us. Up there were some baboons barking their dissatisfaction at having us in their kloof.

Little insects playing on the surface of the water, enchanting us with their dance. Sudden bursts of frantic activity.

After a rest and some snacks we headed back along the same route.

Other flora spotted in the kloof: this one, identity unknown.

Lovely oxalis.

A crassula of some sort?

Twirly creeper all over the daisies.

Succulents thrive in the arid environment.

Aloes too.

Also happy in the sand was this unusual flower. Perhaps a nerine?

So delicate and pretty.

And we found a single remaining flower on the ubiquitous citronella pelargonium.

We left the kloof behind us and headed back along the road. It was rather a trudge in the hot sun.

We passed an unfortunate dead hartebees. Gory but somewhat fascinating.

Spectacular view up the valley.

And then back to the reservoir for a swim.


29 April 2012

Anysberg: Back to the Dams

Date: 12 April 2012

Location: Anysberg Nature Reserve

Walkers: Dorothy, Michele, Brenda & Helen

Anysberg Map (.pdf 1.6MB)

After our morning walk we lunched, read and napped. Several showers of rain came down, but by late afternoon the rain had abated, and we ventured out once more. A walk back to the dams.

On the way we detoured to the small graveyard.

The yellows and greys and greens of the vegetation were so soft and easy on the eye. I know the knitters in my family would love to combine these shades in a jersey.

The greys and blues above were beautiful too.

This time we took the route signposted to "Rooidamme", a rather overgrown short cut to the dams.

It was lovely at the dams... extremely quiet and peaceful. But the wind got up and blew some more rain in, so we hurried back.

But it soon cleared away and the sunset was gorgeous.


24 April 2012

Exploring Anysberg

Date: 12 April 2012

Location: Anysberg Nature Reserve

Walkers: Dorothy, Michele, Brenda & Helen

Anysberg Map (.pdf 1.6MB)

The last hour of my journey to Anysberg was in the dark, so I was up early the following morning to see what the place looked like. From our little cottage we looked east to the Swartberg in the distance.

We were in a wide flat valley. Looking north-east we could see the reserve office and camp site a short distance away, with the hills of the Matjiesgoedberg behind.

And south of us: the Anysberg itself, a long ridge with deep kloofs.

We set off to do some exploring beyond the accommodation compound.

There are four cottages grouped together, and a fifth near the office.

And that is pretty much all there is in the Anysberg. Apart from lots and lots of fresh air, big skies, wide open space and peaceful silence.

One rough dirt road runs through the reserve, from the Montagu/Touws River side to the Laingsberg/Ladismith side.

And there is another wonderful attraction near the office - a reservoir swimming pool. It has a spacious wooden deck and some shade, and the water is fresh sweet mountain water. A fantastic spot to relax.

The view back to the cottages.

Another thing you'll see in the reserve is horses. When not being used for the two-day horse trail the ponies roam free. We saw several munching on the grass at the edge of the camp site.

We decided to walk on to the dam, following the road north.

The vegetation is an interesting mix of fynbos and desert plants.

Thorn bushes, succulents and reeds.

Our route took us below the dam wall.

Here the bush was a bit thicker. Thick and scratchy.

At the end of the road we climbed up onto the dam wall.

The water level in the dam was very low indeed now. Winter rain needed!

As we walked along I enjoyed the sound of the wind in the reeds.

There are actually several dams in a row, all of them low.

But very scenic nevertheless, with the mountain backdrop.

And we saw more horses too. They were eating the pond weed.

There is a wooden jetty, a couple of meters above the current water level. One is meant to be able to kayak on these dams, but not now. Instead we sat on the jetty and had a little picnic.

And watched the amazing cloud. This one looked like an atomic explosion.

More pretty skies on the way back.

But the weather was definitely changing. Dorothy and I braved a swim - freezing cold but wonderfully refreshing - just in time before the wind strengthened and the rain clouds gathered.