We nearly lost out on a walk as it was raining when we woke up, but Sue sms-ed with a bright and cheerful message to get out of bed and join her at Newlands Forest because it was clearing up. (Sue was full of the joys of life - or should I say joie de vivre - having been to the France vs USA World Cup soccer match at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night which was a really exciting event by all accounts.)
When we arrived we realized it was one of our best places - the Dogwoods. They are quite strict here and have a special poo bin, so once we had the poos done, bundled in plastic bags and popped in the bin, we set off: Paul and Pauline, Sue, the Foodlady, the Alpha Male (feeling better after his bacterial invasion), Dougal and me. Here is Paul with his red shoes on a carpet of red pine needles, with the AM looking on. It was quite wet from the storm last night, and the streams were in full spate. Some were easy to cross, but others were not and we had to be carried across. (You can see the white water in the photo below.) At one raging stream, the Alpha Male threw Dougal across the white swirling water onto the rocks on the other side, and made the Food Lady rather cross but then she and I will never understand the male psyche. Dougal said he preferred being chucked across and risking a broken leg or two to being carried, so everyone was happy in the end. Deep in the Dogwoods, we saw some lovely red berries that belong to the Cape Holly (Ilex mitis), and along Alice's path we saw some white berries that belong to the Dogwood, (Curtisia dentata). Because it was so wet, the spoil-sport Food Lady didn't bring any tea, which was a pity because it was actually a lovely day as you can see, and all too soon we were back on the road to the carpark. (Dougal and I were ahead chasing enticing smells.) Later on we heard some rather sad news that made us all feel blue. A 14-year old American boy from Texas fell down one of the ladders on the Skeleton Gorge path and died. In this rather appropriately gloomy photo taken on our walk, you can see Skeleton Gorge on the left hand side. Such a sad thing to have happened. We are all feeling so sorry for the boy's family and friends.