28 June 2010

Up, up and away

Noordhoek Beach was the start of today's walk up Chapmans Peak. Sue, Paul and Pauline, the Alpha Male, the Food Lady, Dougal and me - all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
We were a bit puzzled by this sign at the start and thought we might have to walk on a separate path which was a bit alarming but luckily there were no SANPArks officials there yet and we struck out across the beach together and got to the start of the walk safely.
The boardwalk is the clue that you are on the right track!
Then it was across the road and up and up and up...
There was a helicopter hovering far below us and we wondered why.
Lots of pretty flowers for the Food Lady to photograph - although we kept her on her toes helping us up and over the rocks. This is Ruschia macowanii.
A well-earned tea at the top of Chapmans Peak - with me standing guard - and being waited on with bits of beano, Melissa's muesli rusks and water! The others had dates (Paul will send us his Internet link so we can all learn about dates) and Sue's crunchies, and Pauline had some date slices. Yum.
Me playing Sentinel during tea. (Paul took this photo.)
After tea Paul went exploring and stopped for a quick, quiet contemplative moment to ponder the real Sentinel.
We couldn't quite figure out how to get down there too.
And the Food Lady found this little Euphorbia tuberosa.
The mountainside was very biodiverse this morning. (See I've been listening to the Food Lady reading out Veld & Flora!) This was a very friendly male Orange-Breasted Sunbird sitting on a pincushion bush.
And we also found this tiny little lizard - that, according to Ernst van Jaarsveld - is a young Southern Rock Agama (Agama atra atra). We weren't allowed to eat it!
A Babiana villosula growing in the middle of the path. Could spring be in the air already!
There was definitely a spring in our steps! Coming down to Chapmans Peak Drive - tails still up despite it being quite warm. We were invigorated by the delicious water in all the little streams tumbling down the mountainside.
On our way back to fetch the cars at Noordhoek Beach we saw lots of ambulances and Metro Rescue vehicles on Chapmans Peak Drive - so whatever it is, this must have been the reason for the helicopter we saw earlier. (Found out later it was a missing person.)
Looking back at the civil engineering feats on Chapmans Peak Drive.

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