26 March 2011

Castles in the mist

Last week they (Phil, Alice, the FL and the AM) left us behind and went for a walk up Kasteelspoort but I wasn't too phased as I had a bad experience in Kasteelspoort when I was sick and had to be carried down by the Alpha. And although it was foggy in Cape Town, it was too hot for a Scot. So I graciously consented to the Food Lady using my blog to upload some of their photos. They left a car at the Lower Cable Station - Devil's Peak in thick mist. Then they all piled into Alice's car and drove to Camps Bay where they left it Theresa Road, and set out up the mountain. Here is Phil checking that they are on the right track. Climbing up Kasteelspoort in the mist. No view! Phil wondering if this hiking lark is all worth it. (His new shoes still going well.) Lion's Head sticking out of the mist - looking a bit like a shark's fin. More mist - with the Upper Cable Station just visible.Mist billowing up Kasteelspoort. Take note of that ledge right at the top on the right hand (Postern Buttress) side of the gorge as that will feature in a subsequent photo. Alice mustering the rather dejected looking troops. It WILL clear up soon.And she was right. (Alice is always right as far as I am concerned.) It was clear at the top! Here they are sitting on the ruins of the old aerial cableway that was built in 1893 at the top of Kasteelspoort on the edge of Postern Buttress to bring up supplies for the dams they were building on the top. (For some old photos of the cablecar, click here.) Uh-oh, Phil seems to have wandered out onto a ledge.
A very precarious one too - although I wouldn't mind being out there as I have no fear of heights and this is about 700 m high. But I don't think the Food Lady would allow ME up there!
A quick re-fuel at the top of Kasteelspoort. Close up of some of the ruins of the old cableway. Apparently there was a whole village here.

Looking back: the mist rising up Was it heat exhaustion or was the Food Lady seeing things? This looks like a baby dinosaur! And, phor the phood lady, a Phylica dioica.

Still on the right track having negotiated the Valley of the Red Gods, the Valley of Isolation, Ark Valley and now Echo Valley. On the left of the gorge is a strange cartoon-dog face, and on the right, almost in the centre of the photo, you can just see the Upper Cable Station. But there was still a loooong way to go before the ice cold beers.

A little grasshopper on a cone of the endemic Peninsula Conebush (Leucadendron strobilinum).
Climbing the ladders. The King of Proteas - the King Protea (Protea cynaroides).
Looking down at Camps Bay,
and back to Hout Bay.
A gnew gnidia for the Food Lady - this one the Mountain Saffronbush (Gnidia tomentosa). Yet agnother gnidia - but one we have seen before - the Buttonhole Saffronbush (Gnidia oppositifolia).
At last, Platteklip Gorge - and here is the war memorial at the top of the gorge, erected in 1892. (Erroneously saying Maclears Beacon!)

Downing cold Castles. Not really to Phil's taste though. (He is keen on micro-brewery beers.) But the FL thought it was appropriate as we had climbed up a castle so it was time to down one.
Checking that Alice's car (see purple arrow) was still waiting for us at Camp's Bay.
Planning an abseil. (Anyone have a spare R550 to spend?)
Another Familiar Chat.
The cable for the Cable Way.
Looking back at the walk we did last Sunday with Paul and Pauline, Jean and Tim.
And looking up as they sailed down the cableway.
There was a helicopter rescue going on as they descended - two climbers had been doing some free-climbing above the India Venster track and one had fallen to his death. Rather depressing.
More Metro Rescue and emergency vehicles at the Lower Cable Station.
If you look at this photo you can see why it is called India Ravine as it really does look like the map of India. Which reminds me of our dear Alpha's disappointment at the poor show of our cricket team in India. But, as the Food Lady says, she is used to them snatching defeat from the jaws of victory so she wasn't really phased at all.
Dougal was so mad when they arrived home that he ran off with the Food Lady's shoe. (No doubt he tried to bury it in the middle of the Best Flowerbed.) Bad bad dog.

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