16 March 2011

Cyclists in the fog

On our way to our walk we encountered some of the Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle tour riders with all their spectators on Edinburgh Drive (Devil's Peak in the background) in the early morning light and wondered how Lucy and Richard were doing. (We subsequently heard they did it in 3.43 hours - so well done you two!)
An appreciative Dawnie watching the cyclists.
There were cyclists everywhere, swishing down the motorway ...
and past Mostert's Mill.
We met Paul and Pauline and Jeanne and Tim (from England) at the gum trees on Tafelberg Road where we left a car and took the landrover to the lower cable station where we started our walk.
Looking down on the cars parked along Tafelberg Road and the foggy harbour. Those are not telephone lines but the cables from the cable car directly above us. Dougal and I were not a bit daunted by the endless steps that confronted us, and ran on ahead - eager to get to the dassies that we could smell. Table Mountain looming ahead. You can see the upper cable station and the cables. Walking up from the lower Cable-car station. No prizes for guessing who belongs to those shoes!
The cranes of the harbour sticking out of the fog. We wished the fog would come up Table Mountain and cool us down.
Pauline on the hot, dry and dusty contour path.
Dawnie following Tim along the Contour Path. You can clearly see the large blocks of sandstone rock that are formed by intersecting fractures (joints) that sometimes overhang the cliff and eventually cleave off and end up as boulders on the lower mountain slopes.
Pauline living dangerously under an overhanging block.
In Platteklip Gorge we found a decent little trickle to refresh ourselves, and Dawnie did her best to immerse her large and expanding frame. (She has put on weight since living chez Voget.)
Onwards and upwards.
"Devil's Peak" was our path - looking rather ominous and hot and fiery in that direction.
There were lots and lots of noisy people toiling up Platteklip gorge - including some elegant joggers.
Coming up to Silverstroom waterfall - with the old stone pines still standing guard. Unfortunately there was no water for us to dip in so the silverstroom was rather a deadlossstroom.
Another overhanging rock just past Silverstroom ravine with Cape Town harbour enveloped in fog.
Paul's sister from England, Jeanne, with the Alpha Male.
Tea-time and an opportunity for some serious photography for Paul. Tim was a bit disappointed in the birdlife, but that's the fynbos for you!
The foggy view of the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point where there was quite a bit of helicopter activity as it was the finish for the Argus Cycle Tour.
Dougal playing the Monarch of the Glen. (We kept getting enticing dassie scents but the FL was rather quick with the leads so we didn't get to have a good chase.)
There weren't many flowers for the foodlady to photograph, it being rather dry and dusty, but the Wabooms (Protea nitida) were starting to bloom. Ah-ha - another flower for the foodlady. Gnidia juniperifolia (or possibly G. simplex) which doesn't seem to have a common name other than the general Saffron Bush for all gnidias. I wonder if gnus like to gnibble on gnidias?
Red Heaths (Erica abietina subsp. abietina) line the path on the way down to the cars.
These ericas are endemic to the upper slopes and top of Table Mountain, but commonly occur on the 500 m contour on the Devils Peak slopes, which was about spot on where we saw them.

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