28 December 2012

A hot Christmas hike

 Last Sunday David and Gordon came for the day with Luna, their ladylike Belgian Shepherd. They arrived in a car with antlers. The idea was that they would come on a walkie with us.
With Phil (who is visiting from the Big Smoke), we all set off from the Silvermine Dam carpark
where we met up with Sue, Kerryn (also down from Johannesburg), her parents Harry and Sue and their dog Georgie. It was rather hot as we started the long climb up to the Crags and along to the path up to Elephants Eye Cave.
Surprisingly there were quite a few colourful flowers in the hot fynbos: watsonias - including Watsonia borbonica, named for the "Ile de Bourbon" (now Réunion) as it was mistakenly thought to originate from there,
tubes of lipstick -the Red Crassula (Crassula coccinea) about to burst open,
splendid orange hanging lanterns of Mountain Dahlia (Liparia splendens),
white Cape Snow (Syncarpha vestita) looking for all the world like cupcakes with red icing according to Harry,
and Sewejaartjies (Edmondia sesamoides) - with yellow icing.
We stopped for a water break under some pines -with a fair amount of hilarity.
Dougal being a flowerdog. (Next thing he will be demanding tickets for the AfrikaBurn event!)
Then onwards we pressed. David amongst the flowers.
Our destination: Elephants Eye Cave.
Nearly there: Sue and the Alph, me and Doog. The heat was fierce.
But Luna looked as cool as a cucumber.
 Photo opportunities in the cave: Gordon snapping Harry, Sue and Kerryn.
Me waiting to snap some crumbs ...
Christmas tea in the cave. Phil, the Alph, Sue, Kerryn, David, Harry, Gordon and Sue. (Dogs were passed out in the shade).
Kerryn being cracked up by Gordon. Luna seems to have heard it all before.
Tea and photos over, we stepped out into the furnace once again, but I just couldn't go any further. Help. Someone save me.
 My hero! Thanks Gordon.
Still a long way down ...
More colourful watsonias - this one is the Table Mountain Watsonia (Watsonia tabularis) that only occurs on Table Mountain and nowhere else in the world.
Some of us were most grateful to flop into the water on the way back,
while others still wanted to play fetch the stick. Where does Georgie get her energy!
Dainty Drimia filifolia flowers.
Dougal's turn for a lift. At the Carpark we said goodbye to some of the party who had to go and buy gammons or attend Christenings, and the rest of us went for a swim in the dam.
I tried to take a short cut, but the Alph discovered me sneaking off and chased me up the road.
It was just wonderful to JUMP into the silky cool water.

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