15 February 2013

Disas and botomists

Last Sunday, the Alph and the Food Lady upped and left us all alone in the night to fend for ourselves (luckily they did feed us first) while they proceeded to have the time of their lives on a wonderful hike, but being dogs, we forgive and forget, and I will allow the FL some space on my blog to share her photos. 
This is the Orange Kloof Tented Camp where they spent Friday night having a braai and getting to know the other hikers. (Apparently the Alph and FL forgot to take the bag of charcoal that the FL put at the front door - probably because they were feeling guilty at leaving us and forgot to pack it.) They joined Micky, who had organised it all, Bettina, Meg, Cathy, Carolina, Louise, Sandy and Cyril.
The Alph looking like a pukka tour guide leader the next morning when they let out up Orange Kloof - with Meg and Carolina. 
The weather was rather mizzly - autumn in the air? This is Gladiolus monticola - Autumn Pipes all drippy and shiny.
Hiking up Orange Kloof.  Watsonia tabularis in the foreground.
The Alph was intrigued with the tunnels and dams up here. They thought this must be the start of the Apostles Tunnel built in the 1960s to take water down from the dams to Cape Town.
Where no dogs are allowed to tread.
At the top of the mountain they had to take shelter from the rain in the Waterworks Museum - and the Food Lady thought we would be interested in this dog that lived up here for a bit with its owner, the Site Engineer Robert Esdon, who helped build the Woodhead Tunnel. The chap on the log is TW Cairncross, the main Tunnel Engineer.
Luckily for the Food Lady some of the hikers were interested in flowers - the botomists (or lobotomists) - so named because they also like to get down into the undergrowth with lo bottoms in the air. This is the polliniferous  Wind Heath (Erica hispidula).
Mist rolling in over De Villiers Dam.
Arriving at the Overseer's Cottage where they spent Saturday night and where no dogs are allowed.
The Food Lady waxing lyrical.
A fire was made to dry out boots, socks and all ...
City lights from Table Mountain. Luckily for us Simon was back on Saturday to at least let us sleep inside and not out in the rain and wind.
Setting out on Sunday morning.
Looking back to the Overseer's Cottage and beyond to Cape Point.
Trying to raise Xolise and tell him what time to bring the bags to the Cable Station. (But, as they discovered later, SOMEONE had copied his telephone number down incorrectly!)
Most of Cape Town (and their dogs!) had turned out to see
the Red Disa (Disa uniflora)!
Tea time at the start of the Aqueduct.
Red Disas under every bridge. Cathy and Sandy Familiar Chat-watching with iPad at hand to identify birds.
The Alph leading the way out of the jungle. Carolina looking relieved to see the proper path.
Micky doing some last minute misty botomising and photographing the Golden Orchid,  
its petals flecked with gold dust. 

They caught the cable car down and waited at the car park for their bags to arrive - the slight delay mainly thanks to the Food Lady not entering Xolise's telephone number correctly on her phone! I hope this Jack Russel's humans remember that their dog is behind the land rover!
All in all it looked like a good hike - and in just the weather that we Scots enjoy!

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