26 October 2014

Taking on the Devil with Richard

Richard is briefly back from Cornwall where he and Lucy have decided to go and live. He particularly wanted to climb up Devil's Peak so we decided to make it our Sunday walk last weekend. It was a lovely cool day to start - and Harvey and Phil came too - as well as Kate, Pauline, Sue and Honey.
We zigzagged up the familiar zigzag path, Honey leading the way,
past some pretty Gladiolus debilis flowers,
past the Red Proteas (Protea grandiceps) that were apparently planted here from Jonkershoek long ago,
stopping often to catch our breath and look at the views - you can see Platteklip Gorge looking almost impossible to climb - and the Cable Station a tiny bump at the end,  
up and up and up and up.
Another breather to look over this Leucadendron xanthoconus to Robben Island.
Me, nearly at the top,
with Pauline not far behind,
and Sue and Honey and Richard bringing up the rear.
Another breather for the Food Lady to photograph this daisy - Wolharpuisbos (Euryops pectinatus) -  growing in perfectly rounded clumps all around Devil's Peak,
Kate on top.
And the rest of us too. Well done us.
Teatime - and conducting further research into the behaviour of bubbles at altitude - in this case 1000 m high. Cheers in a penguin tumbler.
'Tea shot' on Devils Peak: the Alph, Pauline, Sue, Kate, Richard and Phil.
Phil pulling a Boston Terrorist face, and Laddie's best buddy, Harvey looking embarrassed.
Then we had the looooong walk down.
The Food Lady wondering how she ever managed the Knife Edge Route.
Bobbles at altitude - an interesting erica found on Devils Peak - the Bearded Tree Erica (Erica triflora) - that only grows on the cool, upper slopes of the Cape mountains. It looks like a white version of the Berry Heath - with round, bobbly flowers.
And now to test some bubbles half way down. Well - we did have two bottles and they are heavy to carry ...
 At this point we left the bubble imbibers at Picnic Rock (after the Food Lady tested some out first of course) - as Phil was pressured for time. We said cheerio to Sue and Pauline, Richard and Kate, and pressed on. Young Harvey is looking as pooped as I feel but he has done about triple the distance of everyone else with his manic running back and forward, so he is entitled to a power nap.
I was a bit worried about leaving Honey and the others in the shade of Picnic Rock, 
but eventually I left them and ran to catch up before the Food Lady started whistling and shouting at me. It was getting rather hot. Last time we were here it was so wet that the paths were like rivers but summer is setting in and the streams are drying up.
The Food Lady found some Moraea bellendenii flowers,
and we stopped for a quick drink of water and for the Food Lady to admire the Small Sundew (Drosea trinervia) flowers. Then it was downhill all the way 
back to the car.
We dropped Phil and Harvey back and looked up at the formidable Devil's Peak that we had just conquered. Clever us!
Home to gee and tees and bacon and eggs,
a tummy tickle,
a quick lizard hunt,
then a deep, lovely sleep.

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