25 November 2014

Walking to Woodstock

This muggy fuggy morning we decided to brave the muggers and hike to Woodstock Cave, on the slopes of Devils Peak. John was still in the country, so he joined us, as did Paul and Pauline. Sue is back from her travels, but is still feeling rather jet-lagged so she and Honey stayed at home. We started at Rhodes Mem.
Pretty but poisonous: the alien invasive Cherry Pie (Lantana camara). The Food Lady wondered why they were allowed to grow here.
Up we slogged, on a very eroded path.
The Blister Bushes (Notobubon galbanum) were out in full. They are from the carrot family, and brushing past their leaves can cause some distress from irritant chemicals - especially when exposed to the sun.
We eventually reached the contour path,
then came through the gate, 
and walked along the road until we came to the Kings Blockhouse, and an old monument to one of the early foresters who foolishly planted alien trees all over Table Mountain thinking it was good for water retention. Now millions are spent every year trying to get rid of the water-guzzling aliens. Silly humans!
I found a speck of shade
while they read the dilapidated and uncared for sign.
We carried on along the lower traverse path - around the corner there was a deliciously cool breeze coming from the foggy sea, and a pretty spectacular view of Cape Town city.
We came to some more alien, invasive trees - this time Australian wattles. (The Australians have stolen the name Acacia for their wattles, leaving us with the name Vachellia for our real acacias. Silly humans!) But what is that we hear down there? Maybe a wombat?
A view of a foggy Devils Peak through the Australian Black Wattles (Acacia mearnsii).
Our first view of the cave - a dark slash high up Devils Peak.
Walking up the path at my own pace.
We came to a sign post that had been beaten to within an inch of its life. Do people come up here with the intention to destroy stuff, or does the urge just take hold and they grab some rocks and start smashing? Silly humans!
Up the zig zag path we zigzagged ...
till this little heart alerted us to the Woodstock Cave path to the left.
Nearly there - lots of lovely flowers including pelargoniums and phylicas.
The sign was still standing, although full of graffiti.
The stench and the litter at the cave was a bit off-putting - and the Alph put us on leads as he knows what we like to roll in ...
It is a huge overhang, but it is shockingly full of graffiti, broken glass, plastic bottles, stinky, festering blankets, chip packets and rusty coldrink tins. But luckily there didn't seem to be any noxious humans around.
John trying to work his camera. The view was amazing.
A bright and white Chinkerinchee (Ornithogalum thyrsoides) in amongst the broken glass and debris.
The Alph found a tea spot below the cave. I was quite hot, and as there was nowhere to swim, I tried to get into the drinks bowl.
Harvey had a quick nap.
John, the Alph, me, Laddie, Harvey, Paul and Pauline.
Dog noises!
Even Harvey woke up. But the spoilsports kept us on the lead so we couldn't run madly through the broken glass and other delicious human scatterings to get to the dogs on the path above.
Pretty soon we'd all had enuf,
so we left this most beautiful but neglected and abused spot and hit the rocky road.
Parts of it were rather crumly and steep for me so I just shouted for help,
and John came to my rescue.
Now we are besties. This is us checking out Lion's Head.
Back through the grove of Cork Oaks (Quercus suber),
back past the Kings Blockhouse,
along the watsonia- and Silver Tree- lined road,
where bright Stink Bugs, from the family Pentatomidae, lurk in the flowers,
down a very eroded and uncared for path,
all the way to Plum Pudding Hill. SANParks really needs to do some serious erosion control here.
There were lots of these Corn Lilies (Ixia polystachya var. polystachya) alongside the path,
 with many colour variations
 and different beasties inside. 
It was a lovely walk - no muggers in sight - and lots of wonderful smells and memories.

1 comment:

  1. A lovely morning. Thank you for the memories.
    Looking forward to the next time, whenever that may be!!
    Take care, happy hounds...