Great! For once I am not left at home with a smelly bone but am part of this mountain walk. We left really early to try and beat the heat and met up with Sue and Honey and Pauline. The silly SANParks peeps hadn't opened the gate to the parking area by 7 am and there was a huge queue of cars causing a bit of havoc on the road so we parked at the other (still closed) entrance on the other side of the busy road and risked life and limb to cross the road and make our way back to the path. It was quite warm already, and the fiery Table Mountain watsonias (Watsonia tabularis) were out, matchng the Food Lady's temper when she thinks of SANParks.
There were some flickering flame flowers too - a little Struthiola ciliata,
and orange bursts of creeping pincushion flowers with the absolutely silly name of Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron subsp. hypophyllocarpodendron.
It was already hot, even though there was a tantalising cool mist below us,
and the walk up through gorgeous pink Watsonia borbonica flowers was in the shade for some of the way.
Cool flowers for the Food Lady. These are silenes of sorts - maybe Silene pilosellifolia.
Drinks break for hot dogs.
The Food Lady is a bit fixated on orchids at the moment as so many are coming up after the fire (some never to be seen again until the next fire). We found lots of Disa cornuta plants,
and a few Eulopia aculeata plants were still in flower.
Well, we all made it up to the Fat Lady Shelter for tea: Sue, Honey, Laddie, Pauline, the Alph and me.
We were too hot to chase lizards so we left them to chase the miggies that were all around.
My friend and fellow black dog Honey actually ate a piece of dog biltong!
We decided it was too hot for the twa black dogs so the Alph and the Lad carried on - you can just see them disappearing down the path - and we took a shorter route home.
On the way we saw frilly Ink Flowers (Harveya purpurea),
and lots of Disa cylindrica plants,
and some other hot dogs - and hot peeps.
We stopped frequently for water (with cool blue Aristea bakeri plants)
and shady breaks in cool caves.
Then the mist arrived with some walkers from below, and we were enveloped in some deliciously cool air,
which sustained us until we came to our waterhole at the end for a muddy dip and drink.
We said goodbye to Sue, Honey and Pauline, and the Food Lady frootled around finding some bright yellow Pterygodium acutifolium flowers, while I sat in the stream and tried to keep my cool. Luckily the Alph and the Lad joined us within minutes, and we staggered back to the car.
On the way home we saw a rainbow Scottie sticker on the back of a car which we rather liked.