Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunset Hike

The weather has been unbearably hot in Cape Town for the last week or so.  Temperatures reaching 40 degrees in the city and no cooling down at night.  So to cheer myself up here's a post from last week in Betty's Bay when sea breezes were better than air conditioning and nights under star saturated skies were spellbinding.

We went on a hike that I've never done before, on the opposite side of the Palmiet Lagoon which I've posted about before.  We started walking around five in the afternoon to avoid the worst of the heat and get back before it got dark.  Let me say at the outset that if I thought I was hot before, relaxing on a patio chair,  I had yet to experience real heat.  The narrow path rambled through fairly tall fynbos on both sides with nary a breath of wind, but we were rewarded almost immediately by this sight.

These are the Cape Everlasting flowers (Phaenocoma) popular name Rooisewejaartjie (little red seven year old) which are exported extensively and widely used in dried flower arrangements. 

 These dainty little flowers with their papery bracts vary in colour from pink to red and, as their name implies,  are literally everlasting.

Then we emerged into the open plains  and saw to our delight that the veld was studded with these pink beauties as well as a scintillating blue flower that I hadn't seen before.

Although I had borrowed a walking sticking from my brother in law I didn't think I would be able to get closer to the flowers but, joy of joys, we came across this little group growing at the side of the path.  This Bush Iris (Iridaceae Nivenia) has sword-shaped leaves and tube like flowers which vary from pale to deep blue or mauve shades.

I wasn't able to get more than one good picture of these beautiful flowers as most had been affected by the intense heat but the following landscapes made up for that.

And then, a flash of deep pink amongst the green, I saw this magnificent King Protea and this time I just had to bushwhack my way into the veld.  The fact that I nearly ended up like a beetle on its back is beside the point.  I was so thrilled to get my picture, especially in the golden light of the setting sun.

The beautiful, gleaming Cassie, my sister's black German Shepherd, somewhere off in the distance, my sister and her husband a short way behind her and me, bringing up the rear and holding everyone up.   I know it's very tedious to take me anywhere with my camera.

Finally, a view of the ocean.  This had to be the end of our walk as the sun was rapidly sinking behind the mountains and I would be unable to manage the rocks and uneven ground down to the lagoon mouth.  My sister told me that she and her husband had walked down there before and discovered that the memorial referred to in the link above was erected by his grieving parents to the memory of a nine year old boy who was swept off the rocks some years.

The town of Kleinmond in the distance. 

Making our way back and trying to photograph into the sun, in the direction of Betty's Bay.

The end of the walk, gasping for water, knees aching, wanting to rip my walking shoes off and sink into an icy  rockpool.  It's the longest distance I've walked for a long time but my goodness it was fun.


rachel said... [Reply to comment]

And very beautiful too! Between you and Marie of 66 Square Feet I'm seeing South Africa in a whole new light!

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said... [Reply to comment]

You country is very beautiful and I hope I'll one day get to visit for a full month so I may see all the places I've learned of on your stunning blog.
Warm regards and a lovely weekend.


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