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 Post subject: Rino-Snakes and Ladders-Aug 2011
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
It was a beautifull morning in Cape Town... The perfect day for a hike... We filled our water bottels, packed our lunch and checked our torches.

The Route: Boomslang Cave above Kalk Bay
The Distance: 6 and a half km

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This area forms part of the Table Mountain National park. This park used to be called tha Cape Peninsula National park and was proclaimed on the 29th of May 1998. The main indigenous vegetation types are Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos and Cape Granite Fynbos, both of which are endangered and endemic to Cape Town - occurring nowhere else in the world! Table Mountain alone supports 2200 species of fynbos, more than the entire United Kingdom. :shock:

Back to the hike...

_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Last edited by Rino on Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
We left latish on Sunday morning. The winter sun bathing the peninsula in a beautifull glow. The air fresh, the breeze from the ocean ever so slight. As I said the perfect day for a hike. We parked the car on Boyes Drive and tackled the stone steps leading up the mountain, away from civilization.

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Around the very first corner we saw our first mammel. (did not know they the ventured this far South :? ) A Beautifull spicimen, standing very still and allowing us to get a good picture.

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Soon after the beautifull giraffe we came across our first mountain stream. I never pass up an opertunity to gulp down mouth fulls of deliciously sweet, ice cold mountain water. :) There is nothing like it. :D

The path kept winding ever upwards untill we came to our first landmark. (Weary Willy's) From the 1920s to 1950s, Johan Meyer, a retired school teacher, explored and named most of the 80-odd caves above Kalk Bay and Muizenberg along with his group, affectionately known as the Moles.
I suppose one of the "Moles was named Willy and another probably Harry because our next land mark was Hungry Harry. (We never found hungry harry on this hike and i must admit got a little lost because of it. :wall:

The wiew from Weary Willy's
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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Last edited by Rino on Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:44 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
By now we were well above Kalk Bay harbour.

Kalk Bay started when the Dutch East India Company proclaimed Simon’s Bay a winter anchorage for their ships from May to August each year, from 1742. Getting supplies to these ships in Simon’s Bay and the building of Simon’s Town were severely hampered by the less than adequate road, especially where the mountains reached down to the sea. Kalk Bay became a mini-port for the Dutch and all victualling requirements, as well as anchors, masts and sails, were sent by ox wagon to Kalk Bay; thereafter goods were loaded on to barges, which took the goods to the ships in the bay, as well as construction materials needed for the building of Simon’s Town. Returning ox-wagons took lime (kalk) and fish, the staple diet of slaves, back to Cape Town.

We had the wind at our backs and the beautifull Cape Sandstone in front of us. The day promiced to be a beautifull one.

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The thing about hiking as apposed to driving is that you see so much more. I have always been facinated with the smaller things in life. (the only exception being Rhino's- they are my absolute favourite annimals) We admired for a while this beautifull and intricate spider web with the morning dew clinging to its delicate silky strands.

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This flower cought SO's attention and he just had to take a close up shot. :)

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Another flower, another photo. :)

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At this point I would like to state that we are not photographers, but we love taking pictures . :cam:

_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:12 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
On we hiked ever upward. I regularly consulted my guidebook, to SO's great consternation. My guidebook-consulting reached a crecendo when we reached a fork in the road and still we have not passed Hungry Harry's! We were supposed to pass hungy harry's BEFORE the fork in the road!
:think:

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(I like to be prepared. I always hike with a hundred things we might never need and then a few extra things just for in case...) The guidebook consulting annoyes SO greatly but he takes it in his stride and does his best to entertain my guidebook-consultation-addiction.

From the fork in the road we had a fabulous view and decided to take a load off and have a water break.
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Isobel and I sat on a boulder while SO hopped about taking pictures.

_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
After a wonderfull refreshing braek, we lifted our backpacks and deliberated and discussed what direction we were to take. We finally decided to head straight upwards on the road less travelled. We bushwacked our way through protea bush and scurried over rocks and boulders of various sizes.

The genus Protea was named in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will, because proteas have such a wide variety of forms.

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Finally we reached a dead end... Mmmm

Me: "But the book says...!"

SO: "I don't care what the book says; I don't see a path, do you?

Isobel: "Mmm"

We promptly decided to turn back and follow the other path. This would lead us to the 'exit' part of Boomslang Cave. So we would enter at the exit and exit at the entrance, who cares. We were having fun.

We soon arrived at the Exit/Entrance to the cave. We donned our head lights and had a quick snack.

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Above you can see the entrance/exit to Boomslang Cave. Below you can see a picture of the real tree-snake. (Boomslang is an afrikaans word but the snake is also called Boomslang in English)

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A boomslang (Dispholidus typus) is a relatively small, venomous colubrid snake native to sub-Saharan Africa.[1] It is currently the only species in its genus.

Ok, so the first part of the cave is tight, very tight. you have to leopard crawl, or slither like a snake for about 20m. SO took a quick look around was rewarded with a bloody knee by a bloody rock. ;)

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All to soon we flopped down on our tummies and poked our heads through the entrance. My stummoch gave a sudden turn and my brain turned a cognative gear to warn me that this might be a mistake. Well... no turning back now. It was very dark and we had no idea where we were going. My guide book describes this from the oposite side of the mountain. We were doing everything in reverse. (not a first for us :) ) 10m in there was a slight squiel from Isobel behind me...

Me: 'Are you alright?'

Isobel: 'I am fine now...'

Me: 'What happened?'

Isobel: 'Hmm, I forgot to take my sunglasses off. Blond moment, sorry :)'


Once we passed the first 20m the whole cave opened up into beautifull 'rooms' for the lack of a better word.

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:55 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
We carfully navigated our way through the dark chambers. Miraculously we only almost got lost once. The discussion that followed took place in a lofty passage. I got the dreaded book from my backpack and started quoting from its pages. Mid way through passage one we heard a high pitched squel... B-A-T-S!

10 seconds later I was exiting the cave. :)

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Suddenly the landscape changed. It looked like we were on a different mountain! My navigation skills isn't that great to begin with and passing through a mountain emmerging out the other side completely confused my built in GPS. No one could argue with the views, they were magnificent.

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To the left we saw the beautifull village of Fish-hoek. Fish Hoek appears on the earliest maps of the Cape. The arrival of European settlers in 1652 forced the indigenous population to leave the area, and during the 1700s farmers appeared in the Noordhoek area. Fish Hoek beach was used on an informal basis for whaling and fishing, but it was not until 1918 that it was laid out as a township

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To the right kommetjie...The village is situated around a small, natural and rocky inlet that resembles a basin. There is some evidence that this basin was used as a fish trap by prehistoric peoples. The area between Fishhoek and Kommetjie is for the lack of a better word flat. If the water level should rize even 1 meter this area will be completely flooded!

This was an excellent place to enjoy lunch. Surrounded by the most beautifull view, the sun warming our faces.

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After lunch we had only a short climb and we were on top of the mountain. Once again the scenery changed. This scener reminded me so much of the Never ending story. I immagined the Rock Monster from The Neverendingstory to rear his head and start munching on the scattered rocks.
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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
On top of the mountain we saw some very interesting rocks. It looks like someone placed each one with great care, balancing small ones on top of big ones and vice/versa.

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We started decening into echo valley and again we were greeted with a change in scenery. The barren rock strewn landscape was now replaced by a lush forest.

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The wooden walkway took us through the forest and overhead we the branches of the trees met protecting us from the afternoon sun.

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Some of the trees we passed was covered with 'old mans beard'. (the stuff Bear Grills uses to light most of his fires when he enters survival mode.)

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As I stated earlier, 'This is protea country'! Everywhere the spellekussings we starting to bloom.

Leucospermum (Pincushion, Pincushion Protea or Leucospermum) is a genus of about 50 species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, where they occupy a variety of habitats, including scrub, forest, and mountain slopes.

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And an unknown protea...

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To soon the Kalk Bay harbour came into view again and the hike was over...:(

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


Last edited by Rino on Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
Dear Guinea Pig :)

We did not hike straigth up the mountain. :) The road does zig-zag a bit making it easier. And it is not a very high mountain. :D What I am trying to say is it is an easy hike and not very strenous at all.

The route is clearly marked, but i would suggest entering the cave at the exit. Like we did.

We got a very good map from Mike Lundy's book "Best walks in Cape Town". You can buy this book for about R150 from most book stores in the area.
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Unfortunatelly you are right about safety on table mountain, but this route is in the Silvermine area and very safe. There are no reported attacks in this area that i am aware of. It is however always wise not to hike alone and to always carry pepper spray. This also helps against baboons. :)

Feel free to contact me any time if you have more questions on hiking in Cape Town. We try to get out there every weekend, unfortunatelly most of the other fantastic hikes form part or the Cape Nature Reserves and I don't know if I am allowed to include hikes outside of SanParks.

_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakes and Ladders
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:23 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 72
Location: Cape Town
wanderw: Thank you very much it was a special day.

Kamadejo: I have been busy. When the forum fever grips you it is hard to get rid of. :)

To conclude this TR I have decided to share some of my best guidebook moments with you. :)

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And finally, my favourite picture,

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And SO's (AKA - ratel/badger) favourite.

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_________________
All about our fantastic adventures in Africa on my blog.
http://ourgreathikes.blogspot.com/
Kruger in December!
21-23 B&D
24-26 Skukuza
29-31 Satara


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