Thursday, 18 August 2011

Hiking Boomslang Cave Part 1

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

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.

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...

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.

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

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.
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.

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

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!

(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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