Wednesday, 31 August 2011


What a beautiful area this is. Home to our beloved cricket and rugby teams!

W-P Jou Lekka Ding!

The hike is about 6 and a half kilometers long. We, however only had access to one car and was therefore forced to hike both there and back. No Problem. 6 and a 1/2 plus 6 and a 1/2 makes 13km! Definitely do-able. :)

Start at the parking area next to the main gates of Newlands Forest off Union Avenue. Dogs are welcome on this route and Newlands Forest is very popular with our K9 friends.

The up to the contour path can be a bit confusing. I would strongly recommend getting hold of some kind of guidebook. :) (Evil Grin)  I used Mike Lundy's 'Easy Walks in the Cape Peninsula.

The walk through the forest of pine is absolutely amazing. I felt a little bit like red riding hood, minus the big bad wolf.

Newlands forest was filled with runners and happy people walking their dogs. We could feel our spirits lifting with every passing step. Gaining strength for the week ahead.  The smell of pine filled the air and we played a game of peek-a-boo with the autem sun catching only glimpses of it through the branches above.

Newlands Forest lies at a natural transition zone between endangered Granite Fynbos and Peninsula Fynbos, in an area that also originally supported large indigenous forests. In the late 1800s, much of the indigenous forests were felled, and the fynbos cleared, to make way for commercial pine plantations, which still remain and account for the remainder of the land.

As we started to leave the pine forest and heading towards the contour pathe we could se more and more of the world famous landmark. I little piece of rock we like to call Table Mountain.

A couple of steps and a couple of bends later we reached the contour path. 'That wasn't so hard!' We now faced our first watering hole and we wasted no time in sampling the sweet nectar. :)

This part of the route passes through the dense indigenous forest and winds its way in and out of ravines such as Dark Gorge and Newlands stream.

 The Contour Path really is amazing. Around every corner the views surprise you, inspires you and takes your breath away. I loved this walk and almost every inch of it is covered in glorious shade.

Every now and again as you round a corner the dense forest will open and reward you with glorious views of the Cape Flats. We even spotted Newlands and Newlands. :) (Rugby and Cricket

Looking back we caught a glimpse of Devils Peak.
This hike was full of surprises. Just look at this flower... A solitary splash of purple in an otherwise green mass of moss, fallen leaves and foliage.

   This fallen tree made the perfect home for mushrooms. We spent quite a while trying to practise our macro photography. Some of our images were more successful than others. ;)
The hike ends with a knee jarring descend down to Rhodes Memorial. (Which in our case marked the half way point.)  Cecil John Rhodes was an English-born businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. He was the founder of the diamond company De Beers, which today markets 40% of the world's rough diamonds .
The architect, Sir Herbert Baker, allegedly modelled the memorial after the Greek temple at Segesta although it is actually closer to the temple of Pergamon in design. Another proposal after his death was to place a 50 storey high 'Colosus of Rhodes' statue on top of Lions head! Thank goodness that never happened.
The view from the monument is far reaching and we enjoyed a lovely lunch and a couple of ice cold beers at the restaurant before we headed back the way we came.

Back at newlands gardens the sun was just starting to disappear behind the mountain. What a lovely hike this is. One I would definitely do again.

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