Monthly Archives: December 2012

Eyes like fire

Eyes like fire
See how the rock looks like the profile of a huge head? Can you see the wide-open mouth, the nose, and the eyes that appear to be shooting a fiery beam across Camps Bay and towards Llandudno and Hout Bay?

Farewell 2012, and to all our readers, have a wonderful and joyous 2013!

Warm water at Clifton

Warm water at Clifton
Most people don't venture into the waters at Clifton - it's normally far too cold for comfortable bathing. However, for the past week or so, the water has been surprisingly warm... so much so that I actually ventured in without feeling an immediate desire to return to the warm dry beach.

Doggies at the beach

Doggies on the beach
It's a pity for dogs and dog-owners that beaches like the blue-flag ones at Clifton and Llandudno have had restrictions imposed that permit dogs on the beach only between 18h00 and 09h00 in the summer months, and then, only if the dogs are on leashes.

Dogs love to run free on the beaches, chasing balls and crashing though waves, but the reality is that there have been incidents where innocent kids have been attacked and where people who are desperately afraid of dogs have been traumatised. Since law enforcement officers aren't able to tell the difference between a dangerous animal and a friendly puppy, and since people who are afraid of dogs couldn't care if the dogs would never attack them, it makes sense to compromise in the way the City has.

For what it's worth, I took this photo after 18h00, so these friendly four-leggeds were allowed on the beach, but since they weren't on a leash I believe the owners were in fact breaking the law - perhaps unbeknownst to them.

The Golden Mole trail on Tygerberg Hill

The Golden Mole trail on Tygerberg Hill
In 2009 I posted a photo taken on top of Tygerberg Hill, along with a map of the route that you can drive to get to the upper parking area.

Kerry-Anne and I decided to walk one of the hiking trails, The Golden Mole trail. Take a look at the route that I recorded using Map May Run.

It costs only R12.50 to enter the nature reserve. Visit The Friends of Tygerberg Hills's website for information about organised hikes. Note that Tygerberg Hill has two entrances, the one I showed in my map, and another in Plattekloof, lower down and on the other side of the hill.

Walking though the fynbos

Walking though the fynbos
This is the last of the four photos of our hike at Hillcrest. After my previous photo of the Hillcrest vineyards and Table Mountain, I thought I'd show you this perspective - a little further on into our hike, at a time when we weren't quite sure which route to follow back to the restaurant and our car.

If you look carefully you can faintly see the white buildings on the right side of the photo, almost in the middle. While trails had arrows and were marked "Hillcrest", we weren't sure which trail would be the shortest. It's almost impossible to see where trails lead and basically ends up being a flip of a coin that causes one to choose a 30 minute walk back over a 3 hour hike over hills and down dales.

Hillcrest to Table Mountain

Hillcrest to Table Mountain
The views from the dusty Hillcrest's (map) hiking trails are spectacular - much more so than what I've shown in this photo.

If you're keen to amble though the vineyards, along one of the trails, arrive by 8am, take an exploratory walk through the vineyards, and end off the outing by visiting the estate's restaurant for breakfast. Be sure to take plenty of sunscreen and water along - it's surprisingly easy for a quick walk to turn into a two-hour trek.

Hiking in Durbanville

Hiking in Durbanville
Kerry-Anne and I have taken to doing short hikes on weekends. This particular one was at Hillcrest in Durbanville - along a mountain bike trail that leads though the vineyards.

Only after the hike did we learn that this area is well known for the Cape Cobra - an extremely venomous snake. While we never actually saw snakes, the sign "Snake Alley" (posted along one of the routes we walked) made a whole lot more sense, and we felt really grateful for not encountering any of the slippery, slithery slinkies.

The quarry at Hillcrest in Durbanville

The quarry at Hillcrest
It was confusing to me at first, but there are in fact two Hillcrest estates in the Cape Town area... Hillcrest, the berry farm, and Hillcrest, the producer of fine Cape wines. The former is located just outside of Stellenbosch and the latter on the outskirts of Durbanville.

This photo is of a small secluded function venue at Hillcrest that's often used for corporate events, weddings, and other parties.

Before I die I want to…

Before I die
We found this chalk board street art on Kloof Street in Cape Town. The first "Before I die I want to..." wall was created in February last year by a New Orleans artist, Candy Chang. It attracted so much attention that she created a toolkit to allow people all over the world to create similar walls.

Visit her website to see dozens of far-more-awesome photos of the original as well as similar walls in Brooklyn, Johannesburg, Mexico and Kazakhstan.

Abandoned

Abandoned
To continue from my previous post - don't you think this is just the strangest abandoned building? The perspective makes the wall look a lot higher than it actually is - it's only about 1 meter above ground level, with the rest sinking far down into the soft earth. What was even weirder was that (as I mentioned) the building is almost completely filled with extremely clear water.

An abandoned building in Newlands Forest

An abandoned building in Newlands Forest
We came across this abandoned building in Newlands Forest. The interior was filled with water, almost up until this window, and the rest of the building (from just below the roof) was below ground level - almost as if it had been caught in a mudslide. It was very eerie - and I couldn't help thinking "Cabin in the woods".

A rhino [mural] in Kloof Street

A rhino [mural] in Kloof Street
National History Unit Africa had this mural painted in Kloof Street for World Rhino Day in September this year. Isn't it awesome?

Can you imagine a day when the rhino no longer wanders the African bushveld, when they're but history in a textbook? That would suck.

Helicopters at Working on Fire’s Newlands base

Helicopters at Working on Fire's Newlands base
Working on Fire is a government-sponsored organisation that trains men and woman (mostly from poor communities) how to fight bush fires, like those that threaten our green peninsula each summer. This base, at Newlands Forest, is one of over 200 bases (map) scattered across our country.

Visit their website to find out how you can get involved.