Thursday afternoon we went for a sunset walk from Suikerbossie up Hout Bay corner to Llandudno Ravine. The views are spectacular - first over the Houtbay valley:
And once you've ascended Hout Bay corner, views over Little Lions Head and Llandudno. There are a few places where one has to scramble or climb - with the aid of stainless steel handles - so the Mickey dog needed some help.
Much to our surprise we came across a Himalayan Tar - obviously one which the rangers missed out during the relocation programme a few years ago. It was a male, and totally unafraid of our presence. Min gepla. I didn't know whether to look at the tar or the bird of prey sitting on the rock above!
I noticed the tar browsed a few leaves of the Wild Camphor, Tarconanthus camphoratus. So much for the plant producing aromatics and secondary compounds as a defence against animals!
Once we rounded the corner we were on the exposed west side. I noticed a distinct increase in succulents (Cotyledon, mesembs and Tylecodon grandiflora, in flower) and some shrubs, notably Coleonema, were looking stressed, with yellow leaves, all rolled up. March is a tough month for fynbos.
I made a bee-line for the shade in Lekkerwater Gulley, where we enjoyed a sunset drink of water and some fruit. I'd love to go back and continue to Judas Peak next time, returning via Myburgh Ravine.
Looking in the other direction, towards Oudekraal are steep slopes clothed in fynbos, as far as the eye can see, with a totally unspoilt coastline. It is wild and inaccessible - untamed Nature.
Peter Slingsby, who has created such an informative map series of the Peninsula, writes:
These very very empty slopes - perhaps the least frequented parts of the whole of the Cape Peninsula - are mostly private property and not conserved as part of the National Park.
May we hope that this truly untracked wilderness within the City boundary remains forever for future generations as a tiny glimpse of this whole Peninsula as it was before 1652.
I feel incredibly fortunate to live in a City with such natural beauty and biodiversity - right on our doorstep.