Western Cape: Slingsby's walks with a fat dog and more walks without, by Peter and Maggie Slingsby
The one companion you really shouldn’t leave behind is this new guide by Peter and Maggie Slingsby, Western Cape: Slingsby's walks with a fat dog and more walks without. Their delightfully informal but highly informed text will amuse, entertain and educate you while helping you to find your way.
Robertson is renowned for its fine wines, race-horses and searing summer heat. It's also got some very fine walking trails, from the back-breaking Arangieskop overnight route to the gentler, but no less impressive, trails in the Pat Busch Nature Reserve. The Langeberg Mountains are distinguished by a series of deep valleys that penetrate up through the foothills to the very base of the peaks. The foothills themselves are rather dry and often almost karoo-like, but the valleys are fertile, well-watered and intensively farmed. There's everything from fruit to vines to olives, and plenty of fruitful exploring up many very pretty little byways for the adventurous traveller. The Pat Busch Reserve lies astride two of these valleys, and it includes forested ravines, massive waterfalls and vegetation from fynbos to karoo with many rare and unusual flowers. Its trails consist of seven or eight interwoven routes; we chose the popular Karin and Hermit's Trails to form an out-and-back walk that, over about three hours, took in some exceptionally beautiful kloof forest, as well as the wide-open mountainside. Although the path is slippery in places it penetrates easily for three km up the Suurlemoen se Houtbos ("Lemontree Forest"). At the base of the forest there are some ancient lemon trees reputed to have been planted by a hermit who lived there goodness knows how many years ago. Like all good legendary hermits he hoarded a fortune in Kruger gold which, try as you might, you will not find. What you will find if you keep your eyes open is a treasure trove of delicate small flowers, lilies and gladioli that grow in the forest clearings. Small birds abound, too, and chubby Rameron pigeons flap about in the tree-tops, pretending to be loeries. After a wondrous succession of pretty forest glades and sparkling mountain pools you'll reach the head of the valley, and the path leaves the kloof. The trail blurbs says that "the trail is quite steep at places", and you're about to discover how steep. Whoever cut this trail spotted the nek high above and simply said, "Right, we'll go that way - straight up." Pondering the wisdom of zigzags, we staggered and scrambled up to the nek. This is clearly a good place to rest, and you are rewarded with spectacular views of the ravines and waterfalls of the Langeberg as the mountain peaks march away into the distance. A left turn takes you onto the Hermit's Trail as it meanders around a flat-topped hill called Tafelberg. The path traverses some fine protea veld where, if you're lucky, you might spot a few vexator proteas, a botanical surprise that was only discovere a few years ago. With the protea veld behind you the path plunges back into the Lemontree Forest. The words "quite steep in places" come back to mind, and your aching knee will dream of gentle zigzags once more. Back at your cottage you'll enjoy a hot shower and a peaceful evening braai or potjie. If you've got another day in hand you could enjoy another hike, or you could do worse than visit some of the many fine wine estates for which the area is famous, Game drives on the Klaas Voogds game reserve or a visit to the Soekershof cactus garden are other opportunities. [...]
This is an excerpt from the guide: Western Cape: Slingsby's walks with a fat dog and more walks without, by Peter and Maggie Slingsby.
Book title: Western Cape: Slingsby's walks with a fat dog and more walks without
Authors: Peter Slingsby; Maggie Slingsby
Publisher: Baardskeerder cc
Cape Town, South Africa 2006
Softcover, 15x21 cm, 192 pages, 50 maps, over 500 photographs
Slingsby, Peter und Slingsby, Maggie im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Western Cape: Slingsby's walks with a fat dog and more walks without consists of more than 60 descriptions of walks in the Western Cape, with 50 maps and over 500 photographs.
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