The trail round the base of Lion’s Head has been tramped many times by me over the last 3 years, but today will rank as the most enjoyable of all – a fresh breeze kept us cool along this normally sweltering path, where shade is almost non-existent and the fierce heat stored up by the granite monoliths radiates from the ground. In fact it was so windy that we nearly lost coffee cups and containers as we sat under the last of the towering gums above Clifton. There have been some noteworthy gales recently, and the evidence was before us – a complete sheet of metal roofing had been ripped off the house below, exposing rafters and insulation, which must have caused some damage further along the way. Our southeasters are a force to be reckoned with!
The ban on beach-going over the height of the summer holiday season (if there is even such a thing any more) meant that our views of Camps Bay, Maiden’s Cove and Clifton’s Fourth Beach were pristine, unblemished by human occupation and most likely completely free of that scourge of modern society – litter. If a stray plastic bag or ten were picked up by the wind blasting down from the peaks of the Twelve Apostles, there would have been no catching them anyway and they would be well on the way out to sea, but today might be a litter-free day not seen in decades. So many historical moments, brought about by a virus that has turned the world as we knew it into ‘the old days’ and tomorrow into ‘the unknown’.
But for now, hiking is the constant, with Nature unbowed and flourishing as Man’s imprint recedes. There can be nothing better for us than a long walk in the fresh air and sunshine, exercising our bodies without any strenuous demands, with time to stop and enjoy the views, the birdlife in the fynbos and the wind in our hair.