Up to the beacon

At the end of a year filled with uncertainty on a daily basis, it is no wonder that so many of us are now totally confused, not only about what the latest lockdown regulations are, but also that simple thing – what day of the week is it. With Christmas holidays, New Year looming, most people on holiday from jobs they are lucky to still have or wondering whether schools will go back in January, the one anchor we have in our hiking group is that on a Tuesday we go up the mountain. That said, there is still confusion as this is the time of year when we adjust the starting time of our walks to minimise the effects of summer heat, and so there are some who arrive either too early or too late. Hopefully 2021 will bring a little more order to our calendars!

Trappieskop, the little mountain I grew up on, offers so many pleasures – vast vistas as you go around the contour path, abundant fynbos around the year and for the most part, a very easy track with well laid stones making up the path leading from Clovelly over to Kal Bay. Today the destination was the beacon on top, so we took a sharp right at the ridge, and it is certainly well worth the small effort involved in scrambling up the last few hundred metres when the path deteriorates to sand and loose stones. Reeds lie across the path, an easy tripwire, but this is a hazard that all hikers are aware of and look out for. I still had a few close calls!

The weather couldn’t have been better for hiking – clouds (even about 8 drops of rain), a gentle westerly that strengthened in tandem with the disappearance of the clouds later and low humidity. A fairly cool summer so far has been a blessing and hopefully will continue – we all need a break.

One of our members took to the golf course at Clovelly rather than hike, and we peered down at the water hazards and bunkers to see if we could spot him, to no avail. Must have been a good day for golf and his handicap is excellent, even though he assures us we were looking in the right places.

A pleasant morning was ended with a visit to a friend who keeps tortoises (the connection with the story is that we grew up as neighbours on Trappieskop) and here is a photo of the latest addition which hatched 6 months ago. You can only imagine how tiny it was!

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