It was so pleasant to sleep in the cave. During the night something shot out of the rocks into my back and off into the rocks again. A little mouse. I thought these things were supposed to hibernate or something. Later another sped around the back of the cave. I have been troubled by bushy tailed rats before, who can be really persistent in looking through packs for food. But this time I had put all of my food in a bag hanging from a flake in the roof of the cave (me 1: mice 0).
The morning broke clear, with a fresh easterly wind (which did not suggest bad weather). So I got up and painted this watercolour, a morning view of the same scene from the previous night:
mmm – OK – a useful record for a studio version maybe.
Then, just because it was so nice up there I dawdled as I drank some tea and did a watercolour of my cooker:
Then I packed up and headed out. I had a pile of pumpernickle bread that I decided not to carry down and left for the mice.
On the way down I paused on the Shale Band, when I found three oranges I had carried up and certainly did not want to carry a step further. So I sat and painted this view – similar to the one of the previous day:
And then I walked down the final ravine to the car.
There was a final river to cross and on the road up the oak trees I saw baboon prints in the sand. I had walked into a troup the previous day, on the way up but they had given way. But this I knew was NOT a good sign. And sure enough – they had been all over my car – maybe they could smell the remaining food inside – but they had broken off my radio antennae and carried it off – I could not find it anywhere.