At last have managed to make time to paint in my studio. This is a view from the top of the A-Ridge ( I think Mike called it) in the Du Toits Kloof pass:
We had spent Christmas day and boxing day with my family in Hout Bay and as we were leaving late on Wednesday night Tim said he had been invited on a walk in the mountains with a friend and would I like to join them. I must get a clear definition of that word ‘walk’. I thought it would be great and caught a lift through to Paarl with Mike, one of the guys going on the walk. We all hopped in with Tim and another Mike and headed up through the Du Toits Kloof tunnel. On the way to the parking we stopped off and Mike showed us the route.
That is Mike (the leader) on the left. The route he described sounded something like “you see that circle of grass? Well we go up the left of that, through the rock band. We get lost and then get up to the top of the ravine and then we get lost again. And then we come down that ridge”. Sounded good to all. That is Mike from Oz in the middle who organised the “No Maccas in Tecoma” campaign in his home town. And my brother in law Tim who was the first person to paddle down the three main tributaries of the Amazon. So that was the team. And here we go bundu-bashing to the river. We found the path about 500m from the river, after which there was none until about 100m from the end of the walk.
We went up the right hand fork of the river for a hundred metres or so and then broke out onto the slope on the left, up the grassy patch to a pool in the river where we stopped for a swim and a quick bite.
Mike told us of other more beautiful pools so we continued up. At the top of the grassy patch there was a short rock pitch. Not difficult climbing but with a long fall if anything went wrong so we roped up and the other Mike lead to another scramble that took us to the next pool. As we worked through this section it started raining. We carried on up to the next pool in the hope that the rain was just a drizzle. However on the way up it started chucking down. Mike spotted a good looking overhang so we made our way up and found a ledge under shelter on which we could all perch to eat some lunch. So our route looked like this:
As we sat under the overhang the rain poured down. Here is a selfie of the team:
As we sat there it was decided that the weather was not going to clear and that we should head down by the standard route. This was a slope covered in Protea bushes, that had been burnt the year or two previously. The slope was covered with fallen branches which made it a little tricky in the strong wind. But eventually we made it down. The sun came out and the wind dropped. What a great day. On the way back we stopped off at the Amberg restaurant for apple crumble, tea and beer and Tim and I did a painting of the mountains from where we sat. Here is my one, which I gave to Mike from Oz:
Tim had left the lights on in the car so whole event was round off nicely by us having to push the car up the slope in the parking lot to be able to coast down the road to start.