Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Africa Day Four (Sabbath, Nov 29)

Today being Sabbath, we went to Sabbath School and church at Helderberg, had a wonderful potluck with old friends and colleagues, then hiked up first peak (the long way!) and back the last section in the dark.

Sabbath School class discussion - a couple of my teachers/neighbours were in this group

The view of Helderberg from Helderberg - the very classic and well-known view to thousands of students.

View of the school in 2014

The new (to me) high school
Cousins paying close attention in church

I know the preacher from Cape Town days, Pastor P. Dalbock

Is this not an amazing bougainvillea?!


At Helderberg Nature Reserve

We had a friendly tortoise pass through to say hi and eat some grass.  He refused our offerings of fruit.

Gwyn looking at his patterns

The trail at the start of the hike.  We only started hiking at 4pm.  A little late...

The tortoise followed us up the hill.  Cute hey?! (Gwyn's picture)
Heading for the peak on the left.

 Gwyn's picture.  She sent several pics to us after the fact - they had gone walking too but not as far as we did.

Gwyn's photo (from a thumbnail hence resolution issues)

Looking back 
Cousins Glenn, Jenna and Cindy

The Hottentots are often covered in snow in the winter. (See previous blogs where I've copied others' photos from winter).
Stopping for a breather.  It was HOT this day.

Starting up the "canyon".

In the coolness of the canyon.  This reminds me of the canyon in "Parent Trap".

Then we got diverted from the canyon by some new signs...ugh!

We heard baboons screaming and seemingly fighting.  I hope no baboons were hurt - we heard rocks falling and everything!  What a commotion.
Gwyn sent this of us climbing.  Not sure you can see us at this resolution.

There we are!  On some hellacious switchbacks.

Looking down into the valley
Taking another well-deserved breather

We started from below that lake in the middle of the photo

Oh, the painful detours we seemingly took!
The path winding its way up.  I'm used to pretty much going straight up the canyon!
Looking up towards the saddle between 1st and 2nd peaks.
The baboons were in this area

On the saddle - now we can see the Cape Town side

Looking up at Second peak - lower than what we still have to climb...
Good views of both sides from the saddle

Second peak - and the previous saddle visible 

Looking back at the 2nd saddle. Glenn and the girls visible - they got behind Cindy and I due to trying to take a cliff-climbing shortcut!  Fortunately Glenn rescued them, lol.  That little dome near the top of the photo is second peak again.
Cindy and S made it to the top first.  S sneaked up from behind and passed us both!
A 180' panorama looking west and north.

180' panorama looking south and east
The girls were troopers!
Proof we made it
And the other 3 did too!

We'll allow a selfie from this awesome spot!
Got to the top at 7pm.  Gotta leave pretty much immediately - sun sets in one hour!

The sun is getting low...

Long shadows now

I think this is a Cape rock robin
Looking for the baby bird I was sure I'd seen huddling against a rock.  Turns out it was a clump of moss.  Sorry, guys!
Still have a long way down

But we have to stop and "smell the roses".

Oops....still on top of the mountain!

Bye-bye sweet sun!

This photo was actually taken AFTER sunset.  The camera compensated for the dusk.  This is below the rock face.
False Bay and towns in the Helderberg basin.
Cape Flats.  At least we have dusk...for a while...

 After this, we had to use our phones and headlamps for light so no more photos. We came down a different way - straight down to Helderberg College the usual way and W and L picked us up at the bottom.

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