Monday, May 5, 2014


We revisited Silvermine during the recent endless round of public holidays. Up the jeep track to Junction Pool (a good breakfast spot, that) – then up the back of Steenberg Peak to the Fat Lady’s Cave. We’d all like to know the origin of the name, someone please. There we met a party going the other way, who asked for advice.
“Do you have a map?” we inquired. “Yes,” they said, whipping out an antique version 1.1 of the Silvermine map.
“Oh dear,” said Mr K, “this map has passed its sell-by. Time you upgraded to version 4, you know.”
They looked confused until we were all introduced.
Which made me think it’s time to post a modest photo-essay of some of the delights of the Silvermine walks. These are all on the eastern side, where entrance is free, and possession of an ‘Activity Card’ for your dog seems to be somewhat respected in the breach. If you haven’t walked there before then it’s high time you did. You can get the waterproof map online; you can even download a free description of the best walks. And you can cap that all with a new, superb little book, ‘Common Flowers of Table Mountain and Silvermine’ by Hugh Clarke, Bruce Mackenzie and Corinne Merry.

And when you’ve done that and you remain puzzled by the election results and how come a majority of South Africans still vote for corruption, for the grossly overweight, and for a future of being pushed off the road by blue-light convoys conveying pathetic idiots who think they’re important, you can even read about why this Kaartman maintains an occasional correspondence with a murderer ... [which has nothing whatsoever to do with Silvermine]
Flowers: Clockwise from top left: Aulax cancellata, rare in the Cape Peninsula; Sugarbird on Protea cynaroides; green Erica urna-viridis, only found here; Saltera sarcocolla or vlieƫbos
Flowers: Watsonias after a fire; Leucadendron laureolum; Mimetes hirtus; Protea cynaroides
Places: Silvermine Waterfall; Junction Pool; Fat Lady Cave [with two slim ladies]; climbing on Wolfkop
Spot the dogs ...
Views: Simon’s Town; Noordhoek Beach; Cape Hangklip; Constantia Valley
Drop-tail Ant, Myrmicaria nigra – common at Silvermine.
©2014 Peter Slingsby

– Kaartman, almost election day

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