On our recent trip to the Cape ..
Let’s get straight to it !!! From the top of the ridge overlooking the vineyards of Bouchard Finlayson and Hemel en Aarde Valley in Hermanus, our walking trail continued ..
I was quite surprised at the amazing colours of the fynbos (natural vegetation in the Cape region) at the top of the ridge. Most pockets of colour didn’t come out well in the longer distance photos .. to the naked eye it was very pretty! I didn’t expect to see so much up there. The estate has more than 260 plant species !! Fynbos: indigenous natural vegetation characterized by 3 plant families – Ericacea, Proteacea and Restionacea. The Cape Floral Kingdom, or fynbos, as it is commonly known, stretches from the west coast of the Cape Province, eastwards to Port Elizabeth and is the only place in the world where these families occur together. Fynbos needs fire, ideally at 12-15 year intervals, in order to remove the plants which have become senescent and allow seeds to germinate and restore species diversity.”
At the point, the boundary line of the estate, is a wetland which “interrupts the water flowing from Galpin kop in the neighbouring Fernkloof Nature Reserve. The koppie gets its name from the renowned amateur botanist Thomas Galpin which is also the name of our signature wine – Galpin Peak Pinot Noir.”
Have brightened this photo trying to get the colours … didn’t succeed very well :(
Sour Fig …
Beehives house the Cape Bee, unique in that of the several hundreds of bee species in the world, the workers, during a queen-less period, will lay eggs that can develop into workers, or even queens …
Next we came across a protea plantation, established about 30 years ago by the previous owner to supply cut flowers for export. “ It is now over-mature … and should be cleared and burnt to allow re-seeding to take place“.
By this time was very hot and bright .. we started our descent down an old jeep track which was “badly sited and has led to soil erosion which is now being repaired. Vegetation is being allowed to recover to the edge of the trail” Descending is made easier by thick ropes strung between wooden poles …
From here we spotted the cyclists again, on the Wines2Whales Mountain Bike race (see previous post).. zoomed in for a closer look
I then spotted hang-gliders …. zoomed in for a closer look too ;)
Very friendly lot !!! .. greeted us as they passed ” good morning … hi …. hello there … have a nice day … lovely day to be walking … enjoying the beautiful weather? … enjoy your day … :)
We passed an area “densely infested with aliens which has been used for the past 15 years as a research project under the management of University of Cape Town. Various species of insects, mainly Australian in origin have been released to monitor the efficiency of biological control methods …. despite the success of these control methods, the impact of these alien trees has been such as to lead to 100% suppression of any indigenous plants”.
On the right is a composting facility which utilizes chipped alien branch wood and residue from wine production …
Continual stream of cyclists ..
This is where we parted ways. We chose to walk back through the vineyards …
Galpin Peak (under cloud when hubby and I started our walk) ..
Watching the field workers working in rows I wondered what they were doing. I discovered hooks on the poles which supporting wires are hooked into. As the vines grow, so the wires need lifting. I’m sure I’m correct in my assumption ;)
Back to where we started from … the estate’s beautiful home and tasting room ..
What a super day!!! We didn’t do the wine tastings :( on an empty stomach .. lunch was needed!! We have done them, a few years ago and will return for tastings at Bouchard Finlayson Winery on our next visit to Hermanus