Walking a trail through vineyards and fynbos : Bouchard Finlayson

On our recent trip to the Cape

What a fabulous day we had!!!!

Bouchard Finlayson Wine Estate, established in 1989 covers 125 hectares,  of which some 20ha on the lower fertile soils are under cultivation with the remaing 100ha, largely on the low-nutrient soils of the Table Mountain Group, dedicated to environmental conservation”    quote from map of trails through the vineyard

Copy of IMG_3914

Hubby and I chose to do the Red Route – 2 1/2 hours covering approx. 7km.  It was well marked and each marker coincided with an information paragraph on the underside of the map.  All very interesting.  They do have guided walks for a one on one walk or small groups with a fynbos fundi, Frank Woodvine.   Would love to do that sometime …. booking is essential.    It was a cloudy cool day .. looked like rain, but perfect for walking

Copy of IMG_3911

Copy of IMG_3912 Copy of IMG_3913

Copy of IMG_3917

Copy of IMG_3919 Copy of IMG_3920

Copy of IMG_3922

Copy of IMG_3923

Pic below … trail goes alongside the vines, turn left at the end, down to the valley, through the valley and then upwards to the top of the ridge (under clouds!)  By the time we got to the top the clouds had cleared

Copy of IMG_3924

Looking back from where we started

Copy of IMG_3926

old mature fynbos which was last burned 18 years ago which needs a fire to rejuvenate the eco system.   Constant effort is needed to keep the land free of invasive alien woody species such as wattle, pines, myrtle and eucalyptus (blue gum) which spread from the neighbouring property ” …

Copy of IMG_3929

Copy of IMG_3930

Copy of IMG_3932

We didn’t realise that the Wines2Whales mountain bike race was in progress and in its last stage – part of which was through Bouchard Finlayson …

Copy of IMG_3933

The race is a course of 3 days covering approx. 230km of the Cape Winelands, starting in Somerset West and ” traverses 13 wineries, 26 private farms, 6 mountains, some beautiful historic roads and passes, as well as exquisite nature conservation areas”   … ending in Hermanus

We came across many, many cyclists on our walk, or should I say many, many cyclists came across us !!!!

Copy of IMG_3934

Above photo:  On the left of cyclists crossing the small wooden bridge is an area cleared of alien wattles as part of a Working for Water initiative.  The branch wood is being chipped for turning into compost and also for mulching in the vineyards

Below:  New vines being planted on open land which has been prime habitat for a pair of Blue Cranes, our national bird.  The pair successfully raised their typically single chick of the last few years …

Copy of IMG_3937

The trail goes down to Galpin Stream where the vegetation is typical of dense riverine bush …

Copy of IMG_3945

Copy of IMG_3940 Copy of IMG_3941 Copy of IMG_3942 Copy of IMG_3943

Copy of IMG_3950

Copy of IMG_3947

Copy of IMG_3952

Copy of IMG_3953

Copy of IMG_3951

Copy of IMG_3948 Copy of IMG_3949

The trail began to rise, still following the stream which flows strongly in winter months  (the Cape has a Mediterranean climate)  ..

Copy of IMG_3955

Crossing the wooden foot bridge one sees a few Palmiet plants, Prionium serratum, which plays a vital role in reducing the force of water flow after heavy rains, so reducing the risk of soil erosion.  Long long ago, the long narrow leaves were used by slaves in Cape town for weaving their hats

Copy of IMG_3956

Copy of IMG_3957

Copy of IMG_3958

Copy of IMG_3959 Copy of IMG_3961 Copy of IMG_3962

Copy of IMG_3963

 

Copy of IMG_3964

Rising further upwards and around the corner between the rocky ridges we came across a weir ..   “the impounded water is used to irrigate the vineyards.”   There is also a notice inviting walkers to ‘enjoy a paddle’

Copy of IMG_3967

From this spot, looking up to the summit of the ridge is a framework of poles which forms part of a cableway built to carry cement and stone to construct the weir  (we didn’t realise the trail changed to a steep incline after this to reach those poles!)

Copy of IMG_3968

Copy of IMG_3971

Copy of IMG_3970

Copy of IMG_3974

Still quite a way to go to those poles!!   Tiny dots of people – centre of pic – is a group from the Botanical Society who were walking with Frank, the fynbos fundi.   They were walking in the opposite direction …

Copy of IMG_3975

Looking back down to the valley and vineyards …

Copy of IMG_3976

There go the Botanical Society 🙂   We chatted with them when our paths crossed again.   Great excitement!!    Frank, the fynbos fundi,  had recently discovered a new species of fynbos on the property and they were so excited to be privileged to be shown it.   Quite a find!!   Imagine scouring every inch of ground searching for new plants, especially fynbos which is usually short and fine like heather

Copy of Copy of IMG_3981

A well wooded kloof – (steep-sided ravine or valley) “supports the only patch of Afro-Montane forest on the estate.  A series of tumbling waterfalls give rise to pools surrounded by some fine specimens of trees ie Rooiels, Cape Beech, Cape Holly and Hard-pear.  Consideration is being given to extending the trail to the foot of the kloof”    .. that would be lovely !

Copy of IMG_3985

Nearly at the top ..

Copy of IMG_3984

We made it !!

Copy of IMG_3992

Copy of IMG_3991

Part two next … walking the ridge, back down again, cyclists pass us one by one and back through the vineyards

….

Advertisements

About momsmeanderings

Wife ... mom ... granny .. in a nutshell ! Never a dull moment !
This entry was posted in bridges, Cape, countryside, flowers, Hermanus, holiday, mountains, Peter, photography, plants, travel, wine estates and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Walking a trail through vineyards and fynbos : Bouchard Finlayson

  1. Anet Louw says:

    I love to know if you would be so kind to give me permission to use one of your beautiful photographs of the vineyard for an artwork? Your name will be mentioned in the name plate of the artwork should it be selected for the exhibition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s