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Clivia and Cycad in Camphor Avenue
On Wed I collected an excited family of five from Atlanta Georgia USA for a iconic two day hike up and over Table Mountain overnighting at the dramatic Overseers Cottage at the De Villiers Dam on the back Table...
We made an early start at Kirstenbosch after sending our food and excess luggage up ahead with the Sanpark rangers...an hours orientation to these magnificent gardens turned up a Spotted Eagle Owl Chic on the ground near the Cycads with its concerned parents keeping an eye from overhead....The Pincushions are in full bloom in the Gardens as is South Africa's national flower the King Protea with its dinner plate size blooms...

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Castle Buttress towering over Kirstenbosch
It was a gorgeous sunny day and the imposing backdrop of Castle Butress made a dramatic setting for the start of our two day hike.
Leaving the Gardens we made our way out via the Dam that draws water from the streams above and looped out on a segment of the Yellowwood Trail until turning up at Skeleton Gorge to join up with the Contour Path....
We stopped to view the breathtaking waterfall at the start of the Smuts Track and then turned South on the contour path to join Rooikat Ravine which then makes its way steeply up through Cecelia Ravine and past the beautiful Cecelia Waterfall

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Skeleton Gorge Waterfall
We stopped for a refreshing shower under the pristine falls and then carried on up to the Bridle Path which makes its zig zag way ever upwards until reaching the The De Villiers Dam which is the first on the Back Table...
Vast areas have been cleared of alien pines and gums in recent times and this has afforded magnificent views of the Southern Peninsula and False bay while tackling the slog to the top

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The smaller of the two Overseers huts
The steep climb finally levelled off at the Steel Bridge which marks the start of the back table and we reached the dramatic Overseers Cottage at about 1pm.....This overnight cottage is placed almost on the edge of the cliffs and affords the most amazing views specially at night when the lights of the City below are quite a spectacle!!
The Cottage is a home from home and far from basic...in fact its level of comfort, setting and facilities is about the best you can get for such a hike!!

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De Villiers Dam
After a good rest and some delicious Woolworths sarmies we set off for an afternoon loop around all five Dams and then had a look at the old equipment at the Waterworks Museum all used when the dams were built in the late 1800's.....
We then followed the track of the old railway to the dramatic outlook over Kasteelspoort down into Camps Bay....
A rest and off again on the walk back this time over the wall of the Woodhead Dam looking down into Orange Kloof and Disa Gorge and then back to the Cottage for a relaxing evening after 22kms of great excercise and wonderful sights...

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The dramatic view from Kasteelspoort
After a good nights rest and a great meal supplied from Giavannis Deli we set off early for the 12km push towards Maclears Beacon, the highest point on Table Mountain and then finally the Cable Car down....
The day dawned misty but it cleared to become the most ideal warm hiking day...the Smuts track over the tops of Nursery Ravine, Skeleton Gorge and Fernwood Peak affords the most amazing views and passes through almost surreal jagged Sandstone rock formations...The Fynbos was as good and as colourful as you could see with everlasting Paper flowers in abundance....We gingerly bypassed a commotion of Cape Robins in a bush alongside the path as I spotted a Boomslang snake being harrassed by these birds deep in the Pincushion bush!!

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Table Mountain from Lions Head
We arrived elated at our highest point of Maclears Beacon at 12 noon and after admiring the view and a rest we finished the two days by walking on the Western Table route vie Platteklip Gorge to the Upper Cable station ...
The Cherry on the top of course was the Cable Car ride down as having hiked up to the top this was a first for all in this family!...
We were down by 1pm and my Atlanta Family were tired but totally gobsmacked by their experience over one of the worlds most beautiful two days of hiking that a person can do!!

Enid Katz
11/4/2011 12:13:29 am

I would have eaten my hat to join you
all on that hike Brian! Your photographs are spectacular...

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7/9/2012 03:12:29 pm

Found this from the Weebly directory, great blog.

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8/6/2017 09:03:22 am

In the past few years Israel has become an LGBT haven and heaven in the Middle East. Tel Aviv has become known as a Gay Capital and it is not uncommon to see LGBT tour groups walking down the street with a tour guide. This is part of an ongoing growth in Gay travel.

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3/12/2018 02:06:08 pm

Are you planning a trip to the famed city of New York? Then you should surely consider taking a ride on one of the New York City bus tours. New York is a wonderful city which is vibrant and colorful and there are so many exciting places to see while you are there. And the best possible way to get a good tour of the whole city would be to take a New York City bus tour.

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    I just love to see the faces of my guests when I share my passion for all that is Cape Town with them!!

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    Picture
    Pincushions in Kirstenbosch
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    Constantia Valley from the Bridle Path
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    The Overseers Cottage
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    The Track crane from 1880 at the Waterworks museum near Hely Hutchinson Dam
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    Everlasting Flowers on the Smuts Track
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    Maclears Beacon, the highest point of Table Mountain
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    The Cable Car