Pauline's birthday bubbles

Walk in the Constantia Greenbelt and picnic to celebrate Pauline's 60th. Pauline, Paul, Stephen, Lucy, Richard, Sue and Thea. Many thanks for the food and drink!
Thanks for the pic Thea.
Chillaxing afterwards and drying out the picnic blankets.

To the Disas - via Kasteelspoort

Start at the SANParks path on Theresa Avenue, Camps Bay. Click here for a Google Map of the path.
Follow the path up to the Pipe Track and take the Kasteelspoort ascent all the way up (point A on the map). [For a larger PDF version of the above annotated Slingsby Map, click here.]
From here follow the path to the Waterworks Museum at the foot of Hely Hutchinson Dam. Directly opposite the little museum is a path heading north-east up the valley between St Michaels and Junction Peaks. Walk all the way up until you reach the Aquaduct (point B on the map).
After admiring the Red Disas,
and the rare Amphithalea imbricata (above) at the little bridge at the start of the Aquaduct – point B on the map), turn back and retrace your steps till you get to a waterfall on your right (point C on the map).
Head up the valley between St Michaels and Orion Peaks where you can pick up a faint path on the left of the disa-lined stream.
Follow the path as it winds along the stream and you eventually come out at a junction near a little bridge
and a signpost (point D on the map) saying Echo Valley.
Follow the Echo Valley path to the next junction (Point E on the map), then go through the Valley of the Red Gods back to the start of the Kasteelspoort descent. (Point A on the map).
Retrace your steps back to Theresa Ave.

NB: The Red Disas flower from the middle of January till the middle of March.
Once again, I am indebted to Peter Slingsby for his great maps. Click here to purchase your own.

Time: 5 hours if reasonably fit.
 GPS points:
Start at Theresa Ave track -33.963255, 18.384411
Start of Kasteelpoort path from Pipe Track -33.964910, 18.389336
A -33.972284, 18.394586
Waterworks Museum Path -33.974692, 18.407725
B -33.972943, 18.416990
C  -33.972087, 18.414638
D -33.969465, 18.411788
E -33.968949, 18.410816
Blue Disa (Disa graminifolia) in Echo Valley. Flowering time is February.

Threading long and leafy mazes ...

The Constantia Greenbelt - an ideal walk for a hot summer's day.
Meet at the start of the trail at the end of Oak Avenue.
Blue arrows - from Rhodes Drive, turn into Hohenort Avenue just opposite Cecilia Forest Car Park. Follow Hohenort Avenue  - to the right - a km or two, then turn left into Oak Avenue and continue to the end of the road where the trail starts.
Red arrows: Turn off the Blue Route Motorway (M3) at Constantia, go straight over Constantia Main Road into Alphen Road and continue along Alphen Road a few kms. The road forks - you take the left fork which becomes Hohenort Avenue. Almost immediately, turn right into Oak Avenue and continue to the end.
Highlights of the trail include shade, lovely trees, a river
 and fabulous birds. This photo is one of a pair of "mystery" buzzards that was photographed by Margaret McIvor, who very kindly posts all her amazing bird photos on the Facebook group Constantiaberg Birding Nature and Landscape. Well worth following! Other birds to see include Olive Woodpeckers, Paradise Flycatchers, Black Sparrowhawks, tiny little Swee Waxbills, Dusky Flycatchers, Sombre Bulbuls and many more.
Its Coco and Laddie's most most favourite walk!
Peter Slingsby's map of our route. Available here.
Title from the Food Lady's fave duo - the mighty G&S.

Tokai Park

Meet in Dennedal Road, off Spaanschemat River Road for an hours easy walk in Tokai Park.
From Cape Town, go along Spaanschemat River Road past Peddlars on the Bend, towards Tokai, and turn left into Dennendal Road.
Here is another map.
This is one of Coco's best walks - with lots of water,
and scenic views. This is the Cape Flats so there are no hills, just easy, flat walking.
Dog activity cards from SANParks are needed as this is part of the Table Mountain National Park.
It is very dog friendly however.
There are lots of wonderful flowers and plants, including the rare and endangered Mimetes hirtus,
and birds like this Karoo Prinia, and frogs, and goggas and small mammals too.
Good paths,
boardwalks and Scottie wades.
And here to tell you more about it is Daks, a Beagle. Click here.

Baskloof to Ocean Viewpoint

A lovely walk that takes you up the firebreak just before you enter Scarborough (on the Misty Cliffs side) and into the mountains overlooking Witsand and Soetwater. It is partially in the Baskloof Private Nature Reserve and mostly in the Table Mountain National Park. You will need a permit from Baskloof (obtainable from The Hub next door to the Camel Rock Restaurant - but if you start early you will have to get it when you return as they are not open early) and, if you have dogs, a SANParks dog permit.
Meeting place: On Main Road, just before Scarborough, park opposite the firebreak at the "Baboon" signpost and make sure you car is tightly locked - against human and baboon marauders. Cross the road and walk up the firebreak with the houses on your right.
At the back row of houses, follow the path as it curves slightly right towards the houses,
then take the first left fork in the path which will take you up to a sign saying Redhill Fynbos Private Nature Reserve.
 Carry on up and up towards the saddle between Platberg (to your left) and Grootkop (towards your right) until you come to a crossroads near the Crocodile Rock (shown above). Left will take you up Platberg where there are some great views, straight will take you to some rocky outcrop, and right will take you on our walk.
Continue on the path over some rocks - with cairns to mark the way. The path soon comes to a T-junction with another single-track path after a large cairn (which will be your marker to turn right when you return).
Turn left and carry on along the path where there are some lovely views down to the sea.
The path soon joins a bigger road - a sort of jeep track - where you turn left again. After a few metres there is a track to the right, but this just goes to a house and tepee tents so bear left here and follow the track for a kilometre or so, past Vloeiberg on your right, 
until it just peters out on Platkop overlooking the Kommetjie-Misty Cliffs road. 
 Now you will have to turn round and re-trace your steps.
The whole walk will take about 4 hours.
Special sightings include baboons (they are largely unconcerned with hikers - just pack away your food and leash your dogs!),
 the rare Erica fairii on the slopes of  Vlooiberg,
vlamme (Gladiolus bonaspei),
Wurmbea hiemalis, a threatened Cape Peninsula endemic
and the Frothy Heath (Erica spumosa).

Up Elsie's Peak

From Mountain Road, Fish Hoek, follow the path up the mountain towards Glencairn, then up to Elsie's Peak for tea, then down to the cars. About 3 hours fairly gentle, dog-friendly walking.
Meet at the top of Ravine Steps at the SANParks signpost on Mountain Road.
To get to the start: From Kommetjie Road, turn into Berg Rd, which then becomes Mountain Rd, and a few hundred metres before the dead end, there is a SANParks sign saying Elsies Peak.
Park at the sign post. We will meet here.
The route.

Woodstock Cave

One place we have never visited is Woodstock Cave. So, lets brave the Devils Peak muggers, and go and investigate. Meet at the Gim Tree Carpark at 7h45. About 3 hours with tea and a few diversions. 

The Cape Town Magazine hiking site describes it as follows: 
Tafelberg Road to Woodstock Cave
Get to the lower Table Mountain cable station and continue along Tafelberg Road until cars are no longer allowed. Park your car (or continue walking) and pass the road barrier. Walk for a few kilometres along the beautiful tarred road, enjoy the views and colourful flowers. At the end of the tarred section, walk a further 100 metres on the dirt road and you will see a metal gate with stone pillars. The hike up to the cave begins a few steps before this gate; it is a little bit hidden. The route zigzags its way slowly up the slope and will bring you to Woodstock Cave’s mouth.
 It is a comfortable one hour walk up to the cave, so plan 2.5 to 3 hours including a picnic at the cave.