Saturday, August 13, 2011

Unpleasant weather, stong wind, temptation to stay indoors but also good for hiking so we decided to head off to Van Stadens to see if we could find a way to connect the River Walk and the Forest Walk as many people have requested.

On arrival at the top lookout point (11:00am) the first priority of course was to find a sheltered spot for coffee and then make a beeline to the bridge.

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As long as one does not get too close to the edge of the gorge the going is quite easy and there are some very nice plants along the way. We were also pleasantly surprised to see evidence of hacking, particularly quite a few hakea had been chopped. As you get closer you get some impressive and unusual views of the bridge.

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Apart from some debris thrown off the bridge and crosses painted on the concrete in memory of those who jumped it was quite clean underneath the bridge and not difficult to cross.

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This can’t be said of the fence on the other side, quite a solid barbed wire fence and quite bushed up. We managed though to walk along it for a while and find a way through it and headed to where we though the lookout point was supposed to be. Again there was evidence of hacking, this time mainly wattle trees. Soon we got to the edge of the forest, followed the slope down and soon met the River Walk path not far from the turnoff, total distance only 900 meters.

Conclusion, with a bit of clearing and some easier way of crossing the fence it would be quite feasible to link the two trails and make it a longer round trip trail along the edge of the entire Reserve.

We continued our walk along the top section of the Forest Walk. It was nice to just amble along and take note of the names on the trees and various small plants on the forest floor.

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To our horror though we discovered a dense stand of tall wattle trees near the beginning of the trail, something needs to be done about those quite soon, we don’t want the forest to be invaded by those, an ideal place for cut and apply Timbrel as far as I’m concerned.

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On our way back across the bridge over the N2 I noticed something suspicious on our pipeline through the culvert and on closer inspection found that it has been damaged, I suppose our own fault by not protecting it with an outer sleeve like on the other side but one can do only so much.

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Got back to the car in good time, a bit late for lunch which made it taste even better and after that doing some silly things like sweeping out the derelict potting shed in the old nursery and collecting the obligatory big black bag of ‘mother of millions’ by the bridge. Nice to see though that we are making progress and just staying ahead of them flowering and dispersing even more seeds. Five bags later the tall plants are nearly gone and then we can start on the seedlings.

Our track: (click to enlarge)

Track