Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chapman's Peak Drive

No visitor is allowed to leave Cape Town without having being driven along Chapman's Peak Drive. No person returning to their mother city after a long absence can stay away from the Chapman's Peak for long. It is too beautiful.

We stood in the on-again off-again rain beside the wet road and looked far out over the wide white beach at Noordhoek. A rainbow appeared, and disappeared.

The road was slick and black with water. This spectacular piece of construction is now a fusion of old time guts and hard labour, and modern Swiss engineering. I don't like to think much of its construction - convicts built the road, starting in 1915, and I don't imagine it was a picnic. It took seven years. 

In 2000 the drive was closed after several rockfall that resulted in injuries and fatalities. Enter the Swiss consultants.

Et voila:

We stopped along the way several times and at last I had the opportunity to photograph a daisy that seems ubiquitous and beautiful in the Cape at the moment. It is everywhere, in high, mounded bushes. My mother identified it for me as a bietou bush and seemed a little surprised at my interest. A little research reveals that this indigenous shrub - Chrysanthemoides monilifera - is an invasive scourge in Australia, which dedicates significant resources to its eradication. Plantz Africa says that its berries are edible, and were eaten by the Khoi and San. Another source says they are sweet.

So the daisy was on my left. At the same spot I turned to my right and took this picture of moody Hout Bay.

And straight out ahead, the cloud pouring over the Karbonkelberg on the far side of Hout Bay.

I like this other season.
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