An interesting hike up to the Constantiaberg Mast yesterday morning with friends. 8.8km in distance and 510m of ascent. Sometimes hot and sunny, sometimes cold and windy. Such is the chaotic nature of the weather in the Table Mountain National Park. But on the backside of the mountain on the way up, we were mainly surviving a “bracing” gale force southwesterly, straight off the Atlantic.

Not much animal life around, but a fair selection of birds and plenty (or more) of South Africa’s National Flower, the King Protea (Protea cynaroides):

Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of reproducible information about the actual mast that we walked up to. Sitting on a mountain of 902m, it’s either 146m or 154m high, which I guess won’t really bother anyone who’s not flying nearby between 1048m and 1056m amsl. But it does really seem like something that really should be a known value.

It’s about half the height of the Eiffel Tower, which looks BIG whenever you see it. But even when you’re right underneath this structure, it really doesn’t seem that tall. Maybe that’s because there’s nothing around to compare it to. The guy wires holding it up in the mighty Cape wind – the two of which make an eerie and almost ominous sound as they meet – are seriously hefty though, as are their attachment points to the mountain. It doesn’t seem to wobble much.
And although there’s still radio and TV being broadcast from here, the majority of the infrastructure now seems to be microwave-based – I counted over 70 transceivers. And one big satellite dish.

One thing that is a little lax is the security. A waist-high, rusting barbed wire fence (and some healthy self-preservation and vertigo) was all that was stopping us from being able to access and climb the tower. (B)eagle-eyed readers will be able to see the wide open gate to the right of the road: that’ll certainly assist in keeping people from getting very, very close to this strategically important bit of national infrastructure.

We just sat there and had a coffee and some hot cross buns though, before a much less hectic descent back to the car.

A good morning out.

Day 546 – There is a dog

Early morning riding lesson in Hout Bay. Not this guy, obviously. This is a dog. I’m surprised you didn’t notice that.

You can’t ride a dog.

I’m playing with Lightroom on my phone while trying to avoid the midges. And this guy is playing with his stick and trying to get me to throw it for him.

My daughter is working hard in the arena, the light is beautiful, and I’m wishing that I’d brought my camera along.

Day 376 – Ridehorsing

It’s the last day of the kids’ school holiday, and I’ve been drafted in to take one of them to the stables in Hout Bay.

Mrs 6000 usually likes to come out here, because she’s a much bigger fan of horses than I am, but she’s busy at work this morning, so I’m watching on instead.

And I have to say that there are probably worse places to spend an hour or so…

…especially after yesterday’s meteorological aberration.

This is a local tweet, for local people…

With apologies to The League of Gentlemen

This tweet was of the first things I saw when I logged on this morning.

And oh, well played, that man.

My goodness! Some water for that burn, ma’am?


(for those non-local readers, Patricia was Mayor of Cape Town for over eight years and was Western Cape Provincial Minister of Social Development prior to that)

(but now she’s not with the DA anymore [#grumpydivorce], and is standing against them in the upcoming election, apparently it’s all their fault that nothing got done)

(these things are never funny if you have to explain them)

(but jeez… politicians are shameless, hey?)

Look North

What to do when your son is invited to a birthday party on that side of the mountain and you have a couple of hours to kill? Head down to the local beach and take some photos, of course.

It wasn’t the best day weather-wise, so the photos must reflect the drama and the moodiness of the prevailing conditions. White sand, grey skies, black mountains: it was almost monochrome, so that’s what I worked with. I’ve only had chance to edit and upload a couple of images so far, but this one defines the afternoon quite nicely:

See it bigger and better on black here.

I have ordered a new ND filter for the camera, but I won’t actually get it until June (it was 4x more expensive in SA than in the UK, so I’m picking it up when I get over there). In the meantime, I’m limited (even on grey days like today) to 1/8″ – so that sea should be smoother. Still, I do kind of like it.

I’ll pop a link up to the other images I took today once there’s something to actually link to.
Aaaaaand… it’s here!