Day 157 – Distant vistas

I filled the car with diesel for the second time since March, chucked in the family and a camera and headed North East. I wanted to see snow on mountains. Not snow on the ground: I’m happy to leave that for the locals – who didn’t have the privilege of having it on their doorstep every winter – to queue for.

A quick trip over the Du Toitskloof Pass gave us some ok spots, but I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed. I wanted a bit more snow, a bit more drama. And that seems a little greddy given some of the views:

We could have gone much further inland towards Ceres, but that wasn’t really the plan, so we headed back through the tunnel, towards Franschhoek and then over Helshoogte to Stellenbosch.

Yeah. OK. Not bad.

From there, down to Somerset West via the (absolutely terrible) Mooiberg Farm Stall and a hope of some easy pickings on the Helderberg. But no. Horrible grey clouds hanging just around the snow line. Very disappointing. Coffee and home then.

It was a nice trip around our little corner of the Western Cape. But – photographically, at least – the whole thing could have been a bit more lucrative.

Some pics here.

Wevver

Much rain expected this afternoon and evening for Cape Town and along the Southern Cape coast. This is not unusual: it’s winter. In fact, it’s rather welcome, given the shortages of water we are currently suffering. It would just be nice if it wasn’t all being dumped on us at once.

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And after today, we can expect a further cold front hitting Cape Town on Thursday.

This week’s dam levels were up 4.6% from last week (to 48.1%), but given the amount of rain forecast for the next few days, we can expect an even bigger increase this coming week.

Assuming there’s anything left of the country.

Here and There

It’s no surprise that it’s around this time of year that the meteorological differences between my hometown and my adopted hometown are at their most distinct and obvious. That said, it’s always something of interest when there’s concurrently snow in Sheffield and a heatwave in Cape Town. Yesterday was one of those days.

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That’s Sheffield on the left, by the way.
Eagle-eyed readers with knowledge of the False Bay coastline (it’s a small subset, but it must apply to someone), will already have noted that Fishhoek, Simonstown and the rest of the Peninsula are missing from the horizon on that apparently rather washed out second shot. That’s due to the thick smoke from the fires currently burning in Elgin over the weekend, (as you can see from the helpfully annotated image below).
Sadly, I don’t think this view will be quite the same a it was a couple of weeks ago.

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Meanwhile, as Flickr friend SheffDave’s photostream confirms, things were altogether colder and whiter in the Steel City.

Personally, I don’t particularly mind either sort of weather, as long as I know it’s coming. The effects of the snow and cold can be overcome with warm clothing (or finding a pub with a fire); the somewhat unpleasant heat by wearing fewer clothes (or being lucky enough to live in a house with a swimming pool).