Monday, January 25, 2010

Deboning a mountain

Oops, almost a week since I’ve blogged. Doesn’t mean I haven’t been walking on The Mountain. It was another early Sunday start, this time more decently at 7.30. The night before Jannie deboned a chicken a la Julia Child (as in the Meryl Streep movie Julie & Julia), following her advice: “don’t be afraid!” Then he made a crème brulee with his new blowtorch I gave him for Christmas. Ok, so this is not a food blog, but a mountain blog. The talk about food is just to explain the slow start to the expedition.
So up we go. Llandadno ravine awaits, crème bruleed legs, stuffed chicken and an excellent few bottles of wine notwithstanding. Help.
From the car park below Suikerbossie we followed the trail through the cool pine forest and up to the first ridge. Coffee, please. Now. A chilly wind was whipping over the ridge, but we found a spot just below it where we could rest our backs against the rocks. If there’s one thing in the world I’ll never miss, it’s my morning coffee. To have that cup of coffee sitting on the mountain, dipping a rusk and rubbing your fingers on a fragrant buchu bush, well, that is total bliss. We sat for ages with the morning sun on our faces and I slowly felt the life returning to my body, like a chicken being defrosted before being deboned (sorry but the masterpiece was still fondly in my thoughts).
Llandadno ravine looks like it has been carved out of the mountain by someone who was not afraid to make a few deep gashes. In winter water streams down, but now it was dry – and fragrant. The scent from pelargoniums and confetti bushes waft up once they have warmed up in the sun.
Crassulas everywhere, looking like upright chandeliers of luminescent red buds on thick stalks up on the cliffs. One creeping over a rock – remember it’s called a ‘klipblom’ – competing with rusty red lichen.
Rock kestrels swooped, pigeons sat below the steep cliffs giving the wildness a domestic air. And there was a domestic air. Someone had built a low wall out of rocks so that you could shelter under an overhang. There was a cleanly swept spot where a modest fire had been built and a flat stone jutted out like a bedside table. The perfect place to put down your cellphone. It felt like home, so we had to stop for another tea break and slices of Patty’s leftover steak from the night before.
On top of Llandadno ravine sandstone rocks had been weathered into all kinds of shapes by the wind and rain. The edge dropped away suddenly so that you felt as if you were perched on top of the ocean. Llandadno’s white beach curved around its turquoise bay, ships sailed over the horizon and two paragliders caught an updraft above Leeukoppie.
The only mystery was why the rest of the world wasn’t here too. As we looked down onto the multi-million rand mansions below, I felt not a shred of envy. We had the best spot by far.

1 comment:

Wendy Morgenrood said...

Ah yes - Jannie's deboned chicken and creme brulee were magnificent. But modestly prevented you from mentioning the meze starters and salad that make you The Slaai Queen. Siegie declined (or reclined) while you were gazing down on Llandudno, so I staggered around the jeep track at Constantia Nek with the dogs. Urggh!