'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The New 30

We celebrated my birthday, the Renaissance Man, the Scouse Ambassador and me, by taking a hike - a beautiful 12-mile walk through the mountains north of Greyton on the so-called 'McGregor Trail'. That we did so at all is down to the determination of the Scouse Ambassador, whose walking takes no prisoners. The first two miles of trail had been washed away by recent floods and this meant much cutting through trackless undergrowth, fording and refording rivers, forcing ways through close thickets, all the while surrounded by the colourful wreckage of Greyton's public infrastructure: twenty-foot lengths of industrial tubing littered the riverbanks, which the Ambassador confidently identified as 'the town's water-main'. After a while we reached a distinct trail and we turned our faces to the hills, boldly going where no four-wheel-drive had gone recently. We ascended a snaking path into the Overberg leading to a hidden valley of luscious fynbos circled by the craggy redoubts of Table Mountain Sandstone which receded into the mist-wreathed peaks.
At first the Renaissance Man seemed beset by bandana-related fashion issues, but by the time we posed for delicious lamb sandwiches at Breakfast Rock he had recovered his characteristic disdain for haute couture. The trail led us through storm-gouged dongas (into which I stylishly fell headlong) and across stream-crossings choked with tree trunks, boulders and rubble, but the waterfalls were spectacular, enchanting torrents that plunged sixty feet through narrow rock-chutes into bottomless black pools. Then we ascended to the barrier at Galg along the remains of a road cut across a cliffside by Italian POWs in the 1940s. It was reassuring to note that their sense of style had not deserted the forced labourers as the road, rough-hewn blasted and precarious, was flanked by attractively cut decorative curbstones.
Then we descended to the steaming plains of McGregor, past rows of hives where bees feasted on fynbos blossoms and found, quite coincidentally, that we were passing Lords vineyard, a new winery whose Sauvignon Blanc has the authentic sharp fruit of the variety and whose Shiraz is as perfumed, smooth and supple as one could wish. After a conversation on the intricacies of vine-cultivation, the Cellar Manager drew some of his unreleased Pinot Noir from its cask for us. Altogether, rather a good way to turn 50.


Blogger Irene Adler said...

Nick - Many happy returns, and welcome back to blogland.

8/1/08 8:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8/1/08 8:34 pm  
Blogger Lex Alexander said...

Happy birthday, Nick!

8/1/08 8:46 pm  
Blogger Ray and Gill said...

Happy birthday Nick

9/1/08 9:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pictures, we want pictures, of you going head first and the bandana!

9/1/08 10:28 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Thank you one and all - and there'll be pictures as soon as I get back from SA where for reasons too technical and boring Ican't download photos from the camera . .

11/1/08 3:43 pm  

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