Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week-ends are for family.....

It's been a while........too long actually!
Week-ends have been full of parties and rain and, well business.....

So when Sunday promised to be a glorious, sunny, winter's day I booked the afternoon for a family hike.
And we headed off to Boye's Drive to explore a hiking trail we'd spied while driving by on one of those busy days.

If my memory serves me correctly this walk is called Ou Kraal.

And this is what you get: spectacular views of False Bay and Kalk Bay Harbour.

I want our family to be an outdoor family. When we first started hiking our hikes lasted 15 minutes tops.  Okay, truth be told they were very young then!  And a two year old's legs can only go as far as they've been trained to walk.
Learning to walk at their pace and to lower my expectations of possible distances to be achieved was my first lesson.
The second: choose a hiking spot with lots of rocks!

It doesn't matter how steep the hill is, as long as they have rocks to clamber over like little mountain goats, up, up, up they'll go!

Children learn from our examples.  If you love to be outdoors, they will too.  If you enjoy hiking and are often overheard to proclaim: "Wow, what a spectacular view!",
You're sure to hear these very words echoed back at you!

This flower above is covering the mountainside as you drive over Ou Kaapse Weg.  I'm not sure if it's a type of protea-perhaps one of my clever gardening friends can tell me :-)

Below is what it looks like on masse.
A carpet of yellow sunshine.

Jenna's favourite find of the day: dried up ferns.  She loved the way they spiraled at the ends.

A leafless silhouette.

Another view of Kalk Bay Harbour.

Everyone enjoyed this walk.  (Even Bunny!)
Jenna repeatedly said it was the funnest hike she's been on and when we suggested turning around to return home we had two very unhappy hikers on our hands.
Well, I guess it's better than hiking with two moaning hikers you constantly need to encourage to continue on up just one more hill! 

Encouraging your children to enjoy a hike can be tiring.
I've learnt to share my joy of all the beauty around us, pointing out a beautiful flower,


ant's nest,

or reminding them of where we've made relationships with flowers elsewhere usually helps distract an unhappy camper hiker.

Erica's-we learnt their names for the first time at Silvermine Dam.

This is a type of Protea (I really need to get a flower guide!).  Unfortunately we chopped off the top of the flower in the picture, but at the tip of the flower are beautiful furry, black petal tips.  The children loved feeling their furriness!

On our way up the mountain we spotted a beautiful bird with long tail feathers.
But it flew away before we could get a good photo of it.
It has a very distinctive call, so as we walked along we listened carefully for it's call.
That was an added distraction for the children as we encouraged them to keep on heading down the path towards home.
Our good listening skills were rewarded when we spotted this one perched on top of some plants near the carpet of yellow we had passed on the way up.

Cape Sugarbird (male)

And our careful bird-spotter dad, spied this bird eating from the proteas.  
{Can you see the black fury tips, on the flowers, here?}

A wonderful afternoon spent with the ones I love.......
doing what I love to do, 
in the place I love best: outdoors!