Soaked to the skin and battered by hail, I blame my new purple wellies and a Twitter rockstar who will be named at the end of this post.
The sun came out for about 10 seconds and that was a good enough reason to head towards the mountain, or in an “expect more rain” direction. On this day of the most inclement weather of 2014, I decided to experience the new Tree Canopy Walk, affectionately known as the Boomslang, at Kirstenbosch.
The feeble sun lulled my equally feeble brain into a false sense of weather happiness, and I spent ages having coffee and using up precious dry moments admiring the sculptures.
Yes, the Botanical Gardens are the perfect place for art lovers, not just tree, flower and shrub types.
I had just started the walk towards the boomslang when the cloud above my head opened up and pelted me with hail as a ran for cover. Stubborn optimism made me run in my purple wellies from inadequate tree to useless shrub trying to avoid the stinging ice pellets.
Soaked to the skin, but oddly invigorated, I sloshed onwards and upwards to the start of the Boomslang.
The hail morphed into friendlier rain, and once I was on the Boomslang it mercifully stopped and I was able to appreciate the soggy view through my rain splattered glasses.
Even on a stormy Cape day when visibility is not great, the views of the gardens from up high are spectacular.
The Boomslang is 130m long and at the highest point is 12 m above the ground. It is wheelchair accessible, although assistance is required due to the gradient of the paths that lead to it.
I waited patiently in my dripping clothes and purple wellies for a rainbow , but no colourful arcs appeared for me to photograph.
I did however make a new friend. The only other crazy local on the Boomslang was a lovely lady from the Hohenhort Hotel, a tour guide doing research.
She had the sense to come prepared and shared her purple umbrella with me while we had a chat under the dripping trees, and swapped details by writing in my now sodden notebook.
Keen to get home and into something warm and dry, I did not spend much time exploring the rest of the gardens, although there is enough to do and see for a full day in my opinion. All the details here: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch
There is something very soothing about being in nature, surrounded by endless shades of green. Add to that the birds, streams and the dominance of the mountain, in good weather or bad, Kirstenbosch is a good place to be.
I need to remember to act like a tourist in my own town more often.
The back story to my soggy tale. Naming and blaming.
I admit I was planning on walking the Boomslang this month, but not necessarily today. I got captivated by the #Attractions2014 on Twitter and discovered it was being held at Kirstenbosch and that a certain Joburg based Twitter rockstar was attending.
That was the deciding factor, and excluding all thoughts of the weather, her probable lack of availability or desire to talk to me, out came the wellies, rain jacket, phone and camera and off I went.
Me impulsive? Never!
It was worth it.
I was able to chat briefly to Tara Turkington, get introduced to Sabine Lehman, top gal of the Table Mountain Aerial Cable Way, and as an extra bonus, I got to meet the lady who to me is the ultimate legend in travel and travel writing, Kate Turkington.
Absolutely worth getting dented by hail and chilled to numbness for. Thanks Tara, next time though, it’s dinner.