With my first year of university behind me, it’s time to return to Arangieskop. What a spectacular hike it was!
Arangieskop is a peak of the Langeberg mountain range (literally meaning long mountains) near the town of Robertson, Western Cape. The ascent is steep but takes you through pristine mountain fynbos and through a ravine where you can stop for snacks and take a swim! You overnight on the very snug hut on top of the mountain. Day two you summit and take the long and steep decent down to the Robertson wine valley below.
The morning of the final ascent, we saw the most beautiful sunrise above a blanket of clouds covering the valleys below.
Enjoy the video and if you ever get the chance, endeavor to ascent this peak!
Racing on a single track bike trail with wind streaming through your hair and shrubs blurring past. This is freedom.
SUDDENLY a bright pink mouth with fangs deadly strikes from underneath causing a surge of adrenaline. The dreaded, yet intricately beautiful puff adder.
^Check out our morning ride on the 2 min video.^
In the video you’ll notice many shrubs, succulents and thorn trees. The floral region is known as the Robertson Karoo.
The climate is semi-arid due to the region lying in the rainshadow of large mountain ranges. Summers are dry with temperatures reaching maximum of 40 ‘C ( 104 F) while winters are cool and moist with minimum of -1’C (30 F). It has a average monthly precipitation of 7,7 mm in winter months (Apr – Oct).
Consequently the biome is a succulent shrubland. The plants are adapted to prevent water loss in the dry season.
Small-leaved guarri with wrinkled leaves so that the leaf is rarely fully exposed to sunlight.
Aloe microstigma has thick and fleshy leaves, which are enlarged to accommodate aqueous tissue inside. The leaves are also covered by a thin wax layer preventing water loss.
Interesting fact about puff adders:Puff adders hunt by ambushing their prey, and can lie motionless for weeks at a single location waiting for prey to pass. This behavior makes them vulnerable to predation.
A recent study at University of Witwatersrand found that (except for its visual camouflage) it has a chemical camouflage. They observed that dogs and the tame mongooses used in the study walked directly over motionless puff adders with both predators appearing to be completely unaware of the motionless snakes.