From Graaff Reinet to the Mountain Zebra National Park.

What an amazing view!

After a really uncomfortable night either clinging to the sides of the hammock-like bed or rolled together in a heap in the middle, we left Urquart’s Camping site and visited the Valley of Desolation in the Camdeboo National Park. As our vehicle neared the summit of the mountain overlooking the Valley of Desolation, the mists swirled around us and we could see nothing of the view. We nevertheless carried on to the top and walked to the very edge of a precipice to see if we could make out any of the features. We were rewarded for our perseverance as the mist gradually began to clear and we gazed down on the spectacular dolomite rocks, weathered into precariously balanced blocks that, over time, eventually overbalance and fall into the valley below.

Having now become experienced mountaineers, we followed the Lizzard Trail around the top, stopping to marvel at the spectacular views, while Dave and Barbara stopped to photograph various indigenous plants (a particular hobby of theirs). David spotted a Black Eagle perched on a rock which flew off the minute Dave tried to photograph it, but he persevered and manage to catch it in flight. (See photo of Dave, lying down behind Barbara and David, trying to get his shot).
We didn’t stay too long in the park as we had to make our next camp before night fall. We did, however, stop and have brunch at the Coldstream Restaurant, next to the Graaff Reinet Club. This club was originally the home of the Coldstream Guards during the Anglo-Boer War. This stop improved our image of Graaf Reinet and we put the horrors of the Municipal Chalets behind us and proceeded onwards through Hofmeyer to the Mountain Zebra National Park near Craddock. We all stayed in a well-appointed four-bed chalet and, after a great dinner in the restaurant, slept soundly.

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