Two very different forests in South Africa

Hiking at Bushman's Nek, uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

Dave and David wanted to do a 12 kilometer hike from Bushman’s Nek to Garden Castle in the uKhahlamba National Park (needless to say I passed!!) Barbara and I did, however, join them for the first 2 Km or so, the first part of which was up hill. (I found that quite hard going) Then the ground was fairly flat for a while (which I must confess was rather more fun) but suddenly I saw the ground descending steeply in front of me. I reasoned that what goes down must come up again when one is retracing one's steps, so I sat on a rock and watched the hikers disappearing into the distance (see photo) while I enjoyed the stunning view and waited until Barbara decided to return. There really is something spiritual about sitting alone on a rock on the top of a mountain in Africa! We eventually made our way back to the car and drove out to visit with Meri and Neville, some friends of Barbara’s who farm in the area. We had a merry lunch while they caught up with news of Boston and then drove to Garden Castle to pick up two rather tired, but happy hikers.

 Dave admiring a particularly interesting tree

Lunch again, this time at the Pickle Pot, just outside Boston; (You will gather from all these lunches that the diet has been completely abandoned!) after which Dave guided us through an indigenous forest and identified the trees for us. Inside the forest was very quiet, apart from the bird song; and one was aware of rustling in the bushes, although we never actually saw any game. After lunch we went to visit Al, Susie and baby Noah at their home in Pietermaritzburg for Susie’s birthday tea, in honour of which Barbara had made the most decadent Bar-One muffins and a delicious fruit cake.

The following day we went to see how the MOTH’s two-day Bass Fishing Competition was going. (For the uninitiated, MOTH’s means the Memorable Order of the Tin Hats.) The competition takes part in various dams in the area and in one of the dams is a tagged fish worth 10 000 Rand to the person who catches it. Of course, no one knows which dam it is in and this year no one found it (much to the relief of the local farmer who sponsored it!) We visited the dams in the Mount Shannon Plantation. This is an enormous area planted with pine trees and, after watching the fishermen for a while, we decided to walk down the fire breaks between the trees – much easier than trying to walk amongst the pine needles on the forest floor! We even saw a buck break cover and dash across in front of us - the magic of Africa!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to have your thoughts on any aspect of my blog.

Press Centre

Press Centre
I couldn't resist this one!