Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A drive in the country part 2

Well yesterday I left you standing on the sand river bridge overlooking the supply dam. So lets have a quick drink of water which Mr Farty thoughtfully brought along in two cycling bottles, and a nectarine and a naartjie (tangerine..) to keep the wolf from the door, it is really hot and dry outside, thank goodness for the air conditioner... (are we sissies or what?!!!!).

Right, let the intrepid adventurers continue on their way. We are still travelling through farmlands, but things have changed in this area over the years. It was a productive wheat farming area many years ago. But the annual average rainfall has fallen to the point where farmers stopped planting wheat (global warming again??) and have allowed their fields to revert to grasses for grazing. We saw quite a lot of cattle as we went along.

This is how a typical Eastern Cape farm looks in this area. Unpretentious farm house overlooking the lands, barn nearby, with a river nearby for water. Note the old contour banks from the wheatfields are still visible under the grazing grass which now covers them, to the right of the picture.

Moving on and here is a treat for those of you who love derelict old buildings. As we came around a bend, we were first struck by the lovely white backlit flowerheads on the grass, then we noticed what was behind them and did a u turn.

It was worth the stop. While Max took some interior shots, I was scrambling around over barbed wire fences to get this exterior shot.

It seemed like everytime one of us looked up, there was the other running around with camera clamped on face!

This quaint old bridge supported the "main road" near the cottage. Seems like the river had seen grander days.

moving on, there were still signs of civilisation, but fewer and further apart.

Like this cute little chapel, built in 1950 according to the date on the surprisingly fancy gable.

But the further we got from civilisation, the worse the roads became. As you can see, it is a while since a grader passed this way. I enjoyed the challenge of negotiating the rocks and gullies, while Max photographed it.

The alien vegetation is much sparser now, and the indigenous fynbos is blanketting the hillsides. It is beautiful all year round, because it is such a rich and varied floral kingdom, and there is always something in flower. We were lucky that many of the Ericas (heather) were blooming.

In fact, they were so dense in places that, at a distance, certain patches of the hillsides were purple.

Although this wasn't the season for most proteas, there were some members of the family doing their best to put on a fine show.

And we will leave it there for now, next thrilling installment, and a much needed stop for lunch at Patensie to follow.... watch this space.

Over on PE Daily Photo, we are posting some of our best pictures of this trip, so do hop over there and check out the last couple of days. You can also see more of Max's photos on his blog


dot said...

These pictures are just gorgeous! I had no idea your country was so beautiful. The fence picture is my favorite but I love them all.

Firefly said...

Great set. I think I must go down that road as well. It looks inviting with loads of photo opportunities.

quintarantino said...

I just love the photo of the fence.