Thursday, May 08, 2008

Getting there.......... on the road again!

In a fit of enthusiasm to show you the splendours of Lesotho, I seem to have jumped right in with photos from there, so today I will backtrack slightly and show a couple of images of the actual journey to get there.... again just scratching the surface, there is still SOOOOOOOO much to see, but here is a start, the fascinating variety of landscapes we drove through, with the road as a common factor in this series, .... and please excuse the odd bug splat and reflection, some were taken as we were driving along! One thing we decided at the start was that, wherever possible, we would avoid the main roads, and stick to backroads, and preferably ones we had not driven before.

The backroad to Alicedale winds through typical bush found in the southern inland region of the Eastern Cape.
We shared the road with an interesting selection of vehicles, animals and humans along the way! This Taxi is in the charming little village of Alicedale.

We also decided that the whole journey would be the holiday, and not just the destination, so we did not rush, and whenever we spotted something interesting we did a detour to check it out. Like this strange broken down structure just outside Alicedale. Old aquaduct?

Of course one of the things about some backroads is that you have to hop in and out to open farm gates, luckily at that stage I was driving (I ADORE long distance driving, especially on bad roads) and Max got to be official opener and closer! But he was happy, it took him back to his childhood on the farm, so we were both in our element! Some of the roads cut through Game Farms, so we were also able to do a bit of free gameviewing along the way!

We finally got to the delightful little village of Hogsback, up in the mountains, for our first night's stop. Lots more about that later, it's a magic place that deserves a few posts of its own!

Leaving Hogsback on the back road to Cathcart.....

we averaged about 20km per hour on this road, not because it was bad, but because it was so stunningly beautiful around each bend that we KEPT stopping for pictures!
This has to be the most amazing time of the year to travel these roads, with the interesting skies and fabulous autumn colours.
It got cloudier and colder as we approached Elliot, for our next night's stop, and we even spotted snow on the distant mountains, but we were chasing the rapidly sinking sun, and had to find accommodation for the night before dark, so there was no time to stop for pix.
The next day dawned cold and very overcast, by the time we got to the top of the Barkly Pass, we were right in the clouds....

After the Barkly pass, heading towards Barkly East, it got quite stormy, and was really cold, but that gave the landscape a great brooding look!

The landscape changed around every corner, from spectacular sandstone formations.........

........To rounded formations with bare white rock gleaming through the grasses. We had still not seen the snow from the previous night, so we assumed it was these white patches we has seen glinting in the last light.

but then we rounded another bend, and there it was, snow, YAY!

From there we were heading for the hills, through areas scattered with rural villages...

...with the anticipation growing as we approached the Mountain Kindom.......

Until finally, there it was ahead of us.... Tele Bridge border post, and a short drive into a different world!


RuneE said...

Looks like you have had quite a nice trip. Very unusual scenery for us up North, but that makes it just more interesting.

Concerning living with snow, here
is a post about the experience we had in the 70s.

Ps Concerning my heart disease you mav perhaps have a look at this post from last year. Thank you for a nice comment

Sheila said...

I love the brooding skies too, and the low cloud cover. I've said it before but it is worth repeating, spectacular scenery. The added attraction for me would be the wildlife..
and I don't mean cocktail hour with Max..!

Old Wom Tigley said...

What great places you have shown us today.. and as you say this was just from the journey

Janet said...

I love being able to go along with you on these journeys. As always your photos are beautiful, some are surprising, and they're always fun. I think the taxi is fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

Some of these landscapes and skies are the South Africa I once knew!
Wonderful and amazing country that I must one day visit again.
Thank you.

Landia said...

Hi Suzi,

We've featured one of your beautiful photos at the top of our blog post about Hogsback.

Please just let us know if you would prefer us to remove it.

Thank you, Landia