Sunday, 19 August 2012

African Flower Chain: Link 4

So, we've had snow and ice. Then we got rain.  Lots of rain.

From Augrabies we went to Pella.  Pella is a very small town on the banks of the Orange River.  It started as a Mission Station many years ago. The Catholic Church in the center of town is still very much the hub of the village. We stayed over on the Klein-Pella Date Farm not far from the village.  We camped right on the banks of the river, with no-one else around. (Except for a troop of baboons in the nearby bushes)

From Pella we traveled through Namaqualand.  I hiked through there last year this time and I was expecting carpets of flowers. We got buckets of rain.  And cold.  The flowers that were there were hiding their faces from us. 

We camped in a very wet Springbok and then traveled on to the Ceres mountains where we stayed over in Citrusdal. Wet again. We could see the snow on the mountains.

The next morning the rain looked like it was lifting.  We chose the scenic mountain road from Citrusdal to Ceres, passing over and through the Ceder Mountains.  An absolutely gorgeous part of the world.  There was water everywhere.  It ran down the mountain and formed waterfalls and cascades where ever we looked.

That night we stayed over on a beautiful farm called Fynbos Guest Farm between Ceres and Tulbagh.  It is a beautiful place with lots of animals to entertain the travel weary kids.  Geese, chickens, pigs, sheep, donkeys, goats, horses.  Name it and it was there, and ready to be pampered.  For the first time in many days the clouds cleared and we could see the stars. It looked promising.

We woke up to clear blue skies.  What a gorgeous sight. 
Snow-capped mountains in bright blue sunlight.

Again we took the scenic route through the Boland, traveling through Worcester, over the Franschoek Pass into the Franschoek valley.  Another breathtaking sight.

Franschoek is where the French Huguenots settled after their arrival in the Dutch Colony in the late 1600's. Today it is prime wine country with many vineyards and world class Cellars

I placed my fourth flower at the Huguenot Monument.  It is on a bench behind the statue.  The monument is such an impressive structure that I tried to put it in an unobtrusive place.

We loved these few days.  After eight years in the desert we marveled at all the rain. We loved wearing thick warm clothes and our eyes drank in all the wet scenery.


Anonymous said...

I recently spent a weekend in Franschhoek, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. I was born in Stellenbosch, left for Germany when I was one, returned to Paarl when I was 13, finished school in Paarl, studied in Stellenbosch. Worked in Jo'burg, spent 3 years in Germany, returned to Jo'burg and finally made it back to the Cape. In '89 my wife and I spent nearly 3 months backpacking through Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi. Your flower led to this blog and brought back all those memories. I'm sorry, I'm not the photo-taking-type. I wouldn't normally leave comments, either, but, well, it stirred something. I was convinced you were Afrikaans and local. Reading above I realise you are so much more. I, too, have recently been reflecting that I have accumulated quite a bit of life's flotsam.

So, from one traveling soul to another: namaste. (I see you, I acknowledge you, I share life with you.)


Ansie said...

What a nice story, Stephan. Your life sounds quite interesting too. As you say, I am Afrikaans but not quite local anymore... One of the things I have learned over the years - nobody is ever only one thing. Everybody is the sum of many parts.