Sunday, 24 August 2008

Off to the 'Berg: Rush Hour traffic and dramatic scenery

Saturday morning dawned bright and early, and despite good intentions, I was not there to see it, or the sunrise - which must have been magnificent.

But after the cursory shower and clean, it was back to Alpine Heath for a family breakfast - a Full South African you could say - made on a hot gas braai, beer in hand (not me - the chefs).

Afterward, having fuelled for the day, it was time to explore an area of the country I had not been before. And so, armed only with good intentions and some petrol in the tank, we headed out into the unknown. Despite it being a Saturday morning, we did encounter some rush hour traffic - on several occasions in fact - as random animals and herds of goats and sheep moved across the African plain - seemingly oblivious to the tar ribbon of road they were crossing - or indeed the several motor vehicles they were stopping.

From Alpine Heath resort we headed through Bergville, and then randomly took a road marked Cathedral peak, unsure of what it held, but knowing that somewhere in a Geography class at primary school I had heard the name - so it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. The road meandered through hills, up and over small ridges, giving spectacular views both of the valley below, but also of the towering peaks ahead and around us.

Still further, past Zulu villages of a few small round huts of various sizes, past more cattle, sheep and horses, and over small, clear rivers where the locals were bathing and washing clothing while children cooled themselves from the heat of the day. All the while the mountain range around us changed and towered closer and higher.

We eventually reached Cathedral Peak Hotel where we took a quick break before retracing our steps back to our resort in time to get to a family birthday party that evening. A great day of discovery drawing to an end.

On Sunday it was time to return to reality - to pack up ourselves back into the humdrum or routine and the 9 to 5. The drive home up the N3 was uneventful - in a good way, and gave opportunity to reflect on the weekend, a weekend of dramatic scenery, of great company and fine memories.

Stark reality will return with the shrieking of the alarm early on Monday morning...

As a foot note - one of the photos taken over the weekend really should be titled "An Englishman in Africa"... Hopefulyl I will find a tan before they let me out into public again!!!


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