Friday, June 24, 2011

Greater Durban - Drakensberg

On the outskirts of Durban goats grazing unattended above and alongside the highway without a care for the noise and busy traffic.
Although there are plenty of clouds in the sky they don't bring rain which is so desperately needed.
The Wagondrift Dam with it's beautiful fantail.
About 175km from Durban we exited the N3 and took the R74 towards Winterton and Bergville.  The countryside was lush and green and in places tipped with the red and orange of seeded grass.  In the distance we began to see the promise of the mighty Drakensberg Mountains, ('mountain of dragons') pushing their peaks into the clouds.
The above two pictures are on the opposite of the road where the countryside is totally different!  Rows of corn with their orange tops grow peacefully in the late afternoon sun.  
The Woodstock Dam which is fed by the Driel Dam.
The Devil's Tooth in the distance.
On the way to where we will be staying that evening, Montusi Lodge which has one of the most stunning views of the Amphitheatre.
From where we parked our car at Montusi Lodge - part of the Amphitheatre with the little range of hills below that include The Policeman's Helmet. 
The rays of the setting sun from our cottage.
The end of the day.  No complete sunset here as the mountains are too high!
After dinner we were treated to a lightning show in the Amphitheatre just behind the little range which includes the Policeman's Helmet - see the above picture.  If we had been staying at Tendele we would have had front row seats to witness this spectacular event!
The next morning. Brushed with a weak rising sun, a pale blue Amphitheatre slowly emerged through the misty clouds.
The same shot taken yesterday evening but now without the orange sunrays.  As the clouds moved about, and the light constantly changing, it therefore painted a new picture in seconds!
Changing to a 17-40mm lens (which I had to take back from Derrick), I wanted to capture as much as possible of the incredible scenery around us before leaving.
Montusi Lodge - a great place to stay when visiting the Drakensberg.
Pink, white and indigo Morning Glories which had wound their way to the top and beyond of these +-6 foot high maize/corn stalks.
Patiently waiting for the 'transport' arrive, these ladies try to shield themselves from a warm morning sun.
As we drove away from the Amphitheatre area we passed these rows of houses, one proudly displaying a DSTV dish on the outside of his house.
In select areas these yellow and magenta wild flowers grow thick covering the hilly ground next to the road.
The view from the top of Oliviershoek Pass.  The first picture is looking back towards the Amphitheatre to the right.   A very low Spioenkop Dam in the foreground with the Devil's Tooth in the distance.