Friday, January 11, 2013

De Hel - The Journey in is the Same One Out

Looking back how at how far we'd come, it seemed like we'd been traveling forever in the 40+ degree heat but we weren't nearly there yet.
There was only one way to go and that was forward, and right to the top!
A backward glance, and we were still climbing....
We rounded the last bend and wow! what a view, with dust swirling we had to stop - looking over the edge, a snaking road of hairpin bends with sheer drops on our right awaited us to the valley floor.   From here on it was down, down, down, a narrow one-way gravel road serving traffic going both ways - very scary!!!
Very annoyingly the road appears to look fairly tame and we too wondered what the hype was all about until of course we began the decent.  If it wasn't for the vegetation when the wind blows, this valley (and all the pictures above) would be one enormous white-dust bowl.  On this particular day it was gusting with all it's might - the dust we thought we'd left behind caught us on the down side of the bend and poured in through the windows... in the end we gave up - with no air conditioner we would melt.  
To our surprise the valley floor was lush with trees, shrubs and various long grasses not to mention the mountain streams we crossed to get to our cottage.  As lush as it was the heat persisted - it was hell indeed!  The largest river that flows across valley is the Gamka River which you cross going over a wide low concrete bridge, at this time being mostly underwater.  It twists and turns and then exits the valley only to be crossed again when back on the tar road other side Calitzdorp which is just over the mountain range on the left - hard to believe it was so close by!

Derrick's two panoramic pictures below, were taken from almost at the end of the valley in the above picture, looking back to this point and the other looking even further.

Canon 5D Mk11.  Canon 28-80mm L.