Thank you all my blogger friends for the kind wishes for 2011. Thanks for your comments on my post about our failed attempt at camping for New Year. Many of you guessed correctly. We headed out again on Saturday morning with fairer weather conditions than the day before. The adventure farm where we spent Saturday night is set against the Korannaberg mountains about 30kms from our hometown, Marquard. You can read about the accommodation and 4x4 and hiking trails here. When the present owner of the farm, Gert Conradie. bought the land in 2000, he realised its potential for tourism in the area and promptly refurbished the existing buildings. There are many technical off-road trials where the city people come to test their 4x4 vehicles and pit their driving skills against nature. There are various hiking trails and of course, we enjoyed the birdlife.
On Saturday morning, we set out on our second attempt at camping in the mountains which are visible in the distance
By arrangement, the landlord had had a four-man tent erected for us. Within fifteen minutes, we'd unloaded our other camping gear and were all set for a night in the bushcamp
After a cup of tea, we took a walk in the bush. The sun was out and we were optimistic about sleeping outdoors that night
Our camp was situated in a beautiful spot and we will return sometime in the sunny future! Even though the clouds look ominous in this photo, we still had a light lunch while enjoying the many birds and beautiful surroundings (more photos of these in a later post)
After lunch, the sun came out in full force. I had plenty of reading material and relaxed in the tent and Grant had a cat-nap on the mattress next to me. One minute we were enjoyinga lazy afternoon and the next, the heavens opened once again! Hearing the roaring sound of water nearby, I peered out of the tent (with my camera, of course) and saw that the mountain sttream behind us, had was a raging torrent!
For a few minutes between showers, the sun made a brief appearance again. (The sun gets full marks for effort this weekend!) Grant roused himself from his slumbers and went outside to glare at the weather. As if that would help, LOL! (My dh is quite a fair-weather person!)
This downpour had no intention of letting up! I took this photo from the interior of the tent
Seeing the quagmire around the tent and more black clouds gathering overhead, Grant and I called an emergency meeting (ha!) We decided to pack up and head for home. We weren't sure whether the river crossing on the farm boundary would be passable, so I phoned the landlady and provisionally booked accommodation.
When we arrived at the river crossing, we realised that it would be sheer folly to try and risk driving through the raging waters. We waited around for about thirty minutes which gave me ample photo opportunities.
Arriving at the river crossing at about 5.30pm, we realised that we were not going to get home that night
We turned around and headed to the accommodation about a kilometer behind us. There we found a silo unlocked and ready for us.
Suspecting that we may not be able to cross the river after the days unrelenting downpour, I'd asked the landlady to keep a silo for us. Don't these buildings remind you of something from Grimm's fairy tales?
In years gone by, we'd often driven past these silos on our way to hike in the Korannaberg mountains. Turning them into accommodation (each one sleeps six) was a novel idea and we enjoyed our stay tremendously.
Ah, the comfort of warm and dry accommodation
For groups or for something different, you can book a bunkbed in a stable!
The front of the Van Zoelens guest house. Here you can book en suite, self-catering accommodation or be spoilt with Bed and Breakfast with other meals on order if required
Visitors from the guest house checking on the river on Sunday morning
You cannot believe that this is the same river which was impassable the night before. On Sunday it had subsided and we crossed it with ease
Driving along the farm roads on the way home, we spotted many birds and animals. Here we slowed down for a group of cows and their calves who decided to sleep in the middle of the road
A pair of zebra watched warily as I clicked away trying to get a clear photo. (As you can see, I didn't succeed!)
This rabbit sat dead still while I took many photos of it from the vehicle. Poor thing probably feared for it's life
Of course, we had a braai (BBQ) in the garden on Sunday!
We arrived home at mid-morning on Sunday. We'd been camping, as I wanted to (well, sort of, lol!) and I had two hundred photos of our trip.
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