De Addis Abeba a Ciudad del Cabo (From Addis Ababa to Cape Town)


The Beauty and the Berg
April 19, 2012, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our Easter weekend was a special one – we spent it with friends at Paul (and Candice’s) family farm, Shawswood, in Howick in the Natal Midlands. We were gathered there to be part of Emma’s christening and to celebrate Candice’s 30th birthday (themed ‘A Pink princess party’). It was great catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while, we had a good amount of fun and shared lots of laughs. The farm and its surroundings are beautiful too and we were made to feel so welcome there – I was quite sad when it came time to say goodbye.

Gorgeous Emma with her godmother, Bron

Gorgeous Emma with her godmother, Bron

Pretty in pink!

Pretty in pink!

The farmhouse at Shawswood

The farmhouse at Shawswood

The Natal Midlands

The Natal Midlands

After leaving Shawswood, we spent two days in the Southern Drakensberg. The Drakensberg mountains are amazing (each time I come home and whether it’s a new part of the country I visit or a familiar one, I always marvel at how beautiful the landscape is). The berg is the highest range in Southern Africa and according to trusty Wikipedia, ‘geologically, the range resembles the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia’, so it’s no wonder I loved the Simiens too.

Taking in the view from Stromness

Taking in the view from Stromness

Birdwatching in the garden

Birdwatching in the garden

On our second day we drove up Sani Pass and into Lesotho for a four hour hike. Sani Pass is a notoriously treacherous (even more so in winter when parts of the road freeze over) piece of 9km road (I’m not even sure you can classify it as a road) that winds up over the Lesotho mountains. We went up in a 4×4 driven by a man named Stuart, who told us he’s driven the pass thousands of times. It’s recommended that your mode of transport is a 4×4 (there’s no way our little Nissan Micra rental would have made it) but apparently from the Lesotho side, border control will allow just about any type of vehicle to descend the pass. Watching the 4×4 mini bus taxis trying to navigate the switchbacks was pretty unnerving!

On the way up the Pass

On the way up the Pass

The infamous Sani Pass winding up the valley

The infamous Sani Pass winding up the valley

Last section of Sani Pass (can you see the bulldozer and the pub?)

Last section of Sani Pass (can you see the bulldozer and the pub?)

Our hike to Hodgson’s Peaks and Giant’s Cup was great, even if it was a little fresh (the thermometer said it was 6 degrees outside). Our company for most of the walk included Basotho ponies, sheep grazing on the hillsides, their bells tinkling as we walked by, and their shepherds who most of the time we could hear but not see as they sat camouflaged and wrapped up in their blankets. Thankfully we failed to attract the attention of the shepherds’ dogs who Stuart said can be quite vicious, neither did we meet any weed smugglers along the way (parts of the track form the smugglers’ route).

Welcome to Lesotho!

Welcome to Lesotho!

We couldn't resist taking a photo of this . . .

We couldn't resist taking a photo of this . . .

Hodgson's Peak

Hodgson's Peak

After the scramble to the top of the southern peak, we came back down to warm up and have a drink at the Sani Top Chalet, apparently one of the highest pubs in Africa. We then climbed back into the Land Rover and held on for a wide-eyed descent.
All in all, it was another good day in Africa!

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Lovely photos again! Glad your catching up with old friends and having a good time! x

Comment by Valerie McIntosh

Que guapa la granja y lñas vistas!
Por cierto Alberto, el rosa te sienta muy bien ;-)

Comment by Angel




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