"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on January 13, 2018 by Sioux under General
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Paul had arranged a weekend away in the Vredefort Dome for my first weekend home. An area of great geological importance, at more than 300km wide it is the largest meteor impact crater in the world, and at an estimated ± 4 million years old, it is the second-oldest known crater on Earth.

 

The crater itself has eroded away, and the remaining geological structure is known as the Vredefort Dome or Vredefort impact structure. In 2005, the Vredefort Dome was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its geologic interest. The asteroid that hit Vredefort is estimated to have been one of the largest ever to strike Earth and is thought to have been approximately 10–15 km in diameter. 

 

 

In the kitchen, Paul found a rather                                                                         large spider that looked as if it had a huge flower on its back.                                                                               When he escorted it outdoors and dropped it on the ground, the                                                                          flower ‘fell apart’. We realised it was momma with loads of babies                                                                          attached to her back! Turns out she was a Wolf spider – the only                                                                           female arachnid that carries her babies on her back! I didn’t care                                                                      where she carried them, just so long as it wasn’t into the kitchen again!

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Sitting on the veranda one evening, we noticed a few visitors who I’m sure would have loved to get into the cottage but they realised we were wise to their presence and watched us from the perimeter fences.  

Our accommodation was a cottage in the grounds of a large property.

 

The inside was one large room containing a double bed, kitchenette and lounge, basic but comfy and we settled

in for the weekend. The veranda overlooked a small rockery and cactus garden with ornamental statues. 

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A leisurely evening walk along the banks of the river scouting for a good position for sunset photos proved worth the while and we were well rewarded with a stormy but brilliant sunset, with a rainbow added in! 

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Paul had booked a personalized tour of the area for the Sunday, but unfortunately it was cancelled so we went on a drive about of the area enroute home on the Sunday. 

The buildings at the information centre were part of an old mine and were built in 1889. Venterskroon was going to be a mining town, after gold was discovered in the area, but they ran out of gold. It is the same gold as on the Witwatersrand, exposed and pushed to the surface by the meteorite impact, and that’s also the reason the gold ran out. The force of the impact brought up the gold seams, but also scattered them. Mining was a bit of a hit and miss, now you have it, now you don’t. 

A relaxing start to my holiday in South Africa. 

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The mountains pushed up from the earth at the time of impact, have reduced in size over the years.

A few buildings of the original town are still standing, namely the school 

and a police station, which is now the museum, with the cells still at the

back. Other buildings are the school masters house and the mining

commissioner’s office. Further up the road, is the Imperial Inn, also

believed to date back to 1889. The whole village was actually up for sale

at an asking price of a mere R4.5 million. 

 

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