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

Posted on August 7, 2017 by Sioux under General
1 Comment

 

We did a number of day drives into the reserve and also the surrounding area, one of them to look for a monument called ‘Kaal voet vrou’, (Barefoot woman) which I had found when in the area with my son, some 15 years previously. Thanks to roadside directional signs, we found it quite easily. The inscription on the statue reiterates the words spoken by Johanna Smit in 1843 “Rather barefoot over the Drakensberg and endure nameless sufferings, than live under British rule”. The famous words that started the Groot Trek, with the Boers walking from Natal, into the Freestate.

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The mountains around the lodge have a lot of walking routes and we made the most of it. The views from the top were magnificent and well worth the climb. Watching the raptor flying almost right past us. A day trip into Clarens; a walk around a small dam, and lunch at a quaint little restaurant gave us the chance to rest our legs after the climb. 

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The Voortrekker monument was also considered to be situated in this area but the architect said he couldn’t compete with the natural beauty of the area. The statue of a barefoot Boer woman stands in the centre of a steel wagon wheel; facing in the direction of where they travelled to, and her back facing in the general direction of where they came from. There was another memorial further on called ‘Retief rots’ but as I wasn’t sure of the distance and we wanted to get to the Royal Natal National Park as well, so we headed off.  

Spiny agama lizard

Blue pansy 

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I’m walking new paths with vision, willpower and imagination.

Through distinctive thinking, courage and serviceability I will  keep on track to accept challenges and new opportunities

 To carry my faith in Jesus

  His word, my language and culture.

  To confirm with pride

  To live and grow.

   I honour my predecessors

    For what they achieved

    And for the history they have established.

    On my journey I will discover, care for, build and maintain        To prosper in my community, my country, my fellow 

      countrymen and my continent. 

After a rather long detour, no thanks to Google Maps, we eventually got to where we wanted to be. RNNP has some of the best mountain scenery in Africa, including the world famous Amphitheatre, a rock wall that is about 5km in length, and 500m high. On top of the Amphitheatre is the Mont-aux-Sources peak where the Orange River begins its long journey to the Atlantic Ocean and where, on its way to the Indian Ocean, the Tugela River cascades down the face of the mountain, in the second highest waterfall in the world. We have both long wanted to get a photo of the famed ‘amphitheatre’, with rushing water in the foreground but with the river level being very low due to lack of rains, we were not able to get much water movement, but got some good images. It was close to sunset by the time we headed back to the lodge.

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One response to “Home again – part 4 – R and R in the wilderness #3”

  1. Pauline Smith says:

    I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THE HISTORY LESSONS .. Some of the birds though look a little bedraggled

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