Friday, November 02, 2007

Wednesday, October 3rd 2007

This was we woke up to, Wednesday, October 3rd - a wonderful, clear, spring day. We had decided to walk to the caves where the Sand people has left 5000 years of cave paintings on Wednesday, before leaving for Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal. This was the perfect day for such an excursion.

The cave paintings deserves its own story, and I will therefore first tell you about the walk into the bush, as there was serious wilderness on your way.

The cabins at Giants Castle are located on the hillside, overlooking the valley. In the valley you find a small stream, where you may try to catch a trout or two. As we left the small village, we walked on a well marked path.

What we were not told, was that you may, in this area stumble upon both puff adders, and green and black mambas, highly venomous snakes. But we walked into the wilderness, in our ignorance, and that is a good thing, as snakes are illusive creatures, that tend to run away as they hear our steps.

We walked along the river and crossed it by a small narrow bridge.

Getting to the cave took more time, that I thought, but on your way you may really admire the changing mountain scenery. The funny thing is that you only find vegetation in the lower parts of the valley. As you look up on the hills above, all you can see are cliffs and hills covered with lush green spring grass.

As we crossed the small bridge, we climbed up on the opposite hillside, that was the hill where the caves where located. Here we left the open air and walked into a dark, dense, and mysterious forest. Still it was spring, and there were only a few plants growing on the forest floor.

Here I found these to flowers, and I am uncertain whether they are the same species.

It was in this forest I found the small posters referring to the different bird species. You remember the Double Collared Sun Bird and the Bulbul?

40 minutes walk brought us to a spot where the Sand people have lived and painted for 5000 years, until they were slowly driven out by competing black tribes and the white settlers, and even these late phases of the history has been painted on the cave walls. Magic!!

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