Tuesday 18 October 2011

Drive South

Very hot and sunny outside, quite a shock after being cocooned in the airport.
Landscape absolutely desolate, no trees, very dry; sparse black townships in the middle of no-where. People hitchhiking/walking by the road. No sign of buses or bus stops… but it was a Sunday. Spotted some odd ostriches, flocks of guinea fowl…Herds of cows grazing in what seemed to be yellow dried up grass...

Picnic lunch out of the car [bits and pieces bought at the airport shops] at a place called Heidelberg in what could pass as a public garden, no where to sit but very welcomed shade under a tree. Hardly anybody around… Later, another car turned up: SA touring couple about our age. They recommended that we should go to Clarens, a scenic place surrounded by sandstone hills. This was, in fact, a bit further south to Bethlehem where were where meaning to get to… And very kindly they got on their phone to make a reservation to their favourite place. Three to four hour drive and it was already 14.30 hrs. Must hurry…

After that the scenery improved a great deal, much greener, and by the time that we reached Bethlehem it was getting rather beautiful in the late low light, flocks of swallows and house martins behaving exactly just like they do at home. Also saw, several times, a rather charming small back bird with double very long tail feathers waving its way into a very strong wind.  
By sunset, around 6 pm, the temperature had dropped a great deal and the people by the road were wearing their colourful blankets. 

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