Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Amazing View

Saturday Afternoon, May 21

After visiting the Big Baobab Tree at Sunland Farms, we drove through the Drakensburg Mountains to see the Blyde River Canyon.  It is said that this canyon is the third largest in the world, behind the Grand Canyon (USA) and Fish River Canyon (Africa), respectively.  It is the largest 'green canyon' in the world.
Jim and I at Blyde River Canyon
The views just took my breath away!  No wonder they call this the Panorama route. 
Jim, the photographer
Even Jim got in on the picture taking.  It was a very inspiring view.  One of the viewpoints is called 'God's Window'.  We went there, but there were professional photographers set up everywhere so we couldn't get a good shot.
Jim, Amanda, Tianda and I in front of the 'Three Rondavels'
 Tino took this picture of the rest of us with the 'Three Rondavels' (or Three Sisters) in the background.  These rock formations look a lot like the shape of our lodgings at Sand River Hills.  That is Amanda, our South African Chef Extraordinaire in the middle.  She fed us like we were royalty!  And she made us feel right at home...from the lavender on the pillows to the small talk around the fire each night.

The Blyde (Happy) River
 That is the Blyde River flowing through the middle of the canyon.  It is said that in the 1840's an expedition party went out from a place near here.  When they did not return at the appointed time and assuming them dead, the settlers name the river where they were camped the Treur River which meant the 'river of mourning'.   The party later returned and so they named the next river, the Blyde or 'Happy' River.  Just a little fun fact for you!

'Homeboy' Jim
 The biggest difference that I could tell between South Africa and the United States is that South Africans still believe in personal responsibility and common sense.  Other than a few spots, there are no fences or barriers that keep you from viewing the beauty that is this awesome sight.  (And by awesome, I mean just that.  It certainly inspires the awe of God for me.)

I commented to Jim that in America we would not be able to preserve the beauty of this place while also being able to enjoy it.  There would have to be man-made ramps built to make it to the lookouts instead of the natural (uneven) rock formations that we walked over.  There would also be glass and barriers everywhere to keep people from either falling or jumping.

Speaking of which...
He never reads the signs!
My Hero the comedian! 

Don't worry.  He was standing on a firm foundation...but from this viewpoint it looked like he was hanging off the side of the canyon.  Tino's viewpoint of Jim was even better, but I don't have a copy of that one yet.
And here are a few pictures of our outfitter and family...minus Ruan who had to stay behind to attend school.

Amanda, South African "Hostess with the Most-est", and Tianda

Tino, our Host, Professional Hunter & Personal Tour Guide
 And who wouldn't fall in love with this cute face?

Cutie Pie
 Jim is still working on that pre-arranged marriage proposal. 

After visiting the lookout points at the canyon, we headed to our lodgings for the night.  The place reminded me of the Arkansas State Park where we stayed at Lake Chicot when I was a girl.  The cabins were duplex style with a small grill and picnic table.  The big difference was the wild life!
Baboon in the tree outside our cabin
Not exactly the deer and squirrels that I am used to!!!

The park was very quiet.  If you want to travel in South Africa without crowds, I would suggest you go in May!  The restaurant we ate at that night, which normally has long waits and bus loads of people, had three other guests besides us. That wasn't a good thing food-wise as we went for the buffet and they were not serving one due to the low occupancy.  But since My Hero doesn't like crowds...this worked out beautifully in all other areas.


Brenda said...

Three words uttered from my mouth as soon as I saw this and those are all I thought. "O Good Lord" yes but that truly His handiwork all the images you post are of Him "Beauty".

I am soo happy for you and Jim to spend time in a place like this!

Brenda said...

Love it

August said...

Amazing view! It sorta reminds me of the Grand Canyon.