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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Biedouw Valley Flower Festival Vol 3 of 5

Spring is always a special time for everyone, but for us lucky souls, we have a serious treat in the Western Cape.  After a couple of years of lower than average rainfall, this year - 2018 - the rainfall pattern returned and we experienced a decent level of rain over our winter period.
This was all the encouragement we needed to plan for our annual spring flower adventure.

We decided to split our getaway between rock art in the Cederberg and the spring flowers this beautiful area had on offer.

Luckily for us, the Biedouw Valley was only a short thirty minute drive from our base camp at Travelers Rest, in the heart of the northern Cederberg.
Car packed. Excited children, camera and video equipment charged, we were off on a flower spectacular and we were not disappointed.  With luck on our side the weather played its part, and we had what was the warmest day of our trip.  This allowed for a windless day with bright sunshine to encourage this wonderful flower display.
This beautiful valley nestled in the surrounding Cederberg hills created the perfect canvas for our images.

The diversity of flowers in this small concentrated area was so special to experience.  If time was on our side we would have loved to spend more time on macro photography to capture these special flower species at hand.  This is enough motivation for us to revisit this picturesque valley and complete our mission.

Special moments. Special places. Special people. 
(Thanks Keanin for the lovely photo of us)

Not easy to slow down to a snail's pace and focus on macro photography when you have this busy mob to contend with....

Here I am looking towards the road that heads to Wuperthal.

Above one can look across the dry Karoo in the direction of Calvinia.


The Biedouw Valley is situated about 30km from Travelers Rest in the northern Cederberg, en route to Wuperthal.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Travellers Rest (Vol 2 of 5)

We grabbed our mountain bikes and cycled up the jeep track to explore our new surroundings.   With great excitement and peddling through the field in search for flowers, we were suddenly approached by one of the farm vehicles.  It was the farmer himself, who requested that we rather cycle a different route, as they were about to hunt an eland.  

This came as a huge surprise, especially since we spent most of the day discussing the eland and its importance and symbolism to the San People a few thousand years ago.

Instead we headed back down the hill and admired the setting sun over this beautiful rocky landscape and appreciated the silence that it offered.
The weir adds to a lovely ambiance next to the Restaurant and Cafe.

Where is Travelers Rest?

Travelers Rest is such an appropriate name for this oasis in the heart of the Northern Cederberg, 34 km north of the Clan William via the breathtaking Pakhuis pass. 

The Vygie Cottage was our home for the weekend.

Top 4 Rock Art Destinations in Southern Africa

This is a unique location to view some of the finest San Rock Art paintings in the Cederberg, and being one of the top 4 destinations in Southern Africa for ancient rock art.

Twenty Four Fully equipped Self-catering Cottages

9 Years Ago

We first visited this area 9 years ago as an opportunity to see the spring flowers and enjoy the natural heritage.  It is nice to see how Travelers Rest has developed into a well established and now world renowned rock bouldering destination.

Our cottage accommodated 5 people with comfort.

World Famous Bouldering Destination

Over the years, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that the area, known as Rocklands is one of the best locations for bouldering.  During our visit we were joined by a full house of international visitors for the sport bouldering in the area.

Wonderful view of the Pakhuis Pass in the distance. Image taken from Travelers Rest Farm.

Many international sportsmen and woman flock here are during the bouldering season (which is from  July to October every year).

Star Gazing

The Cederberg has always been admired for it's clear open skies to enjoy stargazing and photography.  This venue lives up to this reputation and we experienced two wonderful nights of some of the best star gazing.

Nine Rock Art Sites (plus one)

The Sevilla Rock Art trail offers a unique experience to visit nine rock art sites.  Here you can also find a tenth site, but because of the river which needs to be crossed, it has been excluded from the route.  To get to the tenth site, one has to either cross the Brandewyn river and trek about 1 kilometer further, or you can drive on the Sevilla Cottage Drive to the location. 

San Rock Art Location: Salmaanslaagte

Sevilla has a second San rock art location at Salmaanslaagte, but this can only be visited if one is accompanied by a certified guide.  There are other sites on the farm, but these are all off limits to the public. 

In addition to the San rock art they have two wonderful short hikes through the mountain.  The Olive Tree Hiking Trail starts at the Sevilla Cottages in the image below.

Mountain Biking

We chose to cycle to the tenth Sevilla Rock Art site to experience and enjoy our surroundings.  It was a very short and easy 2.5 kilometers ride to the site.

Travelers Rest Restaurant

The Travelers Rest Restaurant offers a superb menu for the hungry hiker, sporting enthusiast and explorer.  The local cafe also offers everything you might have forgotten or run out of.

Brandewyn River

Die Brandewyn River

We would love to know where this river got it's name from, and if you know, please send us an email, because it surely makes for an interesting story to be told!