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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sevilla Rock Art Trail Vol 5 of 5

Sevilla Rock Art and its wonderful sights brought back a rush of memories from 10 years ago when we decided to visit one of our favourite destinations, the Cederberg - to witness our seasonal spring flower display.

We decided to combine this flower getaway with some serious rock art excursions.  This time we chose to engage the services of a professional guide, Mr David van der Westhuizen - who is also a rock art specialist and part of the Living Landscape Project.

To add a better understanding of this magical location, we chose our base to be Travelers Rest which is the farm on which these ten special sites are located.

With map in hand, and beautiful crisp spring air, we set off to explore and understand the true meaning and interpretations of these wonderfully crafted images that were made over 2000 years ago by the San people.

David has a wonderful insight to the reasons why and the understanding of these images.  This was a welcome change from our first visit, where we simply could only admire the images.  This time around, we appreciated a much deeper understanding of why they painted these images and what they meant.

A very unique sighting was these paintings representing monster-like creatures combining chameleons, mantis, giraffe and dinosaurian figures.

A common rock art painting, might represent only a portion of the object painted, due to the use of white paint.  The white paint is the one colour that faded the fastest of all colours used for rock art.

Over and above the wonderful description of the various sites and their meanings, this excursion follows the Brandewyn River, and has scenic views of typical Cederberg landscape and rock formations.  Being flower season we had the added treat of a beautiful array of seasonal flowers to compliment our excursion.

Today it is practically impossible to enjoy a sighting of wild elephants roaming the area, but many years ago they were a common sighting.  Elephants were mainly painted in yellow and ochre and is fairly commonly painted around this area.

Upon our return route, the view changes and is again so beautiful looking towards the Pakhuis pass in the distance.  

Looking carefully at the above image, you will notice a man hunting a small antelope.  The fellow hunter is cheering with hands in the air, as if the hunt was successful.   It is so interesting to see the story behind each rock art painting, this one being no exception.

We were hoping that this getaway would not bore the younger generation, but as you can see they were mesmerized by the story telling and its unique historical value that can be shared for generations to come.

Site nine had some very interesting, but typical male and female figurines, but it was also shared with us that this site is slowly deteriorating due to the falling rocks.  It might not be around for too much longer, and we are privileged to witness this before it might disappear in time to come.

Site ten is unique because of it's location, but also because of the images that represent a procession and a time-lapse.  This site is not directly part of the site one to nine route (as you have to cross over the Brandewyn river), therefore it has to be followed from a different starting point at the Restaurant.

We chose to cycle to site ten and it was a short and pleasant 3 km ride along the river, and an easy find.  It has been ten years in the making for us to finally also get to see site ten. 

A night in the Cederberg is not the same with out playing with the shutter and some light art painting.  Be sure to get your camera onto a tri-pod and enjoy the open shutter, you might even get to see the milky way in the distance too.

For more information:
Contact Travelers Rest

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Biedouw Valley Flower Festival Vol 4 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.