Friday, April 18, 2008

The Garden Route

Traditionally, the Garden Route was between the Storms River/Tsitsikamma forest and the town of George (or vice versa). Since the tourist trade in South Africa started booming, the boundaries were "stretched" along the southern coastline so that now, the Garden Route is said to be from Port Elizabeth to Mosselbay (or even further).

Whatever the case, I present the Storms River bridge, spanning a deep, canyon-like valley. The bridge was constructed according to the draw-bridge design, similar to its more famous "cousin", the Bloukrans bridge, from which the highest bungee-jump in the world (216m!!) can be "executed".

In between towns along the Garden Route, constant "companions" are lagoons, forested areas and mountain ranges - all highly pleasing to the eye. The lagoon in the photo (right) is in the Wilderness area.

The N2 (national) road also passes through fertile valleys like this one between Sedgefield and Knysna.

And then........ the majestic coastline. This photo was taken at Wilderness.

The Garden Route and its long stretches of beach are intermittently dotted with holiday accommodation and camping facilities, as this photo of Victoria Bay (near George) illustrates.

This photo of a train driving over the Kaaimans (River) bridge was taken before part of the railway line was "destroyed" last year during heavy downpours, which resulted in landslides. So the famous Choo-Tjoe (steam) train is no longer running between George and Knysna, because so far, the railway line has not been restored.

From the same lookout as the previous photo was "snapped", there's this view of Dolphin Point - the "eye" of this dolphin-look-alike cliff is the railway tunnel for the now "defunct" Choo-Tjoe train. Why the name? When children play with toy-trains, they usually say it's a "choo-choo" train (in English) or "tjoe-tjoe" in Afrikaans. Combine the two, and you have a "clever" description for the historic train of "small" proportions.

The colour-composition of this scene fascinated me, so, happy "snapper" that I am, I have this photo as a reminder. It's taken where the Kaaimans River flows into the Indian ocean. The brownish colour of the water is NOT the result of pollution. Instead, the water is rich in tannin (yes, just like tea), because in places, the river flows through thick undergrowth, which "colours" the water.

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