Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Panorama Route

From the Garden to the Panorama Route in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa - another visually spectacular region.

This is a photo of the Lonecreek Waterfall just outside the town of Sabie. In the Sabie region, alluvial gold was discovered years before gold was discovered in Johannesburg. On both occasions, this resulted in a "gold rush".

God's Window - aptly named because "on a clear day, you can see forever", but often, the curtain is closed (= thick mist or clouds cover this mountainous area).

Trivia: geologically, this is where the super-continent Godwana "split" about 135 million years ago. From here, Antartica "drifted" southwards.

Bourke's Luck Potholes (right) - situated at the confluence of the Treur ("Sad") and Blyde ("Glad") rivers.

the rivers were so named after a sad farewell and then, a happy reunion by a group of Voortrekker (settlers, who traveled northwards on ox-wagons) under the command of A H Potgieter, during a reconnaissance expedition to investigate the possibility of a trade route to Delagoa Bay (today Maputo, in Mocambique), where the Portuguese colonists had settled.

Over millions of years, powerful whirlpools swirled stones and sand around to create the up to 6m deep potholes in rock - a truly magnificent, natural wonder to behold. The potholes were named after a 19th century digger, who incorrectly predicted that a fortune of gold nuggets would be found here.

Lichen grows on the "walls" of hard Quartzite rocks along the Blyde River Canyon, said to be one of only 3 "true" canyons in the world. The other two are the Grand Canyon (USA) and the Fish River Canyon (Namibia).

One of the most photographed sites in South Africa (left) - the "Three Rondawels" (named after the so called, traditional round huts).

in contrast to the Dutch settlers (who named these outcrops), the local BaPedi named them after a 19th century chief's (Marepe) three wives - Magabollo, Mogolodikwe and Maserotto.

Every visit to the Blyde River Canyon is like a new experience. Depending on weather conditions, the view is accordingly - different.

Trivia: here, the (northern) Drakensberg escarpment forms a 1600m "barrier" to warm, moist air drifting in from the Indian Ocean. As the warm moisture-laden air rises up from the lowveld, it cools down and generates cloud and mist, which gives rise to a relatively high rainfall in this area.

Would you be interested in my photos with higher resolution (the original photos)? Please comment (click on comments below).
I'm busy researching if it's viable to create another blog, from which my high resolution photos can be downloaded.

No comments: