Wednesday, 18 March 2009

South Africa: Sabie 2005 (part 1)

I promised that I would post some pictures of South Africa for you and show what a beautiful country it is. As I'm unfortunately not visiting Sabie when I go back in two weeks time, I thought I would post some pictures from our trip there in 2005.

Sabie is an area in the Mpumalanga Province which is situated in the north of South Africa, 64km from Kruger National Park. I talk about Sara a lot on this blog and Sara's parents own a bed and breakfast in Sabie so that was the reason for visiting this beautiful area (not that we needed an excuse).

We visited in August 2005 which is early spring in South Africa. You can see the effects of the long, dry winter. Okay, it is a 10 week or so winter but it feels long!

The first place we visited was Bourke's Luck Potholes in Blyde River Canyon. I had always wanted to visit this area as I love the idea of a canyon - one day I hope to visit the Grand Canyon in the US and it seemed a good idea to see what there was at home first!

Blyde River Canyon is by no means as impressive as the Grand Canyon and there is a much bigger, more impressive canyon in neighbouring Namibia (Fish River Canyon) which is the second biggest canyon in the world. Still, I was impressed and breathless and I took a ton of photos! You can click on all the photos in this post for more detail.

The famous cylindrical potholes at Bourke's Luck have been made over thousands of years as the Treur River plunges into the Blyde River. Bourke's Luck is named after a prospector who rightly predicted that there were large gold deposits in the region - you may have heard of Pilgrim's Rest. This is a major gold mining area.

How beautiful is that rock formation?

Blyde River Canyon Treur River source

We had fun walking on the rocks at the head of the Treur River.

I often try to explain to people how beautiful the Blyde River Canyon is. I find it incredibly hard to put into words but suffice to say, whenever I recall the beauty of this region I get tears in my eyes. It is the most life affirming experience to know that my eyes have seen such beauty and wonder. Hmmm, I'm thinking I should quit with the soppy words and just show the pictures.

These are from our second stop - a lookout point of the whole Blyde River Canyon. To the left:

To the right:

Now that I am posting these pictures, I feel a strange pulling sensation in my stomach. It is as if my body literally longs to be back there, to take in such breathtaking beauty. There is one view near my old house in Johannesburg, in an area called the Cradle of Humankind. Perhaps I can visit there when I go back and it will still the longing in my heart and my body.

We then visited God's Window.  This is a vantage point offering the most awesome view of the Lowveld below.  "God's Window" refers to the feeling that you are indeed looking into God's own Window when you see the view.

First, this is a photo of the vantage point.  It is to the right of the photo and that is a sheer drop beneath the platform.

And now for the view itself:

Right now I am seriously considering disrupting our plans in South Africa next month and making a trip up there!  But I won't.

If you are ever in the area, I can absolutely recommend that you stay at Sabielala Guest House.  Their prices are extremely reasonable, at R195 per person sharing for bed and breakfast which is £14 or $20!!!  The best thing is, if you tell them you found the details on Mandy's blog, you can be sure to receive lots of extra love and attention.

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19 comments

  1. Wow, beautiful, a work of art! Now I want to go to Blyde River Canyon, hahaha! Is it a wonder of the world?

    I especially adore those Potholes! Those are so beautiful and natural! Thank you for all the photos!

    I understand what you're feeling, having the tears in your eyes because something is just so magnificent that you were touched! Incredible, indeed.

    Now I'm feeling all teary-eyed too!

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  2. wow! that was so so so so beautiful! very enchanting!

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  3. Stunning beauty there Emm and so different from York. It must be pulling your heart strings like you say wihen posting this blog.

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  4. Breathtaking!
    Have a wonderful time visiting home. I cannot wait for your new pics from South Africa:o)

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  5. Emm I am just loving this series of photographs and commentary. Rugged and beautiful.

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  6. I want to go there! I want to go there!! These beautiful photos make me want to go there!!!
    :-) Angie

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  7. Those pictures are awesome art and wonderfully created masterpieces of earth and nature! I love the picture of the canyon with the bridge just far back on the horizon. It must be breathtaking to be crossing that bridge.

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  8. Absolutely stunning! I can so very well understand the pull to return that you feel.

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  9. @ HalfCrazy: I don't think it is a wonder of the world but it should be! I'm glad you liked the post!

    @ Philippines Travel Blog: Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I am glad you enjoyed the post!

    @ Martin: Yes - South Africa is a very different country indeed compared to the UK. It's all about mountains and valleys and blue skies and yellow grass. That is why I love England so much in the summertime - it is so green!!!!

    @ Ivanhoe: Ha! And I cannot wait to take them!

    @ Mike: I'm glad you like them! I should squeeze in one more South African post before I actually go there! Maybe two, if I take part in Golden Prague's challenge.

    @ Angie: Tee hee! Now you know how your posts make me feel!

    @ Drey: Thank you for your kind words and thanks for stopping by my blog! Your heart actually stops when you walk over that bridge, or so it feels.

    @ Sheila: Thank you Sheila - I am glad you liked them!

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  10. Yeah, can't wait for your other posts! :) Want to see more of the world, thanks for being a window! Hahaha.

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  11. Breathe taking. I haven't been to Africa. On my list. Absolutely stunning.

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  12. Oh Emm how beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you are doing well, I am thinking of you always.

    ((HUGS))

    Jodi

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  13. These are beautiful. Someday...

    You will LOVE the Grand Canyon. Arizona and Utah will blow you away, no joke. Just make sure you allow plenty of time to visit each bit. Bryce Canyon, Zion, Goblin Valley, Arches...do write me before you plan a trip, because I've been to them all and would love to share my tips for the best visit ever.

    When you talk about the Guest House, what does R195 mean?

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  14. Hi Emm!
    Lovely blog you have here. Great pictures!! Loved to see this canyon and the rest...
    Blogtrotter

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  15. What an amazing place. Definitely caught my eye!

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  16. hi emm - South Africa is much more beautiful than what I commonly see in movies.

    Have a wonderful day.

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  17. @ HalfCrazy: It is always a pleasure! I love how blogging has opened my mind up to how other people live.

    @ Mo: There is such breathtaking beauty all over Africa. I haven't been to Rwanda or Tanzania yet, but I believe they are awesome too!

    @ Jodi: Hi there! Glad you liked the photos.

    @ Forrest: The currency in South Africa is Rands so R195 is about $20 a night. When the time comes for me to visit the Grand Canyon, i will be blogging about it non-stop!! I'll definitely be taking tips and hints.

    @ GMG: Your blogs are excellent. I love that you posted way back to the 70s, 80s and 90s!

    @ Sharkbytes: Thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the post.

    @ Mye: Yes, SA is beautiful and I'll post lots more in the months to come.

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  18. Great photos Emm! And seeing as you mentioned the Grand Canyon I should speak up for it's lesser known but much bigger sibling, the Copper Canyon. In Mexico, of course! It makes is US counterpart look like a shallow ditch, so it does!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/garydenness/sets/72157605436522821/

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  19. @ Gary: Oh, how beautiful! I definitely do want to visit Mexico one day.

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