Saturday, 22 November 2008

Ancient wisdom

Me by the river of leopard prints and skinny dippers..

An ancient rambler complete with rucksack...

I liked this one 'cos D looks like a giant next to the little succulent.
Yay. They had fat-bottomed girls 20,000 ago! But did they make the rockin' world go round I wonder??

Towering red sandstone cliffs.

While I was looking through some of the few South African photos I haven't already posted, I spotted these from a walk out in the Cederberg Wilderness. It was a Rock Art Trail on a slightly hippified farm out in the middle of nowhere.

We turned up at the farm place, having driven for well over an hour and seen more baboons than cars, paid our few rand and got our little map and explanation and then set off. According to the visitors book they'd had about 20 people this year so not exactly a booming business but they were nice people and I think they had a few very basic chalets for retreats further down the river. With warnings about not running over the tortoises on the drive (quite difficult to avoid actually) we headed out into the scorching heat and the feeling that no-one was around. It was fantastic.

There 10 sites of ancient rock art painted by the San Bushmen over 20,000 years ago. These were marked on the map and at various points on the ground too (very discreetly). A small number meant you had to spend the next 10 minutes scrabbling round rocks until you found the painting then there was a brief explanantion on the map leaflet to help you decode it. I must admit we didn't find 2 of them and didn't want to scramble around too much in case of snakes or scorpions or sprained ankles.

On our way back we had a cooling dip in the river (no-one around so skinny dipping it was...) and I noticed a set of cat prints on a sandbank. When I described them to a local later he confirmed that they would have been leopard. how cool is that? The leopard must have jumped down from a tree onto the sand bank, padded across the 10 feet or so into the river and then swum to the other side as there were no return prints.

It was glorious to be out in the middle of nowhere. How often can you really feel alone? I love our landscape in England, engineered by humans as it is, but the African bush really spoke to me. I suppose being brought up in West Africa will have left its mark. The Cederbergs were the closest landscape I could remember to the Nigerian bush so I felt very nostalgic. I will be back.

Of diet talk, there is very little. I managed to resist temptation once I got home last night despite a couple of forays into the kitchen looking for "something". Both times, I managed to either take a glass of water or cup of tea and return empty handed. I also distracted myself going through photos for some frames I have bought. It's about time I get some of my piccies up on the wall but there are so many to choose from it is a very time-consuming process.
Well, it's sunny now and I'm going to the football later so I'm going to head out with the dogs asap. Have fun!

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