To the Sneeuberg and Eastern Cape Karoo: studies in brown and blue.

We are having a long drought in the Eastern Cape – it’s only early Spring and already hot after a very dry winter. On the drive up from Grahamstown to Mt Zebra National Park and the Sneeuberg there’s hardly any green vegetation to be seen. The landscape is dominated by browns and blues showing off the textures, the grain of the land, the rocks and thorny bush.

Karoo Skyline from Mt Zebra, Cradock, Karoo

Karoo Skyline from Mt Zebra National Park

On the way north to Cradock there’s a great big Karoo sky above you and the folds and wrinkles of the landscape stretch far into the distance. You get lovely skylines like this one – taken from Mt Zebra’s Black Eagle Hike towards sunset – and you might be lucky enough to be able to sit behind some boulders and quietly watch a baboon troop pass by.

Baboon troop, Mt Zebra National Park

Baboon troop in the golden light of sunset at Mt Zebra National Park

If you take the Kranskop loop in the Park then you leave the throne bush (and monkeys) behind and climb steeply up to get more great views.

Ververt Monkey in the thorn bush, Mt Zebra National Park

Ververt Monkey in the thorn bush, Mt Zebra National Park

Off to the west of the Park the Sneeuberg range stretches away towards Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg.

Sneeuberg Landscape from Mt Zebra, Cradock, Karoo

Sneeuberg Landscape from Mt Zebra National Park

This is the countryside that you will drive through if you go west towards Nieu-Bethesda. My final picture is taken from the lookout where the gravel road crests and you get a view down to Ganora Farm. Nieu-Bethesda lies just beyond the middle range of hills.

Sneeuberg Landscape at Ganora, Nieu-Bethesda, Karoo

Sneeuberg Landscape at Ganora, Nieu-Bethesda

 

Misty Coquetdale: Lady’s Well, Cragside and Windy Gyle

Coquetdale is rich in history, ancient and modern, and has lots of natural splendour: all of which we have experienced this last three days with Jeannie.  It has been rather misty, damp and decidedly cool at times but we have had excellent walks nevertheless: at Lady’s Well (with Jackie, Angus and Izzie … plus dogs), Cragside and Windy Gyle.

Here’s a gallery of pictures: see what we met in the woods …

The footbridge at Lindesnäs

For three years I came to Sweden in spring and autumn and stayed in a tiny guest cottage at Lindesnäs.  It was beautifully situated up on the hillside above the fjord right against the mountain side with lovely views down to the guest harbour at Lindesnäs.  You can probably appreciate how nice it was from the map and the two pictures of the cottage.  The first picture was taken as you emerge (in my case carrying my bicycle) at the top of the rocky steps up to the garden shared with the owners of the large villa.  The second one is a long exposure taken one night with the cottage to the right and main house to the left.  You can tell how steep the hill was by the distortion in the shot. The harbour below was always photogenic, especially at sunrise and sunset, and I was taken by the footbridge which became the subject of the rest of the pictures.  The first is a zoom shot from the door of the cottage down through the trees.  People tell me it looks Japanese.  The others were taken either with the sun on the bridge (dawn pictures) or behind the bridge (sunset pictures).