The Italian leprechaun and I took our monthly trip to Pietermaritzburg this morning. We travelled in his car, which is a Ford KA. Someone said the other day that it looks like a computer mouse on steriods.
Just before going onto the highway we stopped and I took a couple of photos of the snow on the Drakensberg mountains.
Click on photo to enlarge.
Not the best vantage point from which to take a photo. The front of the Berg is very steep,almost vertical, so not much snow sticks there. On top, which is a plateau, the snow will be several feet deep. On the northern slopes the snow will melt very quickly. Trout fishermen like lots of snow on the Berg, this will mean good stream flows in the spring, making for good fishing.
This photo taken almost from the same position as the one above shows a small section of the lake behind the Wagendrift dam. The dam is built on the spot where ox-wagons used to cross the Bushmans river in the 1800's. Hence the name. (Drift is Afrikaans for a ford)
Interior of the temple of Mammon. One thing that struck me was that the smaller the shop, the less goods it had on display, and the higher the prices.
We did our shopping, stopped at the Mug & Bean coffee shop, had a good breakfast and their bottomless cup of coffee, served by friendly and efficient waiters. The service can only be described as slick. The food very good and the coffee fantastic.
On the way out I took this photo of a small part of the parking lot. No one drives an old car any more, every car I saw was new. I must be the only person who drives a car older than 5 years.(actually mine is 28 years old).
In the background you see the hills that surround Pietermaritzburg, covered in plantations of SA Pines and Blue gums. These plantations belong to the municipality. Due to the fact that the town lies in a hollow it gets extremely hot and humid in the summer.
The N3 highway near Lions River. This part of Natal is known as the Midlands.
The last stretch heading home. The Wagendrif dam lies at the bottom of the valley on the left. Turn off to my cottage is on the left at the top, after turning left we turn right over bridge crossing the highway, then it's only a couple of hundred metres, and home.
Wagendrift dam, photo taken as we drove past. Note the uprights of the bridge railings slanted to the right. They are actually vertical. The Italian Leprechaun gave me a physics lesson as to why this happened in the photograph, not that I understood any of it. (I'm a librarian not a mathematician).
Today was one of those perfect winter days we have here in Natal. Blue skies, bright sun and warm. Last week was cold, overcast, with lots of rain, all the staff at school were walking around with long glum faces, complaining about the weather. We are not used to real winters here. I think tonight will be very cold though, clear skies means frost at night.
If tomorrow is like today it means good trout fishing weather. Think I'll bunk church and go fishing, give Mark's wiggle tail flies a try. Starting to feel guilty already, but I think I'll get over it.