Land of mountains, rocks, antelope and more water.
A little way further down the road we came upon a road repair crew grading the gravel road. They were doing more than just grading away the corrugations on the road surface, but were busy with a major rebuilding of the road top. With the Caterpillar grader there was a Huge Bell tractor towing an even bigger road roller compactor.
Freshly graded road. On our return late that afternoon the crew were still at work. Further on we saw how well they had rebuilt the surface, it was almost like travelling on a tarred road.
Another farm sign. The name "Snow Top", shows how high the road is here. From here you can see a huge piece of southern KwaZuluNatal,(I'd hate to guess the size one can see, but it was several hundred square kilometres), with the Drakensberg stretching way to the south along the western edge.
The crest of the pass, from here it was down hill and hairpin bends into the Loteni valley. We had breakfast here, fresh buttered bread, boiled eggs, and hot strong coffee.
The first hairpin bend. Note the right hand top point of the mountain in the background, a close up of this point in the second photo after this.
This photo shows the steepness and winding nature of the road. This stretch of road has already been repaired and if you enlarge the photo you will see the surface is quite good.
Close up of the point referred to before, I call this the Loteni Sphinx, weather it actually has a name I don't know. You can see how huge pieces have broken away from the sandstone cliffs and fallen down the mountain.
Some of the huge blocks of rock that have broken off and rolled down the mountain. These boulders are very big.
This boulder was right next to the road, about three stories high. It looks a bit like the stern of a sinking ship, even has a rudder sticking out the back.
While I was photographing these boulders, the Italian leprechaun started shouting excitedly that I must look,"there goes an antelope". Sure enough there a Mountain reedbuck was racing up the side of the mountain. Taking photos almost by reflex I manage to get the following two photos.
Mountain Reedbuck, (Redunca fulvorufula).
Second photo. To appreciate it properly it needs to be enlarged by clicking on it. In the top right hand corner you can see the neck and head of another reedbuck peering over a small ridge.
Our first glimpse of the Loteni river, we still had about 5km to go before we got to the Nature Reserve.
More in the next post.