My vreugdes en frustrasies


Automattic WWWP5k 2016: River Sand Road

Mtwalume River and Elysium Beach

Worldwide WordPress 5k 2016 #wwwp5k

After weeks of hard rains, flooded roads and clogged storm drains, we were happy to wake up to the promise of a windless day and blue skies, although further rain is forecast for tonight and tomorrow. We decided to hike along the Sandy River road, where the water has drained sufficiently to allow us access to the sugar cane fields in the rural area. This road winds its way along the Mtwalume riverbank up into the hilltops on the opposite side of the Soutcoast freeway.

The first image dates back to the end of July, just after a particularly heavy storm. Today the surface was still muddy and to our delight we found fresh buck spoor in the road. We have a number of bushbuck that roam free in the hills (and our vegetable gardens).

(Click on images to view as a slide show)

The hills are lush green with the new sugar cane growth showing after the first rains. The sugar cane, when ready for harvesting, is burned on the fields before it is cut down and transported to the refineries in large trucks. The sweet smell of the burning cane hangs in the air from January to October, when operations cease for a three month period. We met a few field workers when we stopped to admire the green fields stretching to the higher reaches of the Mtwalume River.

From our vantage point we spotted a herd of Nguni cattle being driven uphill towards us and we waited for them to appear around the bend in the road. These cows and their calves are used to interaction with people and to our delight they started following us on the road when we called to them, ignoring their herder’s admonishments and the crack of his whip. He told us later that it was only his first day on the job with this particular herd and he was having a little difficulty controlling them, as he has not yet learnt their names! These ladies and their offspring are named according to the color and pattern of their hides and they respond to their given names.

South Africa’s indigenous Nguni cattle, long the mainstay of traditional Zulu culture,  are known for their fertility and resistance to diseases.

Later, on our way back, we saw them peacefully grazing in a sugar cane field that has already been harvested, while the herder was taking a well-earned break, sitting on a pile of dry sugar cane stalks from where he could watch the cattle.

At last we reached the top and this is the magnificent view that greeted us: You can see the Southcoast freeway at the bottom of the hill, the Mtwalume River, swollen with water reaching halfway up the concrete pillars of the train bridge; the lagoon which is very still and calm today, and the ocean in the back.

View of Mtwalume River and Elysium Beach from the hilltop

Today is National Heritage Day in South Africa and honouring the natural beauty of our country was a fine way of spending this special day.

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  1. Het nou heerlik saamgestap. Ag hoe wens ek julle kon vir ons van daardie reen stuur…

  2. Dankie. Lekker saamgestap!

  3. Zo leuk om het landschap te zien dat zo totaal anders is dan ik mij voorstel

  4. Dis lekker interessant

  5. Beauty at it’s best!! And yes, those are the cattle that belong in Southern Africa!

    Dankie vir ‘n lekker stappie daar saam met julle. Maar, en ja… daar’s altyd ‘n maar. Ek dog julle sou braai op nationale braai dag? 😉

  6. Ai dis pragtig geskryf met mooi foto’s!Maak my sommer lus om weer bietjie na Groenheuweltjieland toe te kom!

  7. Sjoe dis darem maar lekker om so n “intieme” stukkie van jou wêreld te beleef. Dit bly spesiaal.

    • Comment by post author

      Dankie vir die saamloop. Hier verander die landskap letterlik van dag tot dag en word altyd weer nuut.

      • Snaaks genoeg dis hier ook nogal so. Elke more as ek skooltoe ry verkyk ek my aan die landskap hier. Hier is ook sulke gladde heuwels soos daar waar suikerriet geplant word. Dis net weivelde wat in kampe verdeel is.

        • Comment by post author

          Dis vir my baie mooi, veral omdat ek in so ‘n plat halfwoestyn wêreld grootgeword het.

        • Ja, die Hoëveld het nie veel opwinding wat dit aan betref nie. Dis hoekom ek die Bosveld ook so geniet het. Die bome en groen lower was vir my wonderlik. Ongelukkig het alles so uitgetrap en afgekap geraak dat dit nie meer dieselfde is nie. Dis wat dit hie so lekker maak. Hier is regtig nog our oue bome wat beskerm word.

        • Comment by post author

          Ja, ongelukkig het natuurbewaring hier nie vinnig genoeg ‘n bestaansreg ontwikkel nie.

  8. Baie mooi geskryf!

  9. jen's magic

    Lovely Place! Relaxing. Refreshing. Inspiring. Fresh Air…