This is our first trip to South Africa and although we know plenty of people who have been there, we had no pre-conceived ideas as to what it would be like. My first thoughts were just what a massive scale the countryside has. We drove across plains that you could have lost Guernsey and Jersey in without trace!
We flew from Heathrow to Johannesburg overnight. After sunrise, it was cloudy and the first clear view we had of Africa from 39,000 feet was flying over the Kalahari desert with the low early morning light. I had never seen anything like the landscape - it looked more like the surface of some planet.
For the connecting flight to Cape Town Gilly was by the window and could see the landscape and where crops were grown like little oasis in what appeared to be scrub or desert. South Africa has had a very hot & dry summer by their standards. Many crops have failed and rather than exporting food they are having to import it. In some areas there is a chronic water shortage. Our first 9 days saw temperatures in the high 30's every day and twice when we were away from the coast it went up to 42 deg.
We arrived just in time to join the evening rush hour out of Cape Town. Our friends live just beyond Somerset West near Sir Lowry's Pass and the drive along the N2 took us past numerous townships - all I can say is no-one should be living like that in the 21st century. It isn't just the conditions, again it is the sheer scale of them, they are huge areas. On the way, we came across the first group from the townships trying to sell all manner of things to the occupants of cars waiting at traffic lights. Amazingly, they were selling things so it must be worth their while.
I only took the Fuji cameras to save weight & space and as it turned out it was a wise choice - at no time did I wish I had a DSLR. I continue to be impressed by the Fuji X-Pro1 and X-T1 which are very capable cameras.
|One friends have some vines which are right outside the house and by coincidence, |
the grapes had been picked the day before we arrived.
|Yes, it was the mating season!|
|The following day, we woke to see this rainbow which stayed around |
continuously for over two hours. It appeared close and had spectacular colours
|This old suspension bridge straddles a small river, all very |
picturesque and on the other side in the trees is a
huge Yellow Wood tree.
|In the afternoon we went for a walk around the area our friends live. More |
vines with a tremendous backdrop of mountains draped in cloud.
|Eventually it stopped and I was able to get this shot showing it |
in the vast landscape with the mountain range in the background.