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1st of September is the beginning of spring for South Africa.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Justin, myself and my friend Carol had decided that we wanted one last drive around before the fuel goes up another 93c (0.11$) per liter on Wednesday. Carol and I wanted to be around water and Justin obliged us by taking us to two different rivers. We were barely on the road when we came across these two baboons. There must have been more in the bush that we couldnt see, because baboons travel in troops. A troop of baboons can range in number from 30 to over 200 members, depending upon the availability of food.

It was very exciting to see them, but we didnt venture too close, they have HUGE teeth and not afraid to use them, they are what is called omnivorous and opportunistic in their feeding, which means they will eat almost anything and will change their diets as the environment around them changes. Baboon diets include a combination of fruit, flowers, seeds, pods, leaves, gum, and roots as well as almost any small animal that they can catch, so I didnt feel safe....ok....I'm not a small animal. emoticon Lose 30 kgs and then I can start worrying. We left them doing what they were doing before we arrived. Carol told me something very interesting about baboons....while they will attack humans in pairs, they wont attack a group of 3 or more. So we were safe thankfully.

Next stop Silver River. Such a beautiful place.

People can be so destructive. Someone actually stole the plaque that was on this stone telling all the information about when the bridge was built etc. What the heck could anyone want with that? Just ridiculous.

But we weren't there to be miserable, we were there to enjoy the play ground God had created for us. Before we could do that, we had to negotiate these steps. Might not look hard, but yesterday I had a slip on some water I didnt see on my bathroom floor, and fell really hard, hitting my head on the edge of the bath and got my legs tangled round the base of the loo. This morning I felt stiff in my shoulders and neck with a slight headache. So this would be like a mini extreme challenge for me in my fragile condition. LOL

Once down those steps, we were at a mid level and found that we still had more stairs to climb down to get to the actual waters edge.

Hubby and I climbed down, Carol refused. She sat at the top and took photos. She's going to be real mad seeing herself. She has a "thing" about being photographed??

She took photo's of this cotton wool/toilet paper looking tree. No idea what it is. I did email our Botanical Gardens curator but he hasn't got back to me because its the weekend, and I wanted to get my blog done.

Climbing down was worth it, the view from the bottom was just so tranquil and everything I needed today.

We walked along the river bank first and found such interesting things, like trees with their roots outside the ground. Literally on top or along the bank,just not inside. I'm sure there had to be a main root under the ground, or how else would the tree stay erect?!

We walked along these rocks with the sound of the rushing water from the weir behind us...perfect peace. I'm telling you, if I had gone to a Dr, this is what his prescriptions would have had on it. Jehovah God of course is the greatest physician ever, knowing exactly what we need and when we need it.

The rocks looked plain white from a distance, but were anything but. These boulders had the most unbelievable colors in them. On closer inspection, they had so much more to offer than the sight from the top.

Closer look at the colors.

Closer look at the texture. I really must take Axel there, he is such a texture person, always touching things and feeling the difference between them.

This is where we finally settled for lunch which Carol supplied.

Lunch was...a burger and a soda.

Justin tucked right in as if he never gets fed....yeah right luv they believe you.

After that nourishing meal, Justin got an energy spike and decided he was Tarzan and I was Jane while tossing a giant log into the water for me.....what can I say....second childhood?

And Tarzan nearly hit the dirt lol the rocks were not steady and slippery.

Carol took this photo of Justin and I just before we left the Silver River.
We had such a fun time together.

From there, we packed up and moved on to the Touw River (pronounced Toe River)
The drive there had plenty of gorgeous plant life like the heather with grew in pink, russet and purple bushes all along the road side.

And this interesting tree. At some point it must have been snapped but my word talk about hardy, it didnt give up, it just grew from that broken point.....food for thought!

So this is finally the Touw River. A pure piece of paradise.

Carols photo from the top of the bridge - gorgeous with the clouds reflecting in the water.

Getting down once again required more stairs. These were more difficult to manage, purely because they were made from the tree roots and widely spaced with nothing to hold onto.

The Touw River is much more forest-like compared to the Silver River. So green and - dare I use - peaceful and tranquil one more time to describe it there?!

Plenty of exercise crawling under trees and walking along the river bank.

Truth be told...at this point we were "arguing." I wanted to walk along this fallen tree which would end me up over the river. I felt I could do it, but Justin had fears about the tree falling into the river blah blah blah. In the end he agreed, but he had made me too nervous to try.
In retrospect, with my sore shoulders and knee I was being foolish and he was being sensible. Thanks Justin!

Having left the Touw River, and looking back, waaaay down there, is where we were.

Carol and I stand on the edge to take one last photo of the area before heading back home.

On our way back, I spotted a wonderful Knysna Loerie bird (pronounced Nice-nu Loo-ree) in the trees. Its a very shy bird and flies from cover to cover which makes him hard to spot. I didnt manage to get him on camera, but this is how he looks (taken from old photos)

The Loeries diet consists mainly on fruits and berries, with seeds, leaves, insects, and earthworms making up the rest of its diet. Adults form monogamous pair bonds, so will generally be seen in pairs.

When the Loerie flies its wings are blood red, a startling contrast to the blue and green of the rest of its body.

Sadly Carol missed the beautiful Loerie. Each time I tried to show her, she was either looking in the wrong direction as they emerged from their hiding spot or flying to the new hiding spot, or looking in her camera. Shame.

But we did get to see this chap, a Hoe-poe bird (pronounced Hoo-poo) Their diet is mainly insects, although they'll also eat small reptiles such as lizards. They use their bill for probing the earth and animal dung. They also turn over leaf litter to find prey. Unlike the Loerie, the Hoe-poe isn't a sociable bird and is generally found either singly or in pairs.
This guy was alone.

The magnificent crest is not usually upright unless the bird is alarmed or otherwise excited.

I guess we startled him, and he pulled that crest up and displayed it too beautifully for us.

Our last stop was for a cup of coffee at Cocomos Coffee Shop where we shared a tiniest square of cake 3-ways. We pretty much got 3 teaspoon fulls each. emoticon
What was nice though, was finding live musicians playing for spring day. They weren't as good as my kids.......I say that with pride and Carol backs me up on that.
I think this twosome had a few too many too many dagga cookies before playing, the drummer kept losing his timing.

The ambiance was terrific. They had 2 metal fire pits going, the girl waitrons had flowers in their hair, and the boys wore garlands around their chests, and the atmosphere was pumping. They even allowed their dog to roam around freely. A lovely end to a great outing.

The bill came in this really novel container. Oooh if Axel was there, he'd have tried to claim it.

Before I go, I want to show you two very funny signs we saw along the way. This one was on someones entrance to their property. Not sure if its clear...it says "Private property. Keep out - Stay alive" LOL SURE THING, ABSOLUTELY we stayed out.

This was possibly even funnier. This NO ENTRY sign is high up on a tree with a rock face behind it. No entry, anywhere possible, what-so-ever. What could the purpose of this sign have been? LOL

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Reading your blogs is a real adventure. Thank you so much! I just loved the photographs. It always amazes me to see Jehovah's imaginative designs. Your narrative about baboons and their peculiarities was both fascinating and frightening. Where we live, we are excited when we see black bears with their cubs, moose, buffalo, deer, linx, wolves, fox, coyotes, and many small creatures.

    You're a great writer and I loved the journey!

    Claude emoticon
    1986 days ago
    What wonderful beautiful pictures! They make me want to go visit Africa! The picture of you and Justin is beautiful and so are you. Thank you for sharing such a tranquil place and I can almost feel the peace settle in. Lucinda
    1992 days ago
    What a great adventure!!! Loved seeing the birds and baboons! I always learn so much from your posts and can't thank you enough for sharing!
    1992 days ago
    What a fantastic outing! I think all my boys, husband included would have tried to claim the car the bill came in. lol

    It will be so grand when the baboons won't be scary anymore. They look like they have such a great personality. The birds were beautiful too. It was so nice of you to get pictures of the one you couldn't get and share them. Very beautiful. I would never expect red feathers under all that green!

    I hope your day out was enough to get you back to "normal".

    Many hugs! And much gratitude!
    1994 days ago
    Absolutely emoticon

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Hugs Mary
    1994 days ago
  • BEFIT018
    Your photos were ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!! It all looks so beautiful-somehow not what I pictured Africa as. I almost felt like I was there with you!
    1994 days ago
    Fantastic pictures!
    1994 days ago
    That is a Truly Precious Picture of you and Justin together!!
    The places where you had to climb down to the water's edge reminds me of where my Husband and I had to climb down to the river's edge when we went to the Grand Canyon.
    emoticon One of the Many Wonderful things about Spark People is getting to watch the Seasons change in different parts of the world. Thank You for sharing your Day with us!!
    1994 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your outing with us. You sure did some climbing up and down! Do you suppose the plaque about the bridge was stolen to be sold as scrap metal?...or maybe someone has up on their wall as a decoration. People do such crazy things these days.

    Hope you are OK from that fall...be aware that banging your head that hard could cause a concussion so you may have some after affects a bit later. Hope not.

    1994 days ago
  • JOYFUL62
    Thank you for letting us enjoy Spring Day with you. I have never been to South Africa and it looks beautiful! Isn't God wonderful to share his creation with us?
    1994 days ago
    oh Celest so much to comment on --absolutely awesome photos

    both those stairs looked tricky to me -lol I probably would have slid down .
    loved the birds and baboons another great adventure for sure

    loved the rivers and your fun time .. it is so nice and peaceful at river banks and your photos showed that

    hope tomorrow finds you less stiff after that nasty fall
    sure glad it didn't stop you from your great journey of the day

    thanks for sharing emoticon emoticon
    1994 days ago
    Awesome! Thanks for taking us along. emoticon
    1994 days ago
    Ohhhhhhh what a funfilled, relaxing day. Love the pictures. You and Justin seem mroe in love now than ever before.
    1994 days ago
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