It had been a really bad week with our beloved pets being put down and my dil leaving to spend a few months with her family, taking Axel with her and us not knowing if she will have the energy to return etc. That being said, dh offered to take me on a drive to cheer me up. Now, this is USUALLY one of my FAVORITE things to do. But it didnt end up doing that for me this time. Let me explain....from the beginning.
It was misty on our side of the mountain, as it usually is which doesn't mean bad weather. The opposite side of the mountain is always bright and sunny as it heads inland to the Karoo.
This is our side.
This is literally as you clear the top of the mountain pass and start heading down inland.
You can almost always see the dividing line in the sky.
On the other side, its almost always bright and sunny. The mist clings to the mountains which is what keeps our side so beautiful and green all year round.
We took Bronson with us (didn't have Jewel yet-can't wait to take her into the mountains with us) and can you believe that while we were driving, Bronson crawled through that tiny gap in the cab window to be inside with us. I so wanted a photo, but he was too close to me to actually photograph it. Crazy dog!
We stopped to give Bronson a toilet break and it was right next to a beautiful little tree.
We drove deep down into the mountains, heading for a place called THE HELL
This is the explanation for why its called The Hell.
"It isn’t difficult to understand why this part of the world is called ‘the Hell’, even if the origin of this pseudonym is unclear. The pass is a series of single lane, untarred STEEP zig-zags and SUDDEN swing-backs that leave one breathless at both the scenery and the sheer dexterity of the masterpiece that is this pass."
Despite its name, its very beautiful.
We stopped at a place called Willow walk, named that because of all the beautiful Weeping Willow trees all the way along the river bank.
I took off my shoes, strapped on my hiking boots and joined Justin and Bronson as we walked down to a stream.
Bronson loved playing in the long grass on the river bank.
But not as keen to get his baby feet wet in the icy water.
He so badly wanted to, but in the end couldn't face it.
Possibly the water that ran over the weir just made too much noise for him on his first outing without the older dogs to lead him. Despite how pretty it looked, and how beautiful the running water sound was too me, for Bronson it was a monster in disguise.
His puppy heart is still so young.
Despite his insecurity around water, he showed no fear HIGH UP on the mountain top with Justin. I remained at the fist level and zoomed in on them. I just didn't have the energy this day to scamper to the top with them. Actually I was trying desperately to shake off the blues, as you know there has just been too much sadness around my life lately.
This is the view they were looking down at. Mind bogglingly awesome!
Justin hunted down a little waterfall so we could have fresh water for the rest of the trip.
Others wanted the running water also, and echoing through the mountains was the sound of a troop of baboons barking. This is the sound they make...... www.youtube.com/watch?v=
This troop sounded large and the mountains rang with the sound of their barking, I guess they did NOT like the scent of Bronson invading their space.
We got in the car immediately....us and one puppy are no match for one baboon, let alone a troop. We didn't get to see the rest, but this BIG male showed himself to us briefly before going into hiding.
The flowers called fynbos (pronounced fain boss) are always spectacular in color. All year round, the blossom on the mountains and keep the baboons and other creatures well fed. The require very little water which makes them ideal for mountain existence.
Our next stop was at another little water oasis in the craggy mountains.
From here on we should have traveled another couple miles through the imposing mountains on an UN-BE-LIEVABLY bumpy dirt road. I cant recall when last I've been so shaken up. I think I have finally located my liver, gall bladder and pancreas, but my appendix is possible still out there somewhere....I think THIS is why its called The Hell...its hell on your vehicle and body.
The road shook me up so badly and seemed to reek havoc with my emotions...I say this with lots of ???? behind my statement...I actually ended up in floods of tears. Tears for my pets I put down, tears for my dil's terminal cancer, tears for my son who will have to raise a son alone, tears for missing Axel while hes away.
Can having your body shaken up do this to you? Or was I going to break down anyway?
I ended up with such a headache and all I could find in our vehicle was something called Betapain. I don't even know who they belonged to, not Justin or mine, possibly one of their staff members?? I'm not much of a medicine person, and other than Aspirin for my headaches (way back when I got them) I rarely take anything. Well, this betapain promptly knocked me clean out and dh had to "enjoy" the entire 2.5hr trip home alone while I slept and slept and slept. Oh dear.
A lesson learned, don't just take pills if you don't know how they affect you.
We got home as it was getting dark, I got woken, crawled out the vehicle, into the bath and into bed. I slept right through the night and woke up feeling like a new person.
I do plan to have other trips into the mountains, but I think I'll give THE HELL a miss.