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 Post subject: Hawk, DB and Tigger head to 2200m above sea level ....
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
Golden Gate Highlands NP - Highlands Mountain Retreat

Close your eyes and allow your senses to totally relax. Breathe in the crisp, fresh mountain air and slowly allow your eyelids to open. Take in the awesome view of the overlapping mountain range, all the while knowing that you are standing 2200m above sea-level, the only place in South Africa at this height

A great escape for the mind, body and soul...


Sunday morning early we plan to leave and make our way to Golden Gate where we will spend 3 nights savouring all the park has to offer and also special family time with Steve :dance:

We last visited Golden Gate in mid winter many years ago - so it is with great anticipation we return this weekend!

Any must do's from you guys?

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Hawk, DB and Tigger head to 2200m above sea level ....
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:42 pm 
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Being a total Kruger junkie, each time we can snatch some leave, I put pressure on the rest of the family that we take a trip to Kruger.

The past couple of years, we have tried to broaden our SANParks 'horizons' so to speak, and visit different Parks. This is something I really recommend that each of you do. We do not know what we are missing by sticking to just visiting one or two favourite parks.

SA is such a beautiful country - and SANParks is preserving and conserving corners of it and it is up to us to go and learn more and enjoy these treasures!

Last time, many years ago, when we visited Golden Gate Highlands National Park, it was very cold! But that was mid winter, and we were camping. For the preceding week to our trip this week, I studied all the weather forecasts that I could. Warm midday temps, and cooler nights was definitely on the cards.

Not so!!!

(Note to self - when going to the mountains, prepare for cold. Not just East Cape cold. Real cold!)

Prepare too for the weather to change at a whim! From dramatic mist, to storms, to sunshine and winds!

We arrived early afternoon after a fairly long journey. The gates, or check point into the park was a welcome sight!

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We checked in and headed straight to our camp - Highlands Mountain Retreat. As we wound our way up the mountain, we drove deeper and deeper into heavy mist! It swirled around us, and was so dense we could not see far ahead, let alone get any idea of the views around us, or what our camp looked like!

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We made use of the bags of wood provided in the fire place, and lit a cosy fire, had supper and snuggled into warm beds wondering if in the morning we'd get a glimpse of the views from the camp.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Hawk, DB and Tigger head to 2200m above sea level ....
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Early to bed made for an early wake the next morn ... and I shot out of bed to see if the mist ... fog??? .... clouds! ... had lifted.

The morning light was just starting to brighten the world and I could see glimpses of earth far below me through the break in the clouds ....

Steve, on the fold out couch, drew the covers over his head and willed the grey-winged francolins to keep quiet for just another hour! No luck. It was morning - and just as humans tend to yell across the mountains to each other, this pair of birds did the same! It was wonderful to observe. One outside our cabin would 'say' something, cock its head to one side and wait for the reply from up the mountain. It would then reply back ... and this went on for about an hour!

During the course of the following four hours the mist lifted, returned, storm clouds passed by and it finally cleared!!!

The unveiling of our view from cabin no 7:
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Follow the road up the mountain to the cabins:
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And for being such a good son, we allowed Steve to braai that evening :twisted:
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Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject: Re: Hawk, DB and Tigger head to 2200m above sea level ....
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:26 pm 
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It was wondrous to be able to walk along the paths on 'top' of the mountains.

We spent some time at the Vulture Restaurant - and took a walk along the path leading from there to get a closer view of one of the sandstone overhangs the area is so well known for. It was in fact more cave like.

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I was fascinated by the plants that grew amongst the rock and grass. Will ask in the plant forum for some help with IDs.

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Heading up the mountain back to our cabin on our last evening at GGNP (after a drive enjoying the above views in the park), we noticed the grassland spotted with single white flowers ... these were not in flower during the day ... and the following morning when we left for home, there were gone again.

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Golden Gate - we will return. You surprised us. We loved every moment in your glory.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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