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Kaapsedraai's Singing a song from the Oldwood tree. Golden Gate NP - Dec ’15

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Kaapsedraai
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Kaapsedraai's Singing a song from the Oldwood tree. Golden Gate NP - Dec ’15

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Wed May 11, 2016 1:20 pm

A tree associated with Golden Gate National Park is the Oldwood tree or scientifically known as Leucosidea sericea or better known in Afrikaans as 'Ouhout'.
This is a park that has a very interesting historical past and as I once enjoyed the wonderful singing sound of a Cape Grassbird while sitting in an Oldwood tree, it inspired the title of this trip report, the third of the four part series.
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On 24 December 2014 we left Kruger NP, via Phalaborwa gate driving down from Punda Maria - refer Kruger NP - Dec’15: Rock fig, rock breakers - heart touching moments. We were on our way to Golden Gate National Park, but overnight at another resort overlooking the Blyde River Canyon with amazing scenery. The following morning we drove the panoramic route through Graskop and Sabie on our way to Golden Gate. The weather did not play along as it started to rain, but still managed to get some nice photos of the Berlin and Lisbon waterfalls.
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As we approached the eastern Free State, we encountered another thunder storm and heavy clouds coming in from the west. We stopped in the town of Clarens for some refreshments, but could not help reflecting to our first visit to Clarens in May 2009 when we admired this colourful scene - an artist dream to paint, for which this town is also known for.
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We arrived at Golden Gate National Park and welcomed by a rather subdued iconic 'gate' as we made our way to the Reception, where we met some special Forumites. 8) 8) By this time, it was raining heavy.
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It needs to be noted that while we were in Kruger, we decided to change our accommodation from camping site to a Mountain Retreat Cottage, and were we happy to have done it other wise we would have to pitch tent in this rainy conditions. :roll:

At Reception, we met up with Isinkwe and Morecat which was wonderful to see them again. :dance: :dance: :dance:
They had come through specially to enjoy some time with us, while stopping over at Golden Gate. The plan was to enjoy a nice braai and catch up on our Kruger experience, but with the rainy weather we had to make a plan, fortunately I did not have to worry, because we had the Braai Master in our mids :lol: :lol: :lol:

We made our way up to the Mountain Retreat, some distance away from the Reception / Van Reenen camp. The car parking area was a good 50 meters from the cottage, hence we all had to unpack and carry our goodies to the cottage in pouring rain. After we have settled in, it was time to lit the fire inside the cottage for some heat as it was quite cold. 24 hours ago we had to endure extreme heat and humid conditions and now faced with the oppostite - cold and wet weather. :D
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As Isinkwe and Morecat visited Golden Gate on their stunning motorbike and it dangerous to drive up in the weather up and later down the mountain, we offered to pick them up. On our way up, while still raining, we spotted a soaking wet Black-baked jackal - poor thing. :o
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Back at the cottage, high up in the mountain, we were fortunate to find a covered area and a weber, so we got the braai going. :dance:
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While chatting, laughing and sharing all our interesting sightings, we enjoyed these views from the cottage as the clouds moved past and sun setting slowly.
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What a lovely evening we enjoyed with Isinkwe and Morecat! :dance: It was just great seeing them again. :thumbs_up:

The next day, we had to leave for Karoo National Park, but not before we first enjoy a short drive and .....reliving some wonderful memories from our previous visits that were not shared as yet. So, stay tuned to enjoy these moments from the past - it might just convince you to visit this amazing park or include in your travel plans if you are travelling from south /Cape town to or from Kruger ....tbc :thumbs_up:
"Everything I do, is exclusively my appreciation for the love of nature and showcase my Creator's creation".

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isinkwe
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by isinkwe » Thu May 12, 2016 12:48 am

Forgive me here Kaapsedraai , if I join in, too many good memories for me to let go :D :D

We were very fortunate to only get caught in two rain (make that very heavy - all worth it :thumbs_up: )storms on the way down to meet Kaapsedraai , his lovely wife, daughter and awesome friends that accompanied the Kaapsedraai bus on their 4 Sanparks adventure/tour all the way from Cape Town and back again (I believe there is some sort of mine dump or some such thing near a harbour in Cape Town that they had to get back to :hmz:)

We took a short ride , just for fun , while waiting for the Kaapsedraai bus to arrive:D.

Heading back towards Glen Reenen travelling west, ( a different view perhaps for some of you ? )

(I am going to try and post my first video here, if it does not work , I hope to get some lessons soon, and fix my problem :redface: :redface: )
Bad quality videography should be addressed to morecat , first time she used her new camera ( Yes :thumbs_up: , :D that one I "borrowed" for Krugerparking with a twist or 2)

https://youtu.be/I7UBK0XaDm0

We had an awesome time with Kaapsedraai , his family and friends. As Kaapsedraai said, the weather was really rotten and in fact it was a bit dangerous for me to try and ride my bike up and down the mountain at night , ( I also cant see at night anymore :wall: )
Without hesitation , The Kaapsedraai clan , after travelling the whole day , drove back down the mountain , collected us , fed us , and took us back down the mountain and made sure that morecat and I were safe.

That for me , is what being a part of this Forum is all about.
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Thu May 12, 2016 9:59 am

Before we get ready to leave for Karoo National Park, let us go down memory lane to a few years ago when we visited the park in different times and conditions i.e. May and September.
It will just show why visiting this beautiful park is a must as it is just so unique and different to the other parks. :clap:

Down memory lane
After entering the main gate, we had the privilege to see why this park is called 'Golden Gate'.
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Another wider view with Brandwag hotel on the right.
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Different view of Brandwag hotel with amazing mountain scene as back drop.
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Arriving at Gen Reenen camp greeted by beautiful tall trees.
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From the accommodation at Glen Reenen, one can do a short hike to a waterfall. This is the view from the waterfall back to the camp. The beautiful mountains surrounding the camp is awe-inspiring.
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Spending time to relax at the waterfall with sounds of water flowing and enjoying the amazing view can be very therapeutic.
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Are these mountains with colour sandstone formations not stunning?
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Let us see if there are any wildlife around and meeting some feathered friends resident to this area....tbc :thumbs_up:
"Everything I do, is exclusively my appreciation for the love of nature and showcase my Creator's creation".

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Fri May 13, 2016 1:43 pm

Down memory lane - continued
Wherever one drive, one can just admire the beauty of the rock formation with associated vibrant colours.
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I think these two rocks are known as salt and pepper :D
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We did spot some game around such as this black wildebeest....
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....and zebras.
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During this trip or quick overnight, it was raining, hence not able to visit the vulture restaurant. What I can share is how it looked like a few years ago befor the hide was built.
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A 'visual impact' scene.
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If you wondered if we saw are any birds, then next episode provide some proof of same together with more landscape scenes....tbc :thumbs_up:
"Everything I do, is exclusively my appreciation for the love of nature and showcase my Creator's creation".

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isinkwe
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by isinkwe » Fri May 13, 2016 6:39 pm

While we were waiting for the Kaapsedraai clan to arrive , we took a short ride through Golden Gate. Morecat took a few shots from the back of the bike while we were cruising.

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Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

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isinkwe
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by isinkwe » Fri May 13, 2016 6:41 pm

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Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

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isinkwe
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by isinkwe » Fri May 13, 2016 6:44 pm

We stopped to see some

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with a little one

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Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

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isinkwe
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by isinkwe » Fri May 13, 2016 6:48 pm

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We then parked the

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and anxiously waited for the Kaapsedraai clan t0 arrive :D :D
What a cool way to spend Christmas Day :D :D
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Fri May 13, 2016 9:49 pm

isinkwe wrote:While we were waiting for the Kaapsedraai clan to arrive , we took a short ride through Golden Gate. Morecat took a few shots from the back of the bike while we were cruising.

isinkwe and morecat, thank you for sharing some more views of this lovely park. :clap:

I guess we are making this a 3D TR with some views from the motorbike - very interesting and it feels as if we are there riding along. :dance:

The one with all those 'caves' is amazing and it was amazing to see how green the park was. :dance:

Please add more, if you have as TR's like these are there to show case these hidden gems - what better way to do it as this forum. :thumbs_up:
"Everything I do, is exclusively my appreciation for the love of nature and showcase my Creator's creation".

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Sat May 14, 2016 9:17 am

Down Memory Lane - continued
Well, did we see any birds around, you might wonder. :D

Lovely Cape Grassbirds provided some wonderful singing music - really beautiful to just 'pause' and admire the amazing scenery and listen to these birds singing :D
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I recall running after these Long-tailed widowbirds to get some nice action shots as they are just strikingly elegant with these contrasting colours when in flight.
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I could be wrong, but guess this is the female.
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African Stonechat is another beautiful bird that loves to be photographed :thumbs_up:
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On the Blesbok loop, which is a one-way drive, you can enjoy a view of the Langtoon Dam.
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Let us admire some more of the landscape which makes this such a unique park.
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Another scene from the Glen Reenen camp - Mushroom Rock.
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The Brandwag buttress is being lit up at night, hence I could not miss out on this opportunity - just so special.
This has been taken one early morning namely 05h21 on 1 Oct 2010.
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On this note, the drive down Memory Lane has come to an end and back to reality....tbc :thumbs_up:
"Everything I do, is exclusively my appreciation for the love of nature and showcase my Creator's creation".

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: Golden Gate NP - Dec’15: Singing a song from the Oldwood tree

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Mon May 16, 2016 6:20 pm

It was a quick stopover at Golen Gate Highlands NP and enjoyed a wonderful evening with isinkwe and morecat at the Mountain Retreat.
It also allowed me to travel back in time down memory lane, but the time have arrived to leave and make our way to Karoo NP.

After packing the car and slowly making our way down the mountain, there was time to enjoy a sighting or two - a Grey Rhebuck making its way across the open grassland.
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A Black-shouldered kite busy early morning searching for prey.
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We stopped at Glen Reenen Reception to hand the keys and was just in time to meet up with isinkwe and morecat with their beautiful motorbike also ready to travel back home. Thank you isinkwe and morecat for traveling all the way to Golden Gate to spend a wonderful evening together - who knows, we might meet again soon, this time in Cape Town :lol: 8)
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As we made our way towards the Main gate, we had to take a few more :cam: of the Brandwag Buttress - different angles.
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Before we finally leave this amazing and unique park, let me leave you with a map of the park for ease of reference.
For some reason, does this map not appear on the Golden Gate Highlands Park section under Maps. I was trying to get an idea how far the Mountain Retreat is located from Reception, but no map to give one this info, except for this Map one collects at Reception.
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On this note, we exited the Main gate on our way to Karoo NP.
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Just outside the Main Gate, we saw this interesting bus and sign "Sorry U missed the bus".
We stopped there and what an interesting stop as we were just in time for the first pot of 'moer koffie' (filter coffee), but they serve it with condensed milk....yummy. :dance: Obviously, we bought some nice home made eats for the long road.... :D :D :D :D
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The road takes one along the Maluti route where one can admire more sandstone mountains ranges.
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We were on our way to our next destination where we will overnight, Karoo NP - Dec’15: Sweet thorn – the beauty and the beast.
"Everything I do, is exclusively my appreciation for the love of nature and showcase my Creator's creation".


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