20 September 2012
Rock Art Explorer – Extraordinaire
Antbear Guest House
2 – 5 September 2012
Lily Marie was an extraordinary person, with huge determination and fortitude, and 2 memorable days were spent with her. The long hard second day was a real tester for her as the paintings are high up in a cliff face, with a stiff climb to get there
From the Antbear Guest house the early morning and late evening views of the Drakensberg are great , especially as the new days is announced with the early orange blue hues of sunrise, and the fiery oranges and red of sunset.
Pic - 2 Very early sunrise over Giant,s Castle
Pic - 3 A bit later on when the early magic light has disappeared
Pic - 5 Fresh flowers
Pic - 6 The cool path through the forest
Pic - 7 Eland across the valley
Directly on the hour the local Culture Guide arrived at the gate to meet us to lead the next tour through this fascinating Rock Art museum. Fortunately for us , we were the only people there at the time, so we had the full attention of the guide, who now had time to give Lily Marie undivided attention.
Pic - 9 Tall men paintings
Pic - 10 Spiritual figures
Once the guided trip was over, we headed slowly back to the main camp , where we would enjoy a cool drink and lunch on the terrace of the restaurant..
Pic - 11 Waiting for lunch , with Giant’s Castle visible up the valley.
The next morning turned out to be a very different from the previous day. The sky was overcast, misty and cold, and by the time we reached the Kamberg Nature Reserve, our destination for the day, the weather had gotten worse, with a heavy low mist hiding the top of the hills.
Once we had paid our dues, we were hoping to watch a DVD about the Bushmen , however there was a problem , so we decided to watch the show when we got back. Fortunately , the low mist hid the cliff tops where we would have to climb to, to get to the paintings, this was probably fortunate as the high road can be very daunting to the unfitter person.
Pic - 14 The rock Art Centre at Kamberg
Pic - 15 The cool , misty path ahead, the cliff tops could not be seen due to the low mist.
The paintings in this shelter are the most remarkable and beautiful rock paintings in the world.
Pic - 17 , 18, 19 incredibly strong drawings Eland
Amongst the animal paintings are some wonderfull depictions of “Fleeting Hunters” running across the landscape.
After a quick lunch – it was too cold to sit for long, we started our long slow way back down the steep path to the main camp. My companion found the long downhill very difficult to manage – and for many fitter hikers, downhill’s are always harder that the uphill’s.
Once we were on the flatter path, a strange noise drew my attention to look hard into the burnt veld ahead of me, there we saw a young “red winged francolin” eating away very intently at some form of food in the grass.
Pic - 23 Young “red Winged Francolin”
Lily Marie, most certainly one of the toughest characters that I have hiked with. Through extraordinary landscapes and weather, she determinedly saw the areas she had planned back home in Switzerland – one tough Lady.
If you need any advice and guidance with your next berg trip, feel free to contact me at Bergfree Adventures , www.bergfree.co.za