Saturday, August 3, 2013

ESCAPE TO THE MOUNTAINS


"Do you know what I need? To escape to the mountains, surrounded by tall trees, I will lay on the moss, and breath in the scent of mushrooms, flowers and wet soil."  --  Lyrics by Les Discrets


.... and that is exactly what we did
We escaped to the mountains for four wondrous days



Wherever we went
through forests 
or up mountain slopes
we could hear water
gurgling
baboons barking
sharp warnings
that we were approaching



The baboon population seems to have increased since we were there last.



Some spent time on the roof
Others foraged the grass for snacks
in the hotel gardens.
We watched babies doing somersaults 
on the lawn outside our room
I'm convinced they were showing off 
because we were watching them.



I was thrilled that I managed to photograph the Bee Eaters before they flew off, though this image is far better.


The Poet Dreams of the Mountain 

Sometimes I grow weary of the days, with all their fits and starts.
I want to climb some old gray mountains, slowly, taking
The rest of my lifetime to do it, resting often, sleeping
Under the pines or, above them, on unclothed rocks.
I want to see how many stars are still in the sky
That we have smothered for years now, a century at least.
I want to look back at everything, forgiving it all,
And peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.
All the urgency! Not what the earth is about!
How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.
I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.
In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.

-- Mary Oliver






"But I'll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected to everything'"  --  Alan Watts

I take a photo of this dam every time we go. It is always so peaceful and a soothing introduction to our holiday. 

58 comments:

  1. Such beautiful light in your first two photographs Robyn. It must have been restful there.

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    1. Very peaceful. On the Wednesday we never saw another soul on our walks. It felt like we were alone in the wilderness..... except for the Bushbuck and baboons.

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  2. What a peaceful rejuvenating place.
    Namaste.

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  3. So easy to see the dragon's back in the second and third photos. Lovely post, Robyn. Soothing to me, so far from your land and never visited the mountains you so love.

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    1. I'm so glad you noticed the dragon's back, Mo!

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    2. I should have stated in my comment that I'm not the Crow from down under, but the one (Martha) from Pennsylvania. I read your blog almost every week, but haven't left a comment in a long time.

      I remembered an earlier post, perhaps a couple of years back, in which you wrote about the mountains and how they got their name. So easy to see why in these photos.

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    3. I should have noticed the profile photo was different..... and the name. My apologies Martha!I've been browsing through your blog and I'm enchanted by your blob animals. Charlie in particular.

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  4. Gorgeous post. Love the shots. Thanks for taking us adventuring with you. I could do with a trip to the mountains just now, so thanks for the taster. And the Mary Oliver poem.

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    1. Annie, I'm thinking of a line from one of your poems, ".... the shape-shifting of wind-bitten rock". I always think of your little book Blackthorn when we go to the Drakensberg because a few years ago you sent me a copy just in time for our holiday and I read it right there, in the shadow of those beautiful mountains.

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  5. Ah, the mountains! I will always prefer them to the sea! I love them so much, but I go there very seldom... You have been at a fantastic place - what's its name? What scents did you feel in the air?:) How strange - the nature seems like ours, only that the animals are different:)) I wish you more "escapes" of the kind - with "slow steps" and open senses!

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    1. Rossichka, this is the Drakensberg. On our forest walks we could smell pine needles, fungus and earth. Climbing up the hillside I actually remarked on the scent of sun warmed thatch grass.

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  6. This post made me long for a walk in the mountains.not sure when I will be able to walk confidantly there though. Lovely pictures of your few days,

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    1. Penny, even just sitting, absorbing the beauty would be therapeutic for you.

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  7. I can feel the space expand as I think of relaxing in the beauty of the valley. Thank you for sharing your special place with us.
    I love this line in Mary's poem "All the urgency! Not what the earth is about!"

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    1. I love that line too, Leslie. It was so peaceful being away from the rush. All the rooms have TVs but we didn't switch it on, nor did we read a newspaper. Our wild coast week was the same. Cut off from all the reminders of a crazy world.

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  8. Your photos of the "Berg" have made me so homesick - I will be visiting family in December but won't be able to go to the mountains unfortunately so thanks for the memories.

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    1. Carol, I'm not surprised you feel homesick. If only you could squeeze in 3 days in the Berg during your visit.

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  9. je ne peux traduire la poésie..mais les photos parlent!

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    1. The pictures do indeed speak. I can feel the spirit of the place just looking at them.

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  10. The Bee-Eaters of Africa look like the Bee-Eaters of Australia!Such beautiful birds, haven't seen one for too long, must go bush again in the not too faraway...

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    1. Mo, there seem to be many similarities between Australia and South Africa. Birdlife, flora, climate ..... and so much more.

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  11. R - I felt a real sense of being transported and calmed just by reading your post and viewing the images. I can see why you take a photo of the bridge-walkway and its setting each time you visit - just so peaceful. It would be lovely to see a sequence over time. Go well - peace. B

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    1. Barry, I've looked back to other photos of the walkway and notice the deterioration. There was a time when we walked right out to the end to watch the trout.

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  12. What a lovely, restful and rejuvenating visit. I love that dam and that image of the bridge...

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    1. Fiona, it's called Duiker Dam because Duiker (small buck) are often seen there. We didn't see them this time but we did see two magnificent Bushbuck.

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  13. Seems you had a wonderful time in the mountains. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  14. Beautiful, beautiful, Robyn. Thanks

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    1. Thanks Toni. You and Lyle would love it there.

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  15. La découverte du lieu, lointain, ouvre des mondes d'ailleurs.
    Un large pan de «calme et de beauté».
    Vos photographies parlent une langue universelle, au-delà de l'image.
    Transportent tout à la fois les sons d'une nature foisonnante et un silence apaisant.

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    1. You've said it all, Francine. The silence is so soothing and one gets the impression that one could hear a pin drop. We could hear people talking way down below us, though we couldn't see them.

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  16. Looks like such an amazing place to spend time and recharge.

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    1. Kathryn, I wish you could experience it, though I'm sure you have the most beautiful places at your end of the world too.

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  17. Beautiful place... so nice for you to have time away in the mountains!

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    1. .... and the forest.I thought of you.

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  18. oh how I love the "lighted mountains"! thank you for taking us along on this lovely 4-day adventure!

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    1. As the sun went down it lit up the mountain tops and a shadow cast over the foothills. It was breathtaking.

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  19. mountains and baboons. may you be refreshed.

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    1. It felt magical to be in such a beautiful place. They say laughter is the best medicine and the baboons certainly supplied plenty of that.

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  20. What a glorious adventure... I would be nervous of the baboons.. kangaroos are as close as I get to wild animals here.
    I understand the need to photograph the dam.. absolutely serene.

    Hope you are feeling refreshed from your time spent in the mountains.
    Robyn

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    1. Robyn, you would have taken magnificent photographs there.

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  21. aaah! A lovely post to take me to yoga this morning, I will be visualising mountain fresh, in my meditation this morning... Have a beautiful day, Robyn.

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  22. ah, just the post I needed, amidst boxes, inspectors, appraisals and emptying rooms... what a beautiful escape, so happy for you, and I know you found renewal... we are headed up north for a canoe trip next week and I am looking forward to the peace and quiet.. and reconnection .. wish I could find my old copy of the Way of Zen.. : D

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    1. Your canoe trip comes just in time after all the packing chaos. I hope to see photos :-)

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  23. Escape to the mountains...wonderful photos and I hope you got the rest and relaxation you needed. Something so wonderful about walking in the fresh mountain air. Inspirational!
    I'm assuming the baboons and people keep their distance...sharing space is an art!
    Thank you for sharing this part of your world!

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    1. Lol.... Mary Ann I have great respect for baboons, so yes I kept my distance. They chose to come close but they were forever watchful.

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  24. I'm always envious of y'alls "escapes" into the countryside, and the attendant wildlife.

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  25. Thanks as always for taking us along. Such a beautiful, serene place.

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  26. Oh I love the photo of that dam!!! Lovely!

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  27. Robyn, I am here on a late afternoon listening to the thunder over the river and smelling the rain. How beautiful nature is. And your Africa, so far from me, untamed and wild... thank you for sharing.
    roxanne

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  28. It must be wonderful to return every year and see familiar scenes with new eyes.. and discover new scenes as well.

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  29. Thanks for sharing some glimpses into your lovely holiday. I can't imagine seeing baboons in the wild, but I guess to you it's normal. Looks like such a peaceful retreat....

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