Friday, May 7, 2010


My daughter enjoying the view on top of the Sphinx.

Most people have one or two special places that feed the soul and the Drakensberg mountains of KwaZulu Natal is "my" place. This is where I feel most at peace......balanced.... and inspired.

We have just spent three blissful days at Champagne Castle, one of the most beautiful parts of the Drakensberg and though I could always do with a little more time away I am feeling rejuvenated.

Every day was perfect. 
Long walks along paths scattered with pine needles, 
wending our way up through the forests ....

across streams.....

stopping periodically to drink the purest crystal clear water.....

photographing all manner of mushrooms and funghi ....

.... out of the forest to push through waist high grass and wild flowers

Wild dagga, leonotis leonorus. Read more here.

marveling over the Bushman paintings that we have seen many times before but never tire of seeing again.

Still climbing ....... the clouds come and go.

Lucky enough to see a mountain rescue exercise .....

The noise was deafening for a while but silence soon returned,
broken only by the bark of a baboon and a sudden swish of grass as a
grey Duiker burst from cover.

On top of the world at last. Well, almost :-)

Back to the hotel in time for tea

....and a little retail therapy at a roadside stall.

"It is an act of worship to sit and look at high mountains." - Sir Edmund Hillary


  1. I am in total agreement with you and Sir Edmund Hillary. My favorite place is in the mountains. I can just imagine it. Aaahhhhhhhhhhh.

  2. Wow what a great post, I feel like I just traveled to South Africa vicariously. I love the bushmen rock paintings and the exotic wildflowers and of course the bird having a spot of tea.

  3. Bliss. Happy you had this time, and shared you tea with the sweet birdie.

  4. thanks for the memories ... i was born in south africa where i lived till age 19. drakensberg is where we spent many childhood holidays enroute to natal ... this post brings back deep snow, open fires and horseback riding. luverly ... >> Gina

  5. My husband and I love the mountains and its our favourite destination for some R & R.
    Love the picture of the little birdie taking a sip of tea and those coiled baskets and trays are beautiful.
    The mountains are calling.

  6. I never wanted this post to end. Perhaps you could take these rejuvenating breaks every week or so and post about them :)
    Some of those mushrooms look like freshly baked buns and I can't believe that little bird helping itself to tea!

  7. Looks like a mountain paradise. Great getaway!!

  8. Oooooh, this surely must be heaven on earth.
    I could almost taste that cold sweet water,,,and the wildflowers, oh my!
    How dear,,, the bird joining you for tea.

  9. Very nice...I love the far-away views that you captured sitting on the top of the cliff. And those orange flowers...what ARE they?

  10. Wonderful photos, love the funghi, recognise the wild flower as a garden plant here.
    Oh to have road side stalls like that!
    Glad you had a lovely break and hope you are now home refreshed.
    An interesting thing on our local tv last night about a woodworking place in Adelaide which has been going for 30 years but may close down as the one and only teacher is getting too old. One of the people who is carving is 84 and she started when she was 73 and her husband who didnt approve died!

  11. Looks like you got some wonderful peaceful R & R... mountain trails, crystal water and tea- beautiful images in my head now.

  12. it's all stunning, robyn, but those cave paintings... i am without words when it comes to them. they're truly beyond words... xo

  13. Wow! What unbelievable views from the mountains! Such a beautiful place. Your photos are wonderful. Thanks so much.

  14. Nothing better than returning to a place that is 'yours' and that nourishes your soul. The water looks and sounds exquisite. Happy renewal Robyn.

  15. What an amazing place and such beautiful images. It's a wonder to think that you live somewhere so incredible like that, but then I live in Australia, and our landscape in parts is quite similar. I think I'm happy to do without the close proximation of baboons though, I'm terrified of them! (not a fan of any monkeys, truth be told.)

  16. Thanks for the journey.... the bushman paintings are something special!

  17. ..wish I could have joined you.... looks so beautiful!

  18. Robyn--I can smell the rocks, the plants, the air, from your photos. How wonderful for you to be able to go there. Hope the feeling carries with you until you can return again! Thanks!

  19. What a trip....what a beautiful land. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Your photographs are amazing, you make me want to visit your wonderful country.

    Jacky xox

  20. Wonderful post and pictures. Thankyou for sharing them. Have a nice weekend. Greetings, Inge

  21. I feel rejuvenated with your magnificent photo tour, what a gorgeous place. you would love the mountains here Robyn! love the little cheeky bird helping himself to cream at tea!

  22. sure wish i was there! looks so beautiful, very cool to see another part of the world.

  23. Magical place you went, it is amazing what pure nature does for the soul. A birdie to share your tea
    and those orange wildflowers, ah!

  24. So glad you had a wonderful time Robyn. It looks a stunning place. I love my English countryside, but sometimes I long to see something like this. One day!

  25. Absolutely gorgeous. I love these "virtual walks" and tours.

  26. Oh Robyn, even at a distance this offers such soulfood! So, so beautiful and I'm so glad you got to soak it up. I grew up between mountains and sea and it's always a toss-up which I'd go for if I had to choose between them as most spirit nurturing. Generally the ocean wins but then I see places like this, and I wonder... I hope the peace, balance and inspiration you found there lingers on and on... and thank you for sharing the loveliness! xo

  27. Gorgeous, what a stunning place, great photographs to savour later! Best wishes Blu x

  28. Thank you for taking me far away to such beautiful places - I felt myself slow down inside with each photo and description. The Bushman paintings, baboon's 'bark', glorious mushrooms, retail therapy that is right up my basket alley, and that dear bird inviting herself to your tea party! What lovely memories you made.

  29. Wonderful

  30. That was lovely. It's neat to pick out not only the exotic, but what reminds me of my area. The water shot was pretty. I love the play of shadows and light that you got. The white ruffled mushroom was really neat too. Looks like high fashion- a skirt perhaps.

  31. Absolute perfection. I love that orange flower. So exotic.

  32. Robyn,

    Thank you for giving us a respite from more than half way around the world! You've more than answered my questions about the Drakensberg. Like some others who've commented, the ruffled white funghi is exquisite and looks like the inspiration for a handmade paper piece.

  33. wonderful views, thanks for sharing

  34. >>>> sigh <<<<<
    that's better...
    thanks for the get away trip, friend...

  35. How wonderful to travel along with you as you move softly through the landscape being nourished and refreshed. The images of the steam, the mention of crystal clear water, and of course the bird in the tea cup all were good medicine at the close of the day.

  36. Lisa at Greenbow, I wish we were still there.

    Katherine, the birds entertained us untill the tray was removed from the next table. Surprising how much they enjoyed the milk.

    Thanks Heather.

    Leslie, bliss indeed!

    Hi Gina, the smell of woodsmoke on a cold day ..... mmmmm.

    Mia, I seem to gravitate to the baskets wherever I go.

    Priya, now that is a great idea! Rejuvenating breaks every week.

    Seth, it's the stillness that I love.

    Babs, the streams invite one to drink all along the way.

    Penny, still carving at 84! How wonderful! She must have good eyesight.

    Teri, not sure what the orange flowers are called. Penny who commented just before you, has them in her garden.

    Donna, perfect peace!

    Lynne, the paintings are so exquisite and capture the essence of the deer in the area.

    Nancy Natale, thank you.

    Mary Ann, there's somethinjg magical about these streams that draws me.

    Little Brown Sparrow, the baboons in this area don't look for trouble but in the Cape it's a different story. They will stroll over, climb into your lap and finish your meal, inspect pockets, handbags, turn everything upside down and threaten you if you protest.

    Suzi, thanks for stopping by.

    Chris, sitting at the top of the Spinx looking out over the farmlands, I sent a little mental message to you. Hope all is well.

    Toni, the air was so crisp and delicious. Love it!

    Jacky, so glad you enjoyed it!

    Thanks Inge.

    Cat, I know I would love your mountains too.

    Paula, I'm so glad i have a digital camera and can relive a little of it back home.

    Dosfishes, nothing better than being out in nature.

    Jo, your English countryside calls me too. I have wonderful memories of your neck of the woods.

    Cynjon, glad you came along on the virtual stroll.

    Kendalee, I would love to move to the Cape for that reason ..... both worlds ... mountains and sea.

    Blu, glad you enjoyed the post.

    Shayna, the wonder of photographs ..... taking one back to that place.... that feeling.

    SKIZO, thank you.

    Shayla, the ruffled mushroom reminded me of christmas lanterns.

    Jackie, the orange flowers are everywhere. Having the camera certainly teaches one to appreciate the things one almost takes for granted.

    Hannah, the ruffled funghi was intriguing. It was full of tiny flying insects.

    Jill, my pleasure :-)

    DJ, I thought of you on the top of that mountain. Wish you could have been there to unwind.

    Donna33, good medicine indeed!

  37. your photos are beautiful. well done

  38. Great photos. I just LOVE that example of Bishman cave drawing. You are so lucky to have seen these in person!

  39. Thanks for taking us with you. I could look at shot 2 for ever! Stunning.

  40. Gorgeous views and scenery Robyn. The Drakensbergs are rightly famous. I am glad you had some downtime and a commune with nature. I do the same thing in English woodlands. I love being surrounded by trees. We each have our own spiritual places don't we?

  41. Maya, When you speak of your mountains The Far Pavilions come to mind. After reading the book and seeing the film I bought a book of paintings of The Far Pavilions. Breathtaking!

    Thanks Ida.

    June, we were lucky enough to have many Bushman paintings on the farm I grew up on.

    Annie, I lose myself in the 3rd one.

    Cathy, there are many places in England that I felt a strong connection to. It's time we went on another trip!

  42. i really love the mushrooms pictures your blog is beautifull

  43. thanks for sharing that amazing walk very inspiring ...Lorna

  44. rest and restoration something we all could use a bit of from time to time...may your return be filled with peace.

  45. what a wonderful vacation and refreshment for the soul. you surely live in a fascinating place. loved the bushmen painting. thanks for the invigorating walk, i'm huffing.

  46. Fabulous photos, thank you so much for sharing your special place with us

    Hope you have a lovely week ahead
    Carolyn ♥

  47. Hello Robyn - I am in absolute awe over the beauty of the Drakensberg landscape. My goodness, I thought we were spoilt here in New Zealand, but this is something else! Very uplifting (spiritually) scenery thanks to some beautiful photography, Robyn.

  48. O I am in awe.

    The water. Clouds. Flowers. Old drawings. Such photos. The world so old and full of wonders.

    Thank you. Thanda. Happy mothers day to u from over here too.

  49. OH!!! The birds joined you for tea??! HOW FAB IS THAT??!!!

  50. wow, what pure natural magnificence, from the minute to the vast... I can see how this is a soul place for you Robyn. Thank you for sharing it with us - and for taking me there with you. xo

  51. What a heavenly place. It looks like the perfect place to make dreams and memories.

  52. Great post!!! You have so wonderfull blog and I love your creations!

  53. Oh Robyn, how beatitful these days sound, you and your daughter on top of the world. The scenery is so magical to me and unfamiliar... roxanne

  54. Thanks for taking us with you! You've got a good eye for a great photo and it looks like it was a fabulous break!

  55. A visual smorgasbord. Thank you for taking us on your journey!!!

  56. lilasvb, there were so many varieties of funghi. I wish i had had a book to identify some of them.

    Artymess, thanks for visiting, Lorna.

    Laura, a different world!

    Sukipoet, you've no idea .... the huffing and puffing!

    Carolyn, its been a great week. I'm loving your other blog by the way. (recently discovered)

    Debrina, very uplifting. Thats why I love it.

    Mansuetude, this is the place I would love to retire to.

    Found art blog, it was fab until they started to bath in the saucer. flutter... splatter .. actually it was funny.

    Karin, wish you could've been there!

    Chris, :-)

    Oxana, thanks so much.

    Roxanne, a view stretching for miles.

    Lucky Dip Lisa, wish it could have been longer.

    Kerri, my pleasure!

  57. the wildflower looks so powerful, and right now your post has quenched my funghi thirst...

    it's down on the ground stuff that inspires me.