Cedar Peak Cottage…

Cedar Peak Cottage is in Juliasdale overlooking a Msasa covered valley. I was allowed to take photos there, but unfortunately, since it was occupied during my visit to the Eastern Highlands, I couldn’t capture the late evening and early morning views. I’ll go back sometime!

P1310897

It’s a cute cottage, built of stone and an open plan interior.

P1310830

P1310835

But its really the views from the garden, a few steps out of the front door, that I wanted to see:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was taken to the original “cedar tree” but unfortunately, it has fallen down – I took a pic anyway! It fits in well with the environment now.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cedar Peak Cottage is a great place for walking/hiking enthusiasts, with several paths leading down into the valley.

P1310858-2

These Msasa form a tunnel overhead!

P1310877

I sat under these trees, just taking in the atmosphere (sorry the pics are a bit bright – it was nearly mid day when I took these!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Back at Cedar Peak Cottage…

P1310891

This Msasa tree has been cleverly included in the building!

P1310904

I sat an enjoyed this view above, from the front of the cottage:

P1310857

Cedar Peak Cottage is on Facebook here

Cedar Peak Cottage Info & Directions – Please Print

 

World’s View, and Nyanga…

World’s View, in Inyanga offers superb views. Last time we visited the Eastern Highlands, I got some lovely shots – so I penciled in a visit and was disappointed! The view was hazy, the weather cold and the sunset boring! HOWEVER, the trip up there from Juliasdale, was spectacular.

P1310927

I started off at Froggy Farm in Juliasdale…

P1310939

And drove past the mountains that tower over Nyanga town.

P1310946

I’m guessing that before the town was built, Msasa trees covered all the hillsides here.

P1310949

P1310957

P1310950

I stopped the car near the cutout at the top of the hill in the above photo, and sat on a hill, just drinking in the spectacular view:

P1310953

P1310960

The sun was very strong, because I was giving myself enough time to get to World’s View by sunset. In these photos, I shielded the camera by hiding behind a branch on my left.

P1310964

The following are the only decent pics I got from World’s View – I guess you win some, you lose some when it comes to photography.

P1320017

The last time I went to World’s view, I took this photo:

P1200158

 

And now, I go back, two years later and the tree has grown???? How dare it?

P1320015

 

Below are the photos I took two years ago, when I had a decent sunset to work with.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hidden Rocks, Juliasdale…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These photos are taken at Hidden Rocks, Juliasdale in the late evening. I liked them so much, I made a calendar that I’m selling via Lulu.com to raise money for pensioners in Zimbabwe.

Please have a look by clicking here

 

The Gift of Tears…

My quest, on the second day I stayed in Juliasdale, was this kopie:

P1310628.jpg

It’s at the Hidden Rocks camping site and was called “The Gift of Tears” or “Crying Rocks” by locals.

P1310706I took these pics (above) in the midmorning, but arranged to return in the evening for sunset shots.

P1310721

From this angle, it appears daunting,  but actually it’s an easy climb.

P1310722

About half way up, are some of the best preserved stone architecture I’ve ever seen. In this short clip, I’m walking through a tunnel, the roof and walls made entirely of stone.

Please click here to watch the video.

P1310723

This ‘hole’ is on the west side of the hill – something I’ve never seen in the ancient stone structures – usually they face east.

P1310725

This photo (above) is taken from the ancient ‘viewing table.’

P1310731Weird rock, eroded until its about to fall off! I wonder how many more centuries it will take?

 

P1310741

I took these pics, tucked against a rock, shading my lens from the very bright sun…

P1310744

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And finally, the long awaited sunset!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

P1310781

Almost a luna landscape.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Its weird, the aloes are very dark, up on this kopjie.

P1310800

And finally, the “Crying Rock” or “Gift of Tears,” so named because this huge rock seems as if it has a flood of tears pouring down over it.

P1310799

I didn’t stay at Hidden Rocks on this visit, but I certainly intend to when next I go to Juliasdale, not only to enjoy the magnificent scenery, but also because of the incredible hospitality afforded me, by the owner. She took off the whole day, from what must be a busy schedule, to take me up this kopjie AND allowed me to return to take more pics (I’ll post them soon.)

P1310662

This is the camping area – with its awesome view. I could see myself sitting here to wait for the sunset!

P1310661

There is a cunningly hidden room in this pic above!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow above is the view from the chalet at Hidden Rocks!

Hidden Rocks is advertised on Facebook – have a look here

You can book etc here

 

Juliasdale…

P1310619.jpg

P1310680.jpg

Juliasdale is a granite area, with the characteristic boulders (such as the above pic) and massive ones:

P1310675

This huge rock is called Dumbu, and can be seen for miles around.

P1310702.jpg

I love the way the roads wind around the rocks, and diminutive msasa trees.

 

 

Juliasdale Msasa…

A couple of years ago, we were working in the Eastern Highlands in the middle of winter, often with cloudy skies and slight ‘guti.’ I got some lovely photos (I’ve posted them here,) especially of the aloes and the cold winter colours.

Our host, who has the good fortune to live with the view in my first photo from his porch, told me to come back when the Msasa were out for even better photos. I heeded his advice and let me tell you, Juliasdale in Msasa season, is tree heaven! I took rather a lot of photos, and in the next few posts, I will share the best with you.

P1310567.jpg

I took my dog, Lizzy with me, and she is now quite an intrepid mountain climber!

P1310610.jpg

Juliasdale is a granite area, similar to the Matopos, but with exotic varieties of trees growing on many of the hillsides. Yes, they do mess up my Msasa photos, but they also provide much needed pine for our building industry. You can see them in the photo below, providing some dark green colour as a backdrop.

P1310562

I drove down this logging track, hoping for some clearer views…

P1310396

 

P1310414

P1310401

And I found them! The two photos following were taken when I found a clearing overlooking this valley:

P1310407

P1310404

I LOVE the lone tree against the granite mound in this photo:

P1310386

 

 

 

Cattle Loading Ramp…

Looking for Msasa trees, near Mbalabala, I came across this old loading ramp.

P1300892

This place used to be part of a larger cattle ranch, (recently cut into much smaller acreages.)

Cattle destined for sale, would have been collected here, waiting for transport lorries to arrive.

Playing with light…

Here in Africa, the sun is HUGE!!!

Driving home from Esigodini, late one evening, I happened across this view:

P1300958

The sun seemed to be hanging between the cooling towers of the Bulawayo Power Station.

SO – I went looking for other late evening shots!

P1310047

Taken on a different day, from a slightly different angle.

P1310035

This was taken about a kilometre further along 12th Avenue from the one above.

P1300986

This is a view from what used to be Selborne Avenue in Bulawayo (Now Leopold Takawira) near the Centenary Park.

P1300987

Leopold Takawira Avenue is lined with tall palms (the Natural History Museum is on the right of this photo.)

 

P1300968

I live in one of those old colonial houses, in Suburbs (one of the first suburbs in Bulawayo) with wooden floors, wooden doors and sash windows. I stood in my hallway, looking out of the front door for this shot, above.

My last photo was taken outside Girls College, very late in the evening:

P1310033

 

 

 

Mbalabala Msasa…

I’m back! And I apologise for the absence – I decided to start a website, with the idea of selling some of my better photos. I was told not to post any more on this blog, as it would become redundant. As you will note, I even changed my logo on the bottom of my photos!

Several months down the line, and no website in sight, I’m back here, with some photos I took back then.

P1310196

Mbalabala is a tiny town on the Johannesburg Road, about 70km from Bulawayo. The same massive granite of the Matopos can be found in this area, and these beautiful trees, that produce new leaf in the spring.

P1310195

From bare branches spring new leaves that vary from orange, russet, yellow and red. Within a few weeks they are all green.

P1310192

This grove of trees is clustered around a typical granite “kopjie” with classic rocks, and that lovely grey grass found along each crack.

P1310181

It’s pretty slippery too! I nearly slipped to the bottom, taking pics of this rocky outcrop:

P1310140

It’s hot and dry in Matabeleland now – and the only time I could get away, was at lunch time. Not the best time to take photos!

I climbed all the way to the top, in the blazing heat and was rewarded with this tree! In the distance there you can see the tiny town of Mbalabala.

P1310114

If I’d slogged back up here a few weeks later, this tree would have changed colour to brilliant red, before finally turning green.

P1310178

In this pic, you can see most of the colours to be found on the Msasa.

P1310088.jpg

The dark tree trunks and the characteristic shapes contrast with the delicate leaves.

P1310165

I leave you with a photo of the hillside opposite the one I climbed.