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!

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

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

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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.

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

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These Msasa form a tunnel overhead!

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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!)

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Back at Cedar Peak Cottage…

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This Msasa tree has been cleverly included in the building!

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

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Cedar Peak Cottage is on Facebook here

Cedar Peak Cottage Info & Directions – Please Print

 

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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.

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I started off at Froggy Farm in Juliasdale…

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And drove past the mountains that tower over Nyanga town.

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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Hidden Rocks, Juliasdale…

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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:

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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?

 

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

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And finally, the long awaited sunset!

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Almost a luna landscape.

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

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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.

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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.)

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

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There is a cunningly hidden room in this pic above!

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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…

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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Cattle Loading Ramp…

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

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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.