Waterfalls, bridges, steps and a forest

March 2017 :  Champagne Castle Hotel – Central Drakensberg

Hubby and I went for an afternoon stroll on Mike’s Path, a short circular trail passed the upper dams, through the forest and back to the dams …

We spotted a familiar lady with her dogs who’ve seen her every time we’ve stayed at the hotel.  She walks along the country roads and/or through Champagne Castle’s property with her dogs every day !!

This Lab so reminded both hubby and I of our Robbie ..

After chatting with her for a few minutes, she went on her way at a great pace !!!

Not keeping up with her, but in the same direction …

Where trees fall, so they stay (unless of course they’re dangerous)  Ummm wasn’t sure about this one as we had to bend pretty low to go under it ..

Depending whether you’re coming or going .. this was the end of Mike’s Path for us .. on the main path through the forest ..

The gnarled tree.  It intrigues me with all it’s knobs and I always take a photo of it when passing 🙂

Small red dot is a person in a red jacket ..

Circular route takes us back to the dams ..

.. and a bridge takes us back to the playground and lawns ..

…. and ducks  !!!

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Along a country road …

…. at the foothills of the Drakensberg.  Leaving the hotel gate …

Basket sellers outside the entrance to catch tourists .. and me !    When in the Berg buy basket ware, it’s strong, durable and made by rural women

The Sphinx in the distance, which is where we hoped to walk the following day (and we did as the weather cleared)

Our hotel …

Zoomed in …. our room in front row, upstairs, behind small tree …

Entrance to someone’s property …

Spoilt for choice !!!!

Walking sticks are made by an old man who sits in the car park ..

Walking back along the road ..

March 2017 :   Champagne Castle Hotel

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Horses at Champagne Castle

Hubby and I began on our walk along the country road from the hotel to Monk’s Cowl car park passing the kiddies farmyard and paddocks.   A road walk seemed a better option than hiking up the mountain with low cloud and a possibility of rain, plus slippery conditions (we were caught once before several years ago walking a trail in the Northern Berg when rain came from nowhere .. I ended up with a dreadful bout of flu)

On our return from our walk-along-the-country-road we stopped to chat to the horses again  ..

March 2017 :  Champagne Castle Hotel

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Champagne Castle Hotel

I am featuring the hotel (or part thereof)  in this post for those who haven’t seen my previous posts on our visits over the years.  The hotel is nestled at the foothills of the Drakensberg in the Champagne Valley ..  photo taken on our walk up the mountain

Reception courtyard ..

Lovely to see the hotel has kept the old rondavels which were hotel rooms back in the day ..

Our room : top left, thatched unit : magnificent view of mountains – although most rooms have mountain views.  I was very disappointed to see that the huge trees had been cut right down to nothing 😦  I suppose guests requested uninterrupted views.  Very sad.  I enjoyed sitting in their shade with a good book.  Must in hot in mid-summer, that’s all I can say !  Umbrellas are just not the same as a large shady tree

 

Self catering units and conference centre …

Conference centre ..

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Chapel in the mountains and mist

Who doesn’t love a wedding?!!  A perfect spot for memorable nuptials in the mountains of the majestic Berg …

 

I took this photo through the closed glass doors :  chapel was ready for influx of wedding helpers the following day ..

…. so was Conference Centre for the reception ..

Path to and from chapel .. .

Scattered rose petals after the ceremony the following afternoon ..

Sunshine and horses !!  The weather played it’s part and hotel horses are free to roam on wedding days  (there was quite a glare, hence photos picking up yellows in the grass.  I always forget to pack the sun glare lens cover.   Would it have made a difference?   It was actually very green)

March 2017 :   Champagne Castle Hotel 

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A weekend in the Central Drakensberg

Moving on from our idyllic holiday in the Transkei, hubby and I spent a weekend at one of our favourite spots in the Drakensberg … Champagne Castle Hotel.

As usual, I’ve taken more than enough photographs!!!   Majestic mountains are like the sea.  One can gaze at their beauty for hours!!  One can also capture them time and time again, each photo never the same.

As we drove closer to our destination, the magnificent mountains were shrouded in cloud, mist and rain.   We were in for a wet couple of days ..

Mommy peahen and her chick huddled under the eaves of the hotel out of the chilly rain while humans, including us on our arrival, huddled in the warmth of the lounge sipping tea

I see you .. and you see me ..

For just a moment, the rain stopped and the clouds cleared .. just for a moment !

Then they rolled in again ..  playing hide and seek with mountains for the next 48 hours or so ..

 

 

We did however get a chance to walk along the road and up the mountain

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A few more images from Umngazi before our departure

I had to take a few final photographs before breakfast and our departure from Umngazi River Bungalows and Spa .. a place of serenity .. a place to revive ones soul .. a place to breathe

Early .. very early morning tea taking in the peace and tranquility from our bungalow ..

A bit hazy :  we hadn’t seen the cows on the beach for two mornings, but there they were on this, our last morning …  ‘ til the next time cows and bulls ..

Two of my favourite pics ..  (second photo isn’t balanced which is a pity.  I should have taken a touch further to the right to get the cow further into the frame)

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