Saturday, June 11, 2011

Natal

In January this year, Tam and I went down to my niece's wedding through Natal. It is an area that I used to farm in and we hadn't been back for about twenty years. It was good to reminisce but I was amazed to see how it has changed.
Accompaning us was Snoopy who has been our car mascot for a good many years and has travelled in the many vehicles that I have owned both here and overseas.



Here we are heading off with Snoops.

Passing through small towns on the way.





We came across the Buffalo River in full flow as there had been heavy rains throughout the season.



Here in another town with a pedestrian on the road.



We came across quite a few of these creatures oblivious to the traffic.



We decended into the Tugela River basin and into this town called Tugela Ferry because in the early days there was no bridge and they had a small ferry which took cars and people across the river.



A road side market in the town.



Arriving at the river with its single lane bridge.



Crossing the river.



Going up the escarpment on the other side. Tam was a little nervous as there is a shear drop and the road weaves along the side.



After a long drive we arrived at the dairy farm of our niece's husband to be.



A lone bird of prey circling above.



The venue for the wedding.



The organist playing while we wait for the bride and groom.



The bride arriving.



Taking the vows and making the commitment.



The local girls doing a wedding dance.



The happy couple heading off to the reception.



On our way back Tam was determined to go and see the sea as when we went to England she was only 11 and had distant memories of the Natal coast and the Indian Ocean. Although we lived on the coast in England the english channel just didn't have the same ring as the ocean.




Gazing out over the sea.



Running from the surf. It was very early in the morning as we had a long trek back.



We travelled back in a big loop through another town where I had been doing forestry in my earlier years and is in the middle of nowhere. The area around has a great history in the development of South Africa, It is where the Boer War and the Zulu wars were fought. The name of the town is Babanango. This is the supposed story of how the town got its name . Babanango is built on a high hill and the whole area is undulating with hills and valleys. The mist comes in from low lying clouds and within minutes one can't see very far in the mist. The story goes that a child was herding cattle when the mist came in and he got lost. The child's father went looking for him. Now in Zulu ,Baba is father and nango is here and as the father was calling the child answered Baba nango, father I am here. Thus the name . The hotel was the watering hole for the people around and it became well known as the person that owned was a man called Stan . A flamboyant eccentric who had many a story to tell. His bar was adorned with memorabilia from the area and from the film Zulu which was filmed in the area. Unfortunately he has moved on to the happy hunting grounds.



Here is another picture of the area.