blyde river canyon #001

i advise you to think carefully about reading this post, i have put so many pictures and am thinking of writing quite a bit of text today so i warn you that this is the longest post i’ve ever posted. i would definetely say it’s worth reading it to the end but it’s your choice.

it is a post of the most well kept secret around here. we went to south africa for a weekend, to the Blyde River Canyon out of the blue. the idea was to go to Nelspruit just for the pleasure of entering a BOOKSTORE, where they actually sell books that interest and for a normal price, not like in Maputo where books literally are too expensive as to say “no one is allowed to read!” anyway that was our main goal this weekend. we had asked quite a few people about what we should see around Nelspruit and where we should sleep and believe it or not, no one was able to tell us what beautiful things there were, we got nothing. so to me this trip became a discovery, and what a discovery.

one late evening Aldo came across on google some pictures of a place called Blyde Ryver Canyon Reserve, and we didn’t take long about deciding that it was where we were going that weekend. for a change we decided to go up to the mountains, enjoy some fresh mountain air and views of South Africa from 1500m of altitude.

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the first evening, just before we got to Sabie, the little town where we stayed for the night, or should i say, FROZE for the night, with temperatures definetely around 10º!!! we were already up almost 1000m high. and we were impressed. i was already starting to remember my mountain house in Portugal, Alberto was surely remembering his home town also in Portugal and Aldo was also thinking i’m sure of his parents place up in Colzano, Italy. it took our breath away from the start.

because we had waisted a day, saturday, on border patrol, nelspruit shopping center and travelling to Sabie we got up so early sunday morning to be able to do the whole of the Canyon in one day in order to get back to Maputo at a decent hour. Sabie was also very nice to see that early, we had arrived so early but hadn’t managed to arrive with a bit of light so all we saw was a town with lots of neon lights seeming like a futuristic town in miniature. those neons were actually to sign of a front door of these small and so organized houses. it was such a ocnforting sight to see that every one had electricity, and what i presumed water too.

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Mac Mac falls were “under construction” so we didn’t actually see any waterfalls here but the scenery lived up to our imagination… or even better. the difference in “capulanas” was already so big and they looked beautiful against the green mountains.

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the road is a slow one, meaning you can’t go over than 80 sometimes and with so many turns it’s difficult to travel fast but it helped these first timers because it gave Aldo and Alberto the chance to take some amazing pictures while i drove trying to look at everything and still keep us on the road… we were difenitely going up in altitude and sometimes next to me there was only a big cliff going steeply down!!!

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the Natural Bridge is very well known around here, seeing that the lady at the restaurant where we had dinner the night before and the lady from the lodge we stayed in say it was a MUST! we definetly wanted to stop and see it, specially when we saw the indication to it in a language we knew perfectly well!!!! 30m wasn’t such a bad walk anyway.

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yes… that was it! look better, because we also took a few minutes to find it!

our next stop couldn’t have been more apropriate. we were reaching hights almost never reached before on foot by someone with such a serious sinus problem, MOI. i really felt we were getting dangerously close to heaven… or should i say GOD’S WINDOW!

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(amazing how that is the only place in africa i’ve seen with such a sign)

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no wonder it has that name. it basically leaves you stunned. it makes you really wonder if he’s right there next to you looking at that same spectacular view. it took us a long time to leave because we realized how much we were going to the beach. we hadn’t seen mountain in a while, specially Aldo and i. maybe wearing sneakers, socks, scarves and pants isn’t such a bad thing. GOD’S WINDOW is definetly a place to visit. and it’s so close to Maputo and so easy to find. it’s a pity no one could tell us about it, but then again i love secrets and there was no one there to bother this peaceful and amazing view.

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the vegetation is stunning and so tropically strange in this high altitude.

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yes i sometimes go shopping around here and i have decided to leave Mozambique with a full ZOO, so this time, i got myself a HIPPO, a fat sandal wood HIPPO!!! ok and a necklace too!

nest stop: the actual BLYDE RIVER CANYON RESERVE. you oay to see it, your car pays to be parked bu what you get for 80ZAR is worth every penny (cents just don’t work for me in this sentence).

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from the beginning of the descent to the reserve it’s nothing really amazing, it looks very tiny and very simple, such a small cascade of water with a desert like vegetation around it. the sun was getting warmer and it felt as if we’d be back in the car soon. silly me!

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as soon as we got to the first bridge it all changed. nothing was LITTLE, nothing was INSIGNIFICANT. it all transformed. there was the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon just beneath us exposing every contorsion every detail and every secret. again, with all my sinus problems i still was gobsmacked by all of this. and it wasn’t all.

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couldn’t resist sitting down and getting my feet in the water, now i was a bit cold still, only my arms were being warmed by the frail sun light and as soon as i put my foot in that water i froze! it was obviously freezing!!!!!! i smiled for the photo but i took less than two seconds to put my dear feet in my socks in my shoes. aawww, sweet warmth! nonetheless i wanted to take a dip in that water. the clearest i’d seen in ages!

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everywhere we go we see creatures.

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from the spot we saw the creature above, yes cute but so disgusting, all we had to do was basically turn around and again AAWWW ourselves! there they were, the POTHOLES!

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they are called this way because of the clear way the water and the erosion have created what seems to be bit Potholes where the size of houses! it is funny how the water cascades from where i froze my feet into these potholes leaving these amazing shapes and keeps moving from on to another in order to reach it’s destination, the Blyde River.

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there is just something about shadows that can’t be denied.

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A + A+ A

if we could we’d stayed longer, but this trip was only just beginning. next stop… 1500m!

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6 Comments»

  albertocchaves wrote @

Fim de semana em grande! ;)

  albertocchaves wrote @

A última foto está brutal!

  miss portugal wrote @

nem mais!

  Nikita wrote @

WONDERFUL!! I envy you!! As this is my country and the place where I grew up!! Glad you could enjoy it too! Love your pics!! I was exactly there in 2007! Great place to be!! God’s Window is amazing!

  miss portugal wrote @

thanks for the visit and you’re right, it was an amazing place to visit and surprisingly i wasn’t expecting it! welcome to the blog!

  Nikita wrote @

South Africa has many such places and you should travel the whole country…Knysna/George/Garden Route…Cape Town :)


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