Thursday, April 28, 2011

Langberg Guest Farm

First stop Langberg Guest Farm, 22km south of Kimberley. The first thing I noticed driving south yesterday was the  gradual dissipation of clouds - not good news for landscape photos in general, but particularly a problem in the  wide open spaces of the Karoo, where you need something to give interest in the sky.  It hasn't been possible to  come through earlier, hopefully its not too late.

I clearly haven't got into the Karoo proper yet, its more the edge of the Highveld grassland. They have apparently  had very good summer rains, so there's still a lot more grass around than I was expecting. Good for the animals, but  very difficult to take photos in the long grass!
Langberg Guest Farm early morning

The farm does some olives, but is mostly game farming now. When I asked why the gate to the hiking trail was  padlocked, I was told 'well, we now keep buffalo in there, and we are worried they might kill someone'! Ok, so I  will go in the other direction....

Langberg Guest Farm stable accommodation
The accomodation is based on the old stables from 1860, that have been done up very well, each main stable forming a room. Very nicely done, good dinners served (if you order dinner in the  morning!) - what a pleasure compared to my usual of coming back to the campsite after dark and only then starting to light the fire, cook food, etc.

Langberg Guest Farm sunrise

This morning's photography wasn't a big success, its always difficult first time out in a place. And with the very long grass, and thick bush,  its pretty difficult to find a clear view of anything, plus once the pinks/blues have gone, that empty sky is really boring!' We'll try again tomorrow morning...

Also spent some time a few kilometers away at Magerfontein, the site of one the the Anglo-Boer war battles. I'm glad  it wasn't me who was trying to cross this open grassland to attack the koppie, while being shelled by Boer guns from  the hill.

Magersfontein battlefield
The tiny white markers near the bottom of the photo is the trench line where the Boers were dug in. The Scottish Highlanders lost this particular battle.

Tomorrow, after an early morning photo attempt, then breakfast, it will quite a long drive to Osfontein farm, between Carnarvon and Loxton, via Prieska. I've never been anywhere near these places, and barely heard of them, so it should be interesting..

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