Monday, August 13, 2012

Richtersveld: Potjiespram

The basics of the camp were hurriedly set up a short way from the river, protected from the wind by big trees, and then we were quickly out for a walk along the river to pick a spot for the morning photo.

Up well before dawn the next morning, we stumbled off in the dark to find our pre-defined spot and set up facing a mountain which we expected to catch the first glow of red morning light. And then to wait for sunrise. It wasn't long before we realised that, with the angle the sun would be rising, there would be another pretty large hill in the way, and by the time the sun would clear it, all the red colour would be long gone. Wasted morning.  It was a problem we were to have a few times. Moving every 2 nights, and surrounded by big mountains, it was pretty difficult to predict where we would get the first glow of sunrise, or the last glow of the day.

Sunrise at Potjiespram campsite (on the Orange river)
Richtersveld: Sunrise at Potjiespram campsite
Arriving back at the campsite we were not amused to discover a baboon raid in progress, and a smug looking baboon scrambling off with with a full carton of milk under its arm. The camping boxes had had their lids taken off and the internals scattered around, but the boxes had not been knocked over! Bite marks in the firelighters and a hole in the briquettes bag were signs of deliberate sampling of the goods before choosing their loot! We even saw one of them trying to open one of the car doors, which fortunately was locked.  They were a real nuisance - very persistent, ringing the campsite and waiting for any slip-up and lack of attention, and one of them would dash in through whatever gap they had exposed, and steal something from the table.

Dave's air suspension was looking a bit worse for wear (the left side was a problem from the beginning, but now the right side is also looking pretty low). Pumping up a leaking air suspension is not much use, so some running repairs (consisting of duct tape and more cable ties) were attempted, but weren't too successful, so the rest of the trip happened  without the benefits of the air suspension.

Dave trying to repair his air suspension
With the strong, direct, sun making for rather flat and lifeless landscape images, so much of the day was rather spent exploring the neighbouring hills, and photographing unusual details.

I can see you….
Richtersveld: "I can see you" 

Late afternoon was for reflections in the Orange river, and for exploring the red and green tones of the somewhat otherworldly mountainside rock formations. 

Late afternoon at Potjiespram campsite
Richtersveld: late afternoon at Potjiespram
Reflections in the Orange river
Richtersveld: reflections in the Orange River
which planet did you say we were on?
Richtersveld: "Which planet did you say we were on?"

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