Tag Archives: valley

Sani Flow

“When a hundred men stand together, each of them loses his mind and gets another one” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Web Prepared (Large) (2)

Do you still have your own mind and freedom, or are desperately trying to fit in and keep everyone happy (except yourself)?

Canon South Africa 550D, 24-105mm, F9, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, hand-held — in Sani Pass, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

Taming the Dragon

“Russell Tungay had started on an autobiography which he called “Taming the Dragon” where he describes how he together with his parents and brothers came to the Cathkin Valley in the early 1950’s. The Tungay family used to holiday in the Cathkin Valley every year and one year Gwen “Ma” Tungay bought part of “old man Erfmann’s” farm when he subdivided it in 1955.

In 1960, the oldest brother, Peter Tungay was killed in an air crash. This devastated the family as Peter had always expressed his desire to take over the farm and start a dairy. In 1963 the family started a caravan park on the farm to generate much needed money to keep the farm running.

In the meantime, John Tungay, who was a choirmaster at the Trinity Congregational Church, approached his parents to take over the farm and turn it into a choir school. In 1966 John began adding onto the farmhouse a dormitory, dining room, kitchen and a classroom.

Twenty boys enrolled in the first year of the school’s existence (1967). By the second year there were 60 boys enrolled! “The boys were like the Pied Piper, they would attract boys from everywhere they went.”

It became clear to John right in the early days that in order to travel overseas, the choir had to be the best in the country. And in order to achieve this they needed 2 hours practice every day. His initial idea of trekking the boys to Winterton for their academic tuition had to be re-thought and that was when he asked his mother, “Ma” Tungay, to step in and help teach academics to the boys.

The Tungay family continued to play a pivotal role in the history of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School with Russell taking over the management of the school in 1968. The Tungay family sold the School and the 100 acre estate and buildings to a Board of Directors in 1981.

The entire Tungay family, i.e. Ron, Gwen, John, and subsequently Russell, were intimately involved in laying the foundations in one way or another of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. How little they could have realised how much of a national asset their dreams and hard work, in often the most difficult and challenging circumstances, would become.” ~http://web.dbchoir.co.za/

Drakensberg Boy's Choir School (Large)

— at Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School

Beyond the Gates of Port St John’s

Beyond the Gates of Port St John's

On Tuesday morning, 24 March 2015 I woke up before sunrise and headed up the hill to the top of Mt. Thesiger at around this spot GPS: -31.603330, 29.527454 Port St John’s.

I set up my Canon South Africa camera from Orms (6D & 17-40mm L lens) and tripod in anticipation of the forthcoming sunrise. The river lodges were some 300 m or more below and could faintly see their lights through the mist or low clouds.

It was calm, peaceful and dead quiet except for the medium-size predatory birds that were circling the mountain and squawking at each other. Every so often they would fly fairly close and it was amazing to hear their wings “woof – woofing” through the air.

The view across to Mt Sullivan on the other side of the river was glorious to say the least for about three minutes or less at one point of the sunrise. The sun then “disappeared” but not completely, although there was no more golden light forcing through the somewhat thick clouds.

The accompanying photo is a panoramic-stitch of two separate photos, which takes one’s eyes in a westerly direction or so up the mighty Umzimvubu River, which I traced on a map all the way up to the Lesotho border.

The photo was originally going to be called Phillips’ View but was then changed to “Beyond the Gates of Port St John’s”. Settings F11, ISO 320 & 0.4 sec. Stitching done via LR export into PS. Outspan Inn
Where’s my backpack? Amapondo Backpackers Amapondo backpackers Port St Johns Cremorne Estate, Port St Johns, Port St Johns Spottedgrunterresort Port St Johns ‪#‎landscape‬ ‪#‎canon‬ ‪#‎canonsouthafrica‬ ‪#‎transkei‬ ‪#‎nature‬ ‪#‎hills‬ ‪#‎valleys‬

Amapondo Valley

When I can see it and action it I love to talk about it: Turning obstacles into opportunity, exercising patience and then taking the gap when it appears.

The day before New Year’s Eve… Task: drive 6 hours to do a job in Umtata E Cape. New Year’s Eve drive 6 hours to return home while some are cracking open their first beer.

Not the worst but I’m sure we would all rather be home at this time.

Solution: take camera with, don’t stay in Umtata rather Port St John’s on the sea and crack open a beer or two on the night before New Year’s Eve at a vibey backpacker spot called Amapondo Backpackers. Have a smashing meal with chilli and early night.

Sunrise next morning at 05:00: it’s raining. Solution: drive towards Durban at 05:00 and wait for the gap in the rain. Get out of car and take photo.

Benefits: what a smashing trip, job done sooner than later, pre-New Year’s mini-party (feeling like a backpacker), home in time for New Year’s party with two photos which remind me of the beautiful countryside I had to drive through.

Here is the first photo: Amapondo Valley

Canon South Africa 6D: F14, 1/40, ISO 320 using 17-40 available at Orms

Eastern Cape, South Africa

Amapondo Valley

Watching over the valley

Valley Watcher

Ever since I saw Carl Jason Smorenburg ‘s recent photo, I’ve been wanting to get my own photo of an aloe. I pulled over on the R34 outside Vryheid, hopped a fence and snapped this proud aloe. Next, I want a similar photo but with the sun coming up.

Canon 6D, 17/40mm, F9, 1/25 sec, ISO 320

The bitter aloe is most famous for its medicinal qualities, provided by the golden-brown sap of the leaves. The long, tapering leaves are green, sometimes with a slightly blue or reddish tinge, and bear sharp, brown teeth on the margins, and sometimes also on the surface of the leaf. Indeed, the scientific name of this species alludes to the prickly leaves, as ferox means ‘fierce’ in Latin. The leaves are arranged in a rosette, and as the leaves age and die, they remain attached to the plant, forming a ‘petticoat’ of dried leaves around the base of the stem. The flowers of the bitter aloe vary in colour from red to orange and yellow, and occasionally white, and are borne on spike-like heads.” ~ http://www.arkive.org/ — at Vryheid KZN