Ctirusdal Baths

We did the laze around in hot water for Amanda’s Birthday Weekend at Citrusdal. A wonderful place to completely relax.

On the way we stopped at a farm stall to stock up on cheese for me and retail therapy for Amanda.

We met this rather inquisitive ostrich who thought that my ring was food and made a number of strong bites at it to get it off my finger. Don’t believe that an ostrich can’t bite hard, it can.

A slave bell in the church at Citrusdal. I was intrigued by the “wings” on the top of the structure.

The original Dutch Reform Church has been desanctified and turned into a museum. They used, as you can see the sand stone from the local mountains.

Fighting with the new camera. Far more knobs, buttons and knurled wheels than I am used to.

A plough! As if you didn’t know. I just liked the symmetry. Or asymmetry if you like.

Autumn leaves. I loved the colours!

In the museum was a beautiful Japanese vase, mug whatever.

Fiscal shrike or jackie hangman. The “new” camera has nice telephoto capabilities.

Aloes are beautiful, aren’t they?

In the background of the next picture is the road we followed on the Monday after checking out of the The Baths. Note the winding nature of the road. It is a wonderful switch back road. The Subaru loved it.

Looking toward Clanwilliam. In case you are interested, this picture and the two previous macro shots were taken with by Manda with her cell phone. The quality of the pictures from cell phone cameras always amazes me.

In The Baths premises they have some really interesting and picturesque plants.

And of course the hot water springs. This picture taken in the warm outside pool. The water is a bluish colour so it just adds to the existing colour.

Wille Dagga plants. Used by the original settlers and inhabitants for relief from chest congestion, they make a lovely show and the sunbirds love them.

Amanda had to try out the trampoline!

Being winter it was cold, but there was a fire place and no reason not to warm the place with it. We ended up sleeping in front of it. Lovely.

We “discovered” a set of coolish pools above the top victorian homestead. Hidden under trees they are really rather lovely.

This wild olive really had something mystical about it.

Patterns of fallen leaves. We just liked the look of it.

We took a walk on one of the local scenic walks. It was a wonderful climb. Slowly rising above the resort and providing beautiful views not only of the resort, but also of the Olifants River Valley.

Lots of fynbos too.

Fynbos lace.

On the hiking trail.

Back to the “Art Shots” section. The trellis and the ivy just looked right.

The birds love this plant, but they tend to drop the results of their meals on cars, tents and anything underneath.

More “Art Shots”! Blame it on the new camera.

And of course the lovely alien invasive morning glory. It is such a beautiful flower and such a pest.

And of course the sunbirds were there for lunch.

A coral tree flower. Yes, yes, I should have used filler flash!

More autumn leaves.

And more pictures of flowers. Indigenous and exotics.

And the weavers came for bread.

Monday came far too soon and we headed out. We took the long way home, via Oppieberg and Ceres.

Self portrait. The wind was far too cold for Amanda, so I went and took this one looking back toward Citrusdal. It is hard to believe that Citrusdal is just behing the range of mountains you can see behind me. You can just see the Citrusdal road to my right.

We disturbed this black shouldered kite during lunch. He was not well pleased.

And this rock kestrel who would just not oblige by coming out from behind the wires.

Start of another hair pin bend. Heading for Ceres, still on the dirt.

Clouds and autumn leaves. Now on the tar road. Lots of good places to stop and take pictures.

A grey heron, we were driving and trying to take the picture. Not a good combination, but still.

Red coniferum. There are beautiful stands of them all the way across the plateau.

Jagged vistas of the Cedarberg.

Broken by the symmetry of deciduous fruit farms.

And then, Gydo pass. The south easter was adding a touch of drama as well by then.

Subaru heaven – long kilometres of sweeping bends and spectacular scenery.

The walls of the Breede River rift valley provides a spectacular back drop, especially when the table cloth is around.

To the top of Bains Kloof pass.

And then down Bains Kloof and back to Cape Town.

Of course Cape Town was not going to be outdone by anywhere we had been on the weekend and provided a spectacular sunset. Our picture does not convey the beauty of that sunset.