Archive for 15. August 2010

Weekend Escape

Sunday, 15. August 2010

I took Friday off, and we left home not too late in South South Eastern direction. Our destination: Clarens, a small town in the Free State next to the Lesotho border.  It is a liberal English enclave in a regionthat is perceived pretty much right wing. It names itself the jewel of the Eastern Free State.
“The village of Clarens is situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in close proximity to the Golden Gate National Park and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Clarens is an Artists haven with many well known artists either living in or frequenting the village on a regular basis with many art galleries scattered around the village square. The tranquil village ambience combined with scenic views and a mild climate makes for the ideal weekend getaway for city dwellers from Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Durban.”

I don’t know about the definition of mild – maybe it is meant for summer. Since our landlord mentioned it had been -11 the night before, but now winter was gone.

We strolled the village, visited some galleries, drove thru the Golden Gate Highlands NP, and into the mountains of the Qwa-Qwa Park keen to see the 947 m Tugela Falls, highest waterfall in Africa, second highest in the world. We were too late to hike all the way to the fall.  Luckily! The Falls was dried up, we got told by other hikers. South African winter – more than 5 months without rain!
If we had a bit more time we would have had the chance to go to Little Switzerland too. But duty called us back. So we left Clarens Sunday morning after breakfast, with only a short stop-over in Frankfort. Hope the pictures give some impression.