The Tsitsikamma and the Langkloof is linked by a short pass over the mountain between Oudebosch and Kareedouw on the eastern side. The pass only has 7 bends, all of them are minor. It does offer sweeping views of the Tsitsikamma mountains to the left (west) with the green valley on the right dotted with dams. The vegetation changes very suddenly as one crosses over the top and you enter the Langkloof.
After a day in the Tsitsikamma I decided to detour via Kareedouw before heading back to Port Elizabeth and just had to stop on my way down to the town to take some photos of the beautiful proteas flowering right next to the road. The important thing to always remember is that you are not allowed and should never pick the flowers to take home with you.
One of the protea species that you see quite often in the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve is the Pincushion Protea. Pincushion Proteas normally have lots of flowers on each plant with the flower heads lasting for quite some time. You get them in yellows, oranges and reds and always make for the most beautiful photographs.
It’s been two years since I’ve stopped blogging. What I initially intended to be a three week break was extended to two months and then became an indefinite postponement. My mojo was gone. In fact I didn’t even take photos anymore. My camera gathered dust and my writing skills became rusty. The last two years have been funny actually. I started losing concentration, thought I developed ADD and frankly, also lost a lot of my sense of humour. A visit to the doctor to get something for my “ADD” and I walked out of there with something for depression. Depression? Me? Really?
Then came Covid-19. I was seriously stressed in the week or so before lock down and then in the first two weeks at home. But I think between the meds kicking in and my body and mind getting the opportunity to start settling down I started thinking about my hobbies again. I started working on my landscape model which I haven’t done in probably close to 3 years and the last three weeks seriously started to think about getting back into blogging. When I initially started blogging 12 years ago I did it for the love of travel and sharing the places I went to with my friends and everybody willing to look. Somewhere I lost focus and started worrying about other bloggers too much and why I wasn’t making money or being recognised by the industry. I put too much pressure on myself on what I thought other people wanted me to post rather than what I wanted to post.
So here I am, back in action, but with a couple of changes. I have merged my two blogs, The Firefly Photo Files and Port Elizabeth Daily Photo, into one called Firefly the Travel Guy. The blog still incorporates PEDP so the content will consist of a combination of a lot of Port Elizabeth and Eastern Cape stuff with content from further afield when I get the chance to travel. I have also moved away from the Blogspot platform to WordPress. The new blog address is https://fireflythetravelguy.travel.blog and the domain names http://www.fireflyafrica.co.za and http://www.portelizabethdailyphoto.co.za will be redirected to this blog shortly.
For my first post back I have decided to post a King Protea from the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve. Van Stadens is one of the best spots to see flowering proteas and other fynbos species close to Port Elizabeth right through the year. It offers so may hiking, mountain biking and picnic options and you can drive through a big part of the reserve if you are unable to walk. Two other trails you can see a lot of fynbos on are the Fynbos Trail at Schoenies and the Grysbok Trail on the NMU campus.
We stopped by the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve on Sunday afternoon for a quick walk. I’ve always found that it doesn’t matter what time of year I visit the reserve, there is always something in flower. At the moment it’s the Pincushion Proteas.
This afternoon we headed out to the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve for a quick walk to go and find the oldest Geocache in Port Elizabeth. While the Damselfly waited in the car, Drama Princess and I headed down one of the trails in search of this very significant cache. The Pincushion Proteas are stunning at the moment so I kept on falling behind.
The Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve must be one of the best places around to see Proteas and other Fynbos species growing in the wild. Not just is it great to view wild flowers, but the reserve also has a number of excellent trails for you to go and stretch you legs along. The trails range from short easy walks along the plateau to longer ones that require a bit more effort down into the surrounding gorge and valleys.
I went Geocaching in Lorraine this afternoon and had to follow a trail into the bush in the area to go and find a cache up a tree. You can see it is spring by the amount of wild flowers in bloom and I specially liked these Pincushion Proteas close to the cache location.