Vrystaatse Vlaktes

I have come to love the wide open spaces of the Karoo Heartland in the Eastern Cape but just haven’t been able to get used to the, what we call in Afrikaans, Vrystaatse vlaktes.  Vrystaat is the Afrikaans name for the Free State, South Africa’s central province while vlaktes is an very descriptive Afrikaans work for wide open spaces stretching for miles.  The wide open spaces, or vlaktes, of the Free State is very different from that of the Karoo Heartland.  Driving along the roads of the central and southern Free State you often feel like you are in the middle of nowhere where nothing grows about knee high.  I’m not insulting the Free State, please don’t get me wrong.  I’m just saying that, like with wine, I just haven’t been able to get used to it.  I found the most beautiful Afrikaans poem called the Vrystaatse Vlaktes in die Somer just to make up for it in case somebody feels insulted.  
The picture was taken just off the N1 in the southern Free State about 50 kilometers north of the Gariep Dam. 
I haven’t participated in Skywatch Friday for a very long time and I think it’s time I start sharing our beautiful South African skies on a regular basis on it again.

Karoo storm moving in

The Karoo is known as blue sky country.  That means when the thunder clouds start to pack together after a hot day there is lots of sky to watch the approaching storm in.  Like this one I witnessed just after leaving Cradock on my way back to Port Elizabeth.  I can just smell the drops splashing down on the hot tar road again.  Its one of my five favorite smells along with the smell of cut grass, fresh bread, the ocean and a damp forest.  What’s you favorite smell?

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

I have seen stunning photos of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with some of the best interior ones being taken from the top tow of seats right in the very corner.  So late last year during the IRB 7’s I decided to venture up into the nose bleed section and get my own photo.  Mmmmm…. Quite clearly the stunning pics I’ve seen were taken with a SLR with wide angle lens.  Both of which I don’t have.  So for now I have to be happy with the pic I got. Maybe one day…