Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Suurbraak to Hoeko, Ladismith

If you like to like to meander off the beaten track, a trip to the Little Karoo should not disappoint.  I love old derelict and abandoned buildings, despite the feeling of sadness that one gets when looking at them. A few photo's of such a trip - these were taken between Suurbraak and the Hoeko Vallei, Ladismith.

The valley just outside Suurbraak before the turn-off to the Tradouw Pass (R324)- splendidly green
Literally moments later, at the intersection, there were some ominous dark clouds which unnerved me a bit, especially because there were signs of roadworks through the pass.

Dark clouds ahead.  Should I turn back?
More dark clouds - but no, I'm not turning back
Despite the warning signs, the roads were clear, although it was evident that some recent work had been done.   This Pass is certainly one of Thomas Bain's best. The Pass was opened by Sir Henry Barkley on 18th October 1873. 

Here's an interesting article regarding the history of an old bridge, called Lettie's bridge, in this old pass.  The bridge was named after one of the Barry ladies, the family who Thomas Bain stayed with while building the bridge. Click here.
The remains of Lettie's Bridge in the Tradouw pass
Photo by Trevor Brinch
 This video clip let's you drive along virtually while listening to the history.

I always stop to admire the work of these walls built by the Prisoners of war 
Once out the other side of the pass, and through popular Barrydale, a pleasant pause is at the top of the hill en-route to Ladismith.

On top of the pass on the outskirts of Barrydale
Other side Ladismith one can easily miss the turnoff to Hoeko, the valley where CJ Langenhoven was born. He played a major roll in the development of the Afrikaans language.

The turn-off to the Hoeko Valley

Derelict buildings, ruins and graveyards are dotted all over the area and each one has its own bit of magic that lingers amidst the ruins.

The following are  photographs from my collection - taken between Hoeko and the Opsoek Valley.  

The back-to-basics and somewhat simple lifestyle makes one forget the rat-race of the cities. 

A graveyard in the Opsoek Valley
The Opsoek Valley is otherside Amalienstein, a small Mission Town.

Herding sheep with the farmer was fun for this city girl

Abandoned, almost forgotten - but still with a story to tell.  

'Mooi ou huisie êrens in die Opsoekvallei
Ek wens ek kon jou mooi regmaak
jou vloere weer met beesmis smeer
jou mure met modder reg pleister
jou deure en vensters sorgsaam regtimmer
met 'n stoep wat reg rondom jou vou'
Stuck in time - I should have asked to see inside

Felt like I was in another little world - a simpler one

Two Pillars - no house in sight, just the two pillars

Two pillars in the middle of nowhere

Row of leafless poplars lit up by the sun

The day was slightly overcast - and when the sun shone through, the poplars lit up light fairy lights

Gate to a an old homestead
Still off the beaten track, there was this magnificent  old abandoned house.  Not a person in sight and no sign of anyone being there for a long time.  She was quite happy to see me I guess - because she allowed me to take these photos of her.
Dying for loving care

What stories can you tell old house?  How many children has played in your corridors?  Do they visit?

Close up of the veranda

An out-building
I hope that when I visit again that someone will be loving you.
Another day - another little road, somewhere in the Hoeko valley, I went for a stroll.

Lovely skies and a little building beckoning on the hill
An old school perhaps?  No one could tell me.

Little building on the hill
Time to investigate
Hallo ounooi.  Jy staan so alleen.  Kan ek kom hallo sê?
All alone - on a hill, somewhere in the Hoeko Valley

I wonder what the 'stukkie' here on the left of the building is / was 

Dry sunlit grasses
Thanks Hoeko and Opsoek Valleys - You're such a treat - always. 

Another time - also in that area.
Click here

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  1. Thank you for sharing this lovely journey, never been to that side of the world! Lovely captures!

  2. Hi Maree - thanks for stopping by. It is indeed a hidden gem.

  3. Love to travel vicariously in my own province. Will look at some of your other blogs when I have some time.

  4. Thank you Stella for popping in. I dont know why your message had been hiding from me.


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