Life's Road Trips Like Human Wings

in life •  3 months ago  (edited)

Travel with me into the Southern Drakensberg

Slowly winding around and over the hills ever climbing up to the Southern Drakensberg, a stop off to have a bite to eat and explore St James Parish (not sure if this is correct, with no name on the building), alongside the Mtwalume River also known as the Mtwalume River Church. Many missionary churches in rural areas, relatively modern villages are still in use, this was established around 1896 this church was built in 1914.

Lovely setting with old oak trees with younger trees in this small area, green hills surrounding the historic little church after recent rains. The river was named Mtwalume by the Zulus because of the tall upright trees growing along the river banks. More information from the area Churches Missions Monastries KwaZulu-Natal

Oak Trees stand guard outside in contrasting green with dark brown trunk, giving a quiet ambiance to the area, just the right place to stop before completing the drive.

What a start to the day, my filling fell out the night before, so a rush to the dentist during our local load shedding timed out well with power being restored shortly after arriving at the dentists office, yes we drove over with phones not working during power outage.

Dentist kindly agreed to fill the tooth as an emergency before we departed (power came on in the nick of time), making our departure a little later than anticipated, timing was slightly later than normal lunchtime. Having decided prior to driving up the church was a spot to explore! We have driven through this region many times previously and have never stopped to take a look.

Oak Trees

The building shows local rocks used in construction, an old oak tree in the grave yard, with many stories to tell if only the trees could whisper all that events over the years that have taken place in this little garden.

Mtwalume Church

Old Oak Tree

People often think each era hard times befell them, each era encounters different hardship, we tend to forget no matter how far we are technologically advance, hardship is still around.

Old tree standing guard over an old headstone, not being one to visit places such as this the design of the stone may interest some, please let us know in the comments if the headstone has any particular meaning.

Headstone_Oak Tree

People who lived in the region we found rows of family names, Arnott was one that reminded me of a friend growing up, perhaps these were his descendants who lived in this region, alas when people move into big cities, many lose their identity on those who arrived many years earlier.

We had friends growing up from a Walker family, familiar names people with stories we will never know, how they found living in this region, I photographed these for the ages on the headstones.

Walker Family

Young life taken, who knows how nor why, as it is still to this day some of us make three score and ten or more, others arrive and depart quickly, I enjoyed this headstone for simplicity of a book sculpture.

Westbrook Young Life

We did not tarry long, still some time to be on the road to reach our destination, we bid farewell to the little church and those who dwell within the walls being looked over by the old Oak Trees.

Oak Tree

Route taken is from Amanzimtoti to Park Rynie where we turn inland toward Ixopo, the little church is found between Park Rynie and Ixopo. Then upward to the Southern Drakensberg.


Arrived a little later than anticipated after the start to the day, thrilled to visit during a period of rain, normally we see this area in early spring with everything brown!

Drakensberg Green

With Rhino Peak greeting us, what a better way to unwind after unpacking for the week ahead, a sun-downer with a view!


This is the start of the week long adventure, walk with me in the next few days exploring this region, the lush green grass, many snakes still around being end of summer along with fauna and flora sharing, of which there is plenty to see.

Thought for Today: If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today. ~ African aphorism


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That does look like a lovely view though. Like the little building there and sunset is beautiful!

You should also use the travelfeed tag if you're posting about travels and add this to the steemitworldmap

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Thanks for reminder Nicky appreciated. Have updated and next part to arrive sometime today....


A well deserved human upvote the @nickyhavey .. he may not use bidbots but they love him.


Haha thanks @rebeccabe. A rare delight to have a human upvote, I'm living proof it's possible to make it with without using bidbots, it just takes a little longer 😁

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Let us refer to them unbidbot bots, a passive application. lol
BTW that FTG upvote happened immediately after my response to your comment.


Haha maybe you are your own curation trail without realising it beckybot 😁

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Let's try this again to find

What a wonderful post, Joan! @joanstewart

I am saddened by how many people are put out by these rolling outages! Power shedding needs a real purpose other than correcting mismanagement.

On another note, I am so happy that you got your tooth fixed and that all the stars were lined up to get that work done and on your way, albeit, a little bit late.

Your away time sounds like it was headed for a bit of calm and quiet! I hope this is the case and you had a wonderful time. I have to admit, I do love old graveyards and peruse them frequently They can tell stories just by reading the gravestone.

And that majestic oak.. you have to wonder how many stories it could tell. If only it could speak.

A wonderful post! I am so glad I got to read it! Such an interesting history this part of the world has! Have a most wonderful evening!


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Thanks for visiting @trufflepig

Enjoy the break @joanstewart! Lovely photos of our beautiful country, look forward to seeing more :)


Thanks Lizelle, it was great, so many changes (other than season going in Autumn), have not been up in 8 years, long overdue.

Love the colors in your photos. Spring time. Looks kind a spooky from far, last pic.


Actually we heading back to winter @psyceratopsb, very late rains have made the countryside exceptionally green for this time of year.

Glad you were able to get your tooth fixed up before you set off! I love the images from the church and all of those beautiful oak trees. Looks like a lovely final destination, as well!


Dentist is a great person who always helps if he is able. Destination exploration to come over the next few days.

Thanks for visiting @plantstoplanks

A beautiful trip, and what gorgeous trees ! I love these old and magnificent trees very much ! And that sunset is really picturesque, with the mountain ranges setting for such dramatic photo <3

A very lovely post, @joanstewart :)


Mountains offer a wonderful change from living at the coast @veryspider, animals offered even more of a surprise to come in the next content.

Power shredding is so frustrating to deal with, I am lucky to not have to deal with it at the moment but have lived in a few places with load shedding

That was good the dentist got power back while you were there
Thats a beautiful area so nice and green at the time you visited it


Yup, would have been a problem with a hole in the mouth on holiday, thank goodness it happened before we had hit the road.

Load shedding is a joke, mismanagement on every level, with no one knowledgeable enough to do what is required, frustrating, annoying and huge financial loss to the country....

The story is yet to unfold about super green countryside!


That was lucky it happenned before you hit the road, Seems thats the cause of Load shedding everywhere i have come across it sadly

Awesome photos Joan! Enjoy your week. I'm looking forward to your updates!


Thanks for visiting Roger, will share as the week unfolds and I find my feet again.

That looks beautiful there. Have a nice trip and I'm looking forward for more.


Thank you for visiting @ikarus56

Whenever I visit old places I also often think about what the trees and rocks have seen. Stories that would remain untold. The place looks so peaceful with not a soul in sight. Are those residential houses in the last photo?


Sure wish trees could tell the history, would be quite an eye-opener I am sure.

The holiday resort houses are what you see in the last photo, each has a wonderful view of the mountains.

The graveyard is not really for me, but the rest of the landscape is very nice looking. So green. I guess I'm just coming off winter so everything still looks mostly brown.


We have experienced very late summer rains now going into winter, countryside is exceptionally green for Africa.

I agree we do not normally stop in at churches and graveyards, the area has many very old missionaries still in use built over a hundred years ago. This little church being slightly off the road we decided for once we would stop and take a look.

such a dream! all that's missing are a few fairies ♥


Looked for them, there were none...

What a beautiful place! I think the trip will be just wonderful.
It is good that the dentist helped at the very beginning.


You really cannot travel anywhere in our region without it being a road trip, a vehicle is an essential living here.

Yes the dentist is very obliging and always happy to assist.

A lovely post Lady Joan and the power cuts are certainly also driving many others out into the bushes. I presume you are to spend a week in the Berg? Sheer enjoyment ahead my friend!


No Stephen, back to reality and civilization after a week in the Berg.

There was no internet connection up there at all, will share my past week over the next few days, load shedding permitting!


I forgot that there is no connection Lady Jane as we had the same at our visits to the Berg. I am signing off now, as we don't know if they are going to switch off over here as usual!

Lovely photos and stories, @joanstewart


Thanks for kind words Fiona.

stunning, stunning post Joan! In my opinion quite undervalued!

I forget how beautiful it is up where you are. All those old buildings are gorgeous, we often go ruin hunting here in the cape, and the old graveyards are such a curiosity to me.

We were at a graveyard recently and some of the graves dated really far back, like to 1820, it was really quite something.

Thank you for all the effort you put into this wonderful post x


Appreciate your kind words of encouragement.

Many of the missionary stations are in daily use, this little church is used on weekends. It was a long overdue visit, being situated a stones throw from the road. Alongside the Mthwalume river with a small water fall I would imagine many have used this church for weddings over the years.

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Always nice to read the proverbs after taking in the sights. Lots of green. And I like the red stones of the church wall.

Many trips!

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Glad you enjoyed the stone buildings and green pastures of South Africa, a little bit of our history in churches.

Beautiful and very peaceful @joanstewart

I hope you have a lovely trip. Mind the snakes though!



Getting to the story about snakes wicked grin, later edition on this weeks time away! Great trip thanks @cheese4ead


Cool. I will look forward to that.

What a sweet old church in such a beautiful setting. Always so sad to see the markers for the little ones, such a loss. Love the cross, glad to see the area is still maintained. Thank you for sharing @joanstewart :)


Cross was on a grave dated from 1860-1929 of William Arnott, wife 1860-1945 Betsy Arnott, Celtic design headstone stood under the old Oak Tree caught your attention.

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Bummer about the filling and the load shedding time. Looks like you found a beautiful spot to spend the rest of your day though. I love the oak trees and all the green everywhere. Looking at all those headstones is interesting too. Makes you kinda step back and think about the big picture. My favorite is the second to last photo though. I just love looking at mountains!


Sitting and watching mountains a good past time, everything plays around the majestic rocks.

Beautiful post @joanstewart 😊 I love travelling with you. You keep things very interesting


Thanks for kind words @tryskele

Gosh we are so close and yet so far....we should really arrange a meetup with all the KZN members - I can count a few on my fingers and we could have a great time!


Spread out all over the province, yes near but far. Thirty years ago would not have thought twice to do the trip, roads were quiet, with petrol a lot more affordable for day drives.

Some really nice pictures...


Thanks so much @wales