There were two things that were immediately obvious to us as we checked into our lodge - the significant altitude change and the temperature drop. After having spent a few days in the heat of the Kruger National Park we did not mind a bit of the crisp and fresh mountain air. The lodge owner warned us that there is a cyclone coming from Mozambique and the cloud cover over the mountains may be significant. As we were working with significant time constraints, we decided to spend our afternoon visiting the waterfalls in the area and take the next morning to go to God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, and the Pinnacle (Think those names are amazing? Wait until you see the physical features they refer to.)
We first visited the Berlin Falls as it was the closest one to our lodge. The shape of the falls has been compared to a candle as it starts off really narrow in shape and then broadens up into a cascade as it drops.
|The Berlin Falls|
Our next stop was the Lisbon Falls, which was even more spectacular. At 92 metres, it is the highest waterfall in the area.
|The Lisbon Falls|
The third waterfall we visited was the Mac Mac Falls. It was declared a National Monument in 1983. Although initially it was a single stream, apparently enthusiastic gold miners blasted it with a significant amount of dynamite in their attempt to divert the river in their search for gold. The explosion created the two streams of the waterfall seen today.
|The Mac Mac Falls|
Though we wanted to see both the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horse Shoe Falls, the only access to them was via a dirt road that only looked suitable for 4x4 vehicles. So, our last waterfall was the Lone Creek Falls. To get there we had to walk through an indigenous forest that resembled a rainforest. When the trees finally cleared we found ourselves at the base of a spectacular waterfall. The different vantage point allowed us to appreciate Lone Creek in a different way.
|The Lone Creek Falls|
After our waterfall tour, we returned to the town of Graskop to get our groceries for dinner. With the supermarket only open between 4 and 6pm on Sundays, we had a small window of time to get that done. As the next day was going to be a long one, we returned to our self-catering chalet to get some much deserved rest.
The next day we woke up bright and early. We were really excited to see God's Window as we had heard much about this amazing feature of the Panorama Route. I must admit that the name had prepared me for the most beautiful sight I would ever see. This is what God's Window is supposed to look like:
And this is what we actually saw:
I guess God works in mysterious ways. In any event, personally I really liked the garbage cans in the area.
After God's Window we visited Bourke's Luck Potholes. My parents and I found that this was probably the most incredible feature of the Blyde River Canyon.
The Potholes are essentially the result of millions of years of swirling eddies of water causing extensive water erosion where the Treur River meets the Blyde River.
The Potholes are named after a miner named Tom Bourke who found a bit of gold in the area, but never actually got rich as a result of it.