May 1, 2016
Today I’m sharing some more pictures from our recent holiday in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa. You can see my first post about an impressive waterfall here. Today I’m sharing some pictures from an area known as The Midlands. This region is located inland of Durban and Pietermaritzburg and consists of rolling green hills, a gentle landscape located in between the low-lying, flat coastal area and the elevated, steep landscape of the Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains) region. The landscape is very green (especially when we visited, toward the end of the rainy season) and is covered mostly with fields and small patches of woodland. There are several small villages and a couple of towns located in The Midlands, and there are farms everywhere.
For four nights during our holiday, my husband and I stayed with some good friends of ours in a little town called Hilton, which is located at the edge of the famous Midlands Meander tourist route. In addition to spending some time in Hilton and surrounds, we spent two days exploring farther afield on the tourist trail, driving on various paved and dirt roads and stopping at farms, restaurants, and little shops. It was nice to see so many small businesses, and we did a little shopping to support them. I bought a pair of locally-made leather sandals and some beautiful, soft yarn that was handspun from local sheep. My husband and I also bought some local cheese and honey. It was wonderful to buy some locally made souvenirs rather than plastic ones made in China!
Because of all the greenery, we didn’t see much geology in The Midlands, aside from Howick Falls and the general landscape, of course. Although we didn’t see many good outcrops, from what I understand the rocks of The Midlands are primarily sedimentary rocks of the Beaufort and Ecca groups of the Karoo Supergroup. These rocks are approximately 200 to 300 million years old and have weathered over the years into the gently rolling Midlands landscape. In contrast, the rocks of the Drakensberg include younger ~180 million year old lavas, which comprise the highlands areas. There’s much more obvious and interesting geology to see in the younger, steeper terrain of the Drakensberg… stay tuned for future posts! For today, however, enjoy some scenic images of The Midlands.
Last but not least, here’s a darling statue that was outside Groundcover, the shoe shop where I bought the leather sandals:
That’s all for today… more soon!