Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC have just returned from a trip to sunny South Africa. One day we drove to the Magaliesberg mountain range, near Johannesburg. We headed up in the cable car to catch the view, then drove round the Hartbeespoort Dam.

The TC, bless her cotton socks, keeps humming a ditty from her childhood in South Africa (the RSA):

Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet

Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet

They go together, in the good old RSA

Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet

She’s even found it on YouTube. Ah, “the horror, the horror,” this worm weakly whispers.

My impressions? Sunny skies, a touch of chaos, some green scum, and many friendly people.

The book I’m in

I, Spy? (Sophie Green Mysteries, No 1) by Kate Johnson. A good, humorous read. The TC read the book on a Kindle. I felt a bit of an outsider, worming my way in and nibbling at the words whenever I could. The electronic bookmarks littering the pages were ten a penny and rather characterless, I feel.

Recommended restaurant

Squires on the Dam, Hartbeespoort Dam (opposite snake park). Things were a little rocky at the start. Indiana Jones would have felt right at home when the roof opened up and dumped a torrent of icky-smelling water all over the TC. This worm had to make a quick run for cover. My cardboard constitution is not compatible with water. But the restaurant staff recovered quickly, as did the TC, and our party of 13 people had a good meal and plenty of fun.

Travel tip

When travelling by air in South Africa, don’t put anything valuable in a suitcase that you’re checking into the hold. The TC’s luggage was rifled through on her trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

The photos

Me and a green doringboom, the famous thorn tree of Gauteng. Grandma, what big thorns you have!

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

A cable car going up to the top of the Magaliesberg:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The view from part way up:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The green roof at the end of the cables is the lower cable station. Behind that is the Hartbeespoort Dam.

Another view from part way up:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

Off to the right of the picture is the dam wall.

The top cable station is quite pretty:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

Me gracing a plaque about “Harties”, as the locals call Hartbeespoort Dam:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The vegetation at the top is scrubby and grassy:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

We came across the occasional flower:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

A worm’s eye view of a sprig of grass:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

Things can be pretty when viewed from underneath:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

More from a worm’s perspective:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

We came back down via cable car, and continued our drive around the Hartbeespoort Dam. This is the Romanesque archway that guards the dam wall:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The dam wall:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

I’ll leave you with this idyllic picture of emerald green water… Wait! The end of this video is not for the squeamish:

Why is the water green? This worm heard many theories from concerned South Africans. Tons of raw sewage pumped into the dam. Nuclear waste from the nearby Pelindaba nuclear power plant. Uranium-containing water from nearby goldmines. Algae. Weeds. You name it, Harties suffers from it. Ag siestog, man.

That’s all for today, dudes.

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