Remember how I said the road will be covered by lunchtime? It was:
By dinnertime the water was through our gate:
It reached a high point around 10PM Tuesday night, still a few inches below the bottom row of post boxes (2010 had the two bottom rows underwader, so the level was a good half-meter below the worst flood we’ve experienced here).
By the time we woke up yesterday morning the water had already begun to recede, but the view at the weir downstream was still impressive:
Measuring by how much of the tree trunks are below the waterline, I estimate the water was flowing about a meter deep over the weir. That’s a LOT of water, people!
By lunchtime yesterday, we could see the road again…well, the mud covering the road, at least. And late afternoon we had a visitor taking advantage of the temporary wetlands with an abundance of forcibly relocated crabs and frogs.
This morning the river is safely back in its channel, and all that remains is lots of mud riddled with the little scratches of crabs that woke up to find they’re not in the water any more, and that there are predators about.
As stressful as it is to see the water rising, I’m glad I got to experience this one last time before we leave. It is humbling and inspiring to see the power of nature unleashed in this way.
“We need to get a proper camera before the baby gets here.”
Thus spoke the missus as we’re strolling through a big department store during our March vacation. We had two Fuji Finepix cameras dating from the turn of the millennium which I’d inherited as my folks upgraded to DSLRs and which did their jobs well enough, but she had a point. Back when my father had bought them they were pretty nifty, but that was over a decade ago. It was time for an upgrade.
Just checking in to inform you that I’ve abducted my wife. Don’t worry. She came willingly.
Today the missus and I celebrate five years of managing not to push each other out the window in a crime of passion and to mark the occasion I have whisked her away to an undisclosed location for the weekend. I will reveal that there is a fireplace (I don’t know what we were thinking getting hitched on midwinter’s day – it’s not like we’re druids or anything), South African bubbly (apparently you’re not allowed to call it champagne unless it was actually produced in France), and rose petals on the bed. Do I know how to spoil my lady or what?
So, I’m off. You are welcome to leave your congratulatory messages in the comments, but don’t expect a reply before Monday – the computer and smart phone are staying at home this weekend.
I’ll leave you with these previously unpublished photos from our honeymoon. (Click on the images to view them full size and press “Escape” when you’re done)
When I left you yesterday we were still expecting some more water. It never came. In fact, by sunset the river was well on its way to being back where it’s supposed to be.
Actually, the river’s drainage is quite effective and the moment new water stops coming in from upstream it quickly reverts to its normal level. The exception was in 1988 when some trees got caught underneath the bridge by the weir and formed a dam. That time the river rose until it covered the surface of the bridge visible in the background on this photo.
I can hardly believe it’s already been three weeks since we’ve returned from vacation. That convinced me to quickly share the last few pics of our trip before I completely forget what it was like.
I left you in the tiny hamlet of De Vlugt, about two thirds of the way through the Prince Alfred’s Pass. You would recall that it’s a gravel pass that winds for seventy kilometres through the Outeniqua mountains between Knysna and Avontuur in the Western Cape Province. The road is quite narrow in places and tend to rise steeply around hairpin bends. We took it slow, stopping often, and had been driving for about two hours by the time we reached De Vlugt. We were starting to wonder if the pass was ever going to end.
By this time we had left the forests far behind, but it in no way diminished the beauty of the mountains.