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Stadsaal Caves - Walk in Africa
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20 Nov

Stadsaal Caves

We awoke to strong winds and ongoing heavy rains! No-one was in the mood for another wet and cold walk, so we enjoyed a lazy morning and delicious lunch prepared by Carla (official expedition chef). Later in the day we travelled to visit the rock art site close to Stadsaal. These paintings were produced by San artists probably over 1,000 years ago. Current theories propose that rock paintings were the work of shamans in the tribe, but perhaps we can plan a dedicated rock-art blog for another time …

From there it was a short drive to Stadsaal cave (City Hall Cave).
Here we are trying not to appear too cold at the entrance to “The City Hall”.

The cave is remarkable for its “architecture” and spaciousness

It is also of great historical interest because of the graffiti which dates back to the 1800’s. It is rumoured that the Nationalist Party members met here to plan their 1948 victory which heralded the start of legislated apartheid. In support of this theory the names of some of the Nationalist Party members of the time are evident as graffiti on the walls, notably the name of Dr D. F. Malan, the then leader of the party and the first Nationalist Prime Minister of South Africa.

But beyond the history and the caves themselves, the area is breathtakingly beautiful as a result of the incredibly eroded rock formations in vibrant reds and browns.

Some of the members of our party kept seeing recognisable shapes amongst the rocks, but all I could see was very beautiful rocks. Perhaps this is simply an accolade for the local Cederberg wines!

… or perhaps that is an enormous ancient petrified red rhino walking by – with just the legs and belly visible…

Some of the rock surfaces seem to have been professionally mosaiced by an artist.

Carla is an artist and she clearly enjoyed the visit,

. . . but Rob had had enough of fine art and aesthetic, and hid away. We found him anyway!

And all the while our nemesis from the previous day (The Wolfberg Cracks) were visible and beautifully framed.

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