This shot was taken on the road to ‘Die Hel ‘ (The Hell), a remote and hidden valley in the Swartberg Mountains. The final 37 km journey takes in excess of 2 hours to negotiate in a 4X4 vehicle. The scenery is breathtaking and the road can be challenging. Pictured here is the yellow leaved golden sunshine cone bush (Leucadendron Laureolum) one of the Cape Fynbos shrubs which turns the mountainsides bright yellow.
The name "The Hell" is attributed to a local stock inspector, who had to make a monthly trek into Gamkaskloof to check stock for disease. The route he followed was down the steep track known as "die leer" - the ladder. On one occasion he said it was like "going to Hell and back" - and it stuck. The Gamkaskloofers DID NOT approve of the name at all.
When a Gamkaskloofer received a letter from the Receiver of Revenue addressed to "The Hell" he sent it back unopened with a note scrawled across the front: "They don't pay tax in Hell."
The valley where a small, proud community lived in isolation for more than 100 years was only accessible was on foot and horseback and harvests of dried fruit and wild honey were carried out by pack animals.
Legend has it that Gamkaskloof was discovered when trekboers lost their cattle and followed their spoor into the fertile valley. Petrus Swanepoel was the first to farm there and the valley supported the hard-working community until 1962 when a road was carved into the valley. A gradual exodus occurred and the last farmer to leave was Piet Swanepoel in 1991.
Now one of the Gamkaskloof families, the Jouberts, has returned to the valley and shares tales of the old days with their guests.
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2013. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
jemaflor (69035) 2013-02-27 8:33
Nice composition with all these yellox colors. Good contrast with the blue sky, The view of the road gives depth at your photo.
dta (51510) 2013-02-27 9:35
Hello Rosemary ,
This is not so easy to make this kind of picture . the composition is excellent , rich in interesting elements , with a splendid contrast between yellow bushes , blue sky and rocks .
ktanska (21527) 2013-02-27 10:20
The beauty of this view and surprising title surely made me curious. Yes that place really sounds hard to reach. All yellows, blue sky and dark bushas make good colour combination.
Noel_Byrne (7450) 2013-02-27 11:32
Fascinating title, and a great note to explain it too, thank you. When I seethe he thumbnail and the title, I thought, Hell? Tis place looks quite pleasant.
It is a beautiful scene, and you describe perfectly the remoteness of the place, having read your note, ii can feel that in the image.
I also like the note sent back to the tax inspector, very good response :)
All the best
carlo62 (12666) 2013-02-27 14:10
mi piace il pov che hai scelto, offre una bella varietà di paesaggio, dalla vegetazione alla strada, dalle rocce aspre al bel cielo, tutto ha i suoi spazi ben bilanciati.
jjcordier (62394) 2013-02-27 22:55
Une image bien composée où tu as bien exploité les contrastes de couleurs entre végétation, ciel et rochers et la bonne lumière du moment.
msadurski (230) 2013-02-27 23:10
Nice view. However seems it to be something wrong with PP (contrast/sharpness - I am not sure). And f/22 actually affected the quality.
timecapturer (30394) 2013-02-28 2:58
doesn't look too hellish in this wonderful shot. The colours and textures here are just amazing and your execution perfect. Would love to travel on this road. A stunning and beautiful image.
Regards - Brian.
Sergiom (39336) 2013-02-28 8:08
La route pour l'enfer semble bordée de belles fleurs sauvages qui poussent aléatoirement partout ou le regard se porte. Le petit chemin offre de la perspective et de la profondeur.
siolaw (37568) 2013-02-28 22:49
That part of the track looks ok..! Stunning vegetation here with these yellow plants contrasting nicely with the lovely blue sky. The arid and rocky hills complete the landscape... nice
dkmurphys (36857) 2013-03-01 1:24
If this is the road to hell, it's very beautiful and I'll go there :P. Lovely colors, well taken scene.
Have a good weekend.
Kamilutka (3207) 2013-03-03 8:49
your photos are really exceptional and you obviously have a great eye for capturing the beauty of landscapes around you. This composition, although quite busy, is actually very nicely organized. I like the proportions of the image and color wise striking foreground as well as the mountains framing the wholeness.
Thanks for sharing