No horsing around. A return visit to Silver Mist Country Inn, Kaapsehoop. Mpumalanga

89

It was just after 06h00 and the moon was still up when I stepped onto the balcony of my room at Silver Mist Country Inn in Kaapsehoop.In the quiet pre-dawn moments, I had some time to appreciate the sky without the intrusion of urban lighting.

Down at the front door, I was hampered by the fact that it was locked. But I soon realised that the key was on the ring together with my room key.

In the early morning, the facade of the Country Inn is still shrouded in shade.

I decided that a short walk before breakfast would be in order. And even though the vegetation is very sparse due to the winter conditions, the rising sun was starting to encompass the distant mountain range in its pale glow.

Near Silver Mist, is an old disused remnant of a jail. One a home to criminals, it later became a shelter for the herd of wild horses that roam the hills and streets of this quirky town. Their constant kicking against the walls eventually caused the roof to collapse. Several of the town inhabitants have now banded together to rebuild the roof as well as to restore the interior walls.

This old steam engine is the newest addition to the town. Situated at the bottom of the road that leads to Silver Mist Country Inn, it is a reminder of a part of the mining history of Kaapsehoop.

Visitors come from far and wide to interact with the horses. The story of how they came to be here are legend. But one of the most prevalent is the fact that they might have escaped during the Boer war and established the herd in the area surrounding Kaapsehoop. Whatever the real story is, no one will ever know. All that is known is the fact that they have been here for more than 100 years.

Sunset across the valley. The weeds in the foreground make an interesting contrast.

One of my favourite buildings in this old mining town. It is directly opposite The Silver Mist Country Inn and is part of their accommodation on offer.

At night, the facade of the Inn changes. It becomes a welcoming beacon in the dark surrounds at the end of a cul-de-sac.

A welcoming fire in the informal lounge area in the corner of the dining room. Guests can enjoy a pre-dinner drink here while waiting for their food.

Dinner for one…I dislike eating by myself, but on this trip, I had no option as my wife had not accompanied me.

The ‘heart’ of any small town establishment! Locals can get very serious about their drink of choice and as a result, bars are always well-stocked.

In the corner of the ‘formal’ lounge. Much like dinner for one, here it was a single cup and saucer set out for tea.

Keep a candle burning…Just to make certain that there is always a glow in the window for guests to find food and shelter.

The Milky Way in the Southern night sky.As seen from the balcony outside my bedroom. Goodnight and thank you to the staff and management for an enjoyable stay.

All images are the copyright property of

and may not be used without permission.