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Something we have flitted past at speed on numerous occasions is the display near the Nelson Mandela Capture Site near Lions River. We had seen the actual site, and the commemorative plaque, several times a week when we lived in the area – two amazing years from which my diary will form the basis of a book as soon as we are happy we won’t be sued for relating some of the doings and … whatnot … of the hilariously picturesque locals.
Lore from some of said locals has it that Nelson was incarcerated overnight in the cell forming part of The Old Police Camp we lived in during that period – Long Walk to Freedom and other accounts of the event make no mention of the fact, but the anecdotes were emphatic, so who knows?
However, the sculpture and stuff are relatively new developments. Seeing them in passing has not, hitherto, tempted us. I wondered what a mammoth set of spikes was in aid of, but in a vague sort of way.
This time we came, we saw, and we wandered. They are building some sort of shopping-mall-sized construction as a centre for seminars and stuff, which one hopes will be impressive when completed but at the moment makes it all look a bit messy. However, the actual displays and posters inside the existing hall are worth seeing, and there is a restaurant with pool and jungle gym at the far end. Hordes were at the monument and display area, but surprisingly few at the restaurant, which was their loss because the food and wines were very good and the prices minimal.
After lunching we strolled past the construction site and found ourselves on a long straight path leading back towards the road between Midmar Dam and Lions River. Other tourists blocked our views a lot, but I faithfully took a picture of the spikes from one side, with the plaque (over the road) visible on the right-hand side,
and then of Much Better Half taking a picture of the actual monument from the base of them.
Eventually the hordes went away, and I took another picture back at the spikes –which from the right angle and distance give an amazingly impressive profile. There is, of course, a great deal written about this attraction, but I hadn’t come across it so the sight came as a wonderful surprise.