During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.
F is for the Falls of Bruar
The Falls of Bruar are a series of at least three pretty significant waterfalls on the Bruar Water in Scotland, about 8 miles from Pitlochry in the council area of Perth and Kinross. The start of the trail is behind the House of Bruar, Scotland’s most prestigious independent store and shopping outlet.
One of the Falls most famous visitors was Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, who wrote a poem about them. “The Humble Petition of Bruar Water to the Noble Duke of Atholl” was a plea to the landowner to plant trees along the banks as Burns was not impressed by the lack of trees and shrubs.
“Would then my noble master please To grant my highest wishes He’ll shade my banks wi’ tow’ring trees And bonnie spreading bushes Delighted doubly then my Lord You’ll wander on my banks And listen mony a grateful bird Return you tuneful thanks”.
It is a pleasant walk through the larch and Scots pine trees alongside the river though we turned around at the middle falls as signs to the upper falls suggested it was rather precarious and we didn’t fancy a broken ankle or worse.
“This path is steep and rough in places with severe exposed drops into the gorge.”
When Burns died the duke created the forest in his memory, and landscaped the area with decorative bridges and paths.
It was the culmination of a three-week overland trip through five countries in southern Africa. The one place I had yearned to visit during the 12 years I lived in neighbouring South Africa and the place that had Dr David Livingstone saying in 1855,
No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight
Of course we now know that the falls were known to the Kololo people living in the area in the 1800’s who described it as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ meaning ‘theSmoke that Thunders’
I arrive at the Zimbabwean side of the falls, which appears to have been untouched for the last 25 years. There is no commercialism here. Apart from a distant hum and some fine wisps of mist drifting upwards you would never know that you were so close to one of the Wonders of the World. There is a wooden kiosk where I buy my entrance ticket and nothing else, no map, no information guide and no refreshments other than a local hawker selling the usual selection of cans of cold drinks opposite the park’s entrance. A relentless sun burns down.
As I battle my way through the untamed foliage the noise is both exhilarating and deafening; any conversation is impossible. Suddenly the falls come into view. Such a spectacular sight it literally takes my breath away. I get wet, I get dry and I get wet again. I stand as close to the edge as I dare, overlooking the mighty curtain of water from the Zambezi River cascading over the basalt rock cliffs, the columns of ‘smoke’ rising, and a myriad of rainbows forming. Such power. Nature at her most magnificent.
My heart lifts. I have a broad grin on my face. This is why I travel. ‘Hakuna Matata’ my friends. All is well.