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We wanted to place an earth cache here, due to the interesting surrounds, learning possibilities and lack of any caches. We hope you can learn something and maybe even attempt a (bungee) jump off the bridge.
Ground zero will have you standing in the Tsitsikamma National Park, Range or Mountains. Tsitsikamma is a Khoi word meaning “place of abundant or sparkling water”. The region sits on a 200m high plateau. With the park or range width of 30km and stretching just over 80km, from the Bloukrans River and Nature's Valley in the west to the Tsitsikamma River in the east. It is bordered on the north by the imposing Tsitsikamma Mountains and in the south by the Indian Ocean.
The range consists almost exclusively of Table Mountain quartzite sandstone. Quartzite sandstone is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms when a quartz-rich sandstone is altered by the heat, pressure, and chemical activity (metamorphism). These conditions recrystallize the sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength. This results in the range being extremely erosion resistant.
The range rises abruptly from the south at a very defined line that runs almost due east-west at the 34° south latitude. This is due to the very regular nature of the rise of the Table Mountain Sandstone in an anticline fold structure above the grade of the surrounding Tsitsikamma coastal plateau. An anticline is a type of fold that is an arch-like shape and has its oldest beds at its core. A typical anticline is convex up in which the hinge or crest is the location where the curvature is greatest, and the limbs are the sides of the fold that dip away from the hinge. Anticlines are usually developed above thrust faults, so any small compression and motion within the inner crust can have large effects on the upper rock stratum. This range is part of the Cape Fold Belt, where the Falkland Plateau and African plate crumpled and pushed together to form the mountain ranges.
The Tsitsikamma area has a very different climate and therefore flora than anywhere else in Africa. The climate of the range is extremely mild, with temperature variations only between 10 °C and 25 °C generally and rainfall exceeding 1000 mm per annum, thus the region supports verdant fynbos and Afromontane temperate gallery forest habitats. The trees growing in this area used to cover large tracts of the Western Cape but as the Dutch colonists and later the British only had profit in mind much of the indigenous forests were chopped down and sold for profit. The first forest to disappear was the one found in Hout Bay as the demand for timber increased in the Cape. As the colonists moved further afield the forests in the Tsitsikamma area were discovered and shortly afterwards the felling of the forests began. Consequently, today there is only about 5% left of the original forests that were here in the 1600's. Most of the remaining forests are found in the Tsitsikamma area and some of the passes.
After crossing the N2 highway and toll road, you come to the spectacular and steep ravines covered with indigenous trees and hairpin bends. A ravine is a deep valley which is formed due to linear/dendritic fluvial erosion of loose unconsolidated and bare soils byes.
One of these ravines is the Bloukrans River, which cuts through the Tsitsikamma Range. The river is the divide between the east and west cape. Resulting in the need for the Bloukrans Bridge, the most spectacular bridge out of three major bridges built along the route. The Bloukrans River bridge was constructed between February 1980 and June 1983, costing 11 million Rand to build. The bridge has a length of 451 metres, with a central span of 272 meters and is 216 metres above the valley floor. Its height makes it the highest on the entire continent of Africa. It has an arch supporting the bridge and this arch has become the focal point of bungy jumpers who want to leap from the highest commercial bridge bungy jumping platform in the world.
To get to the coordinates you will have to go during open hours: Tsitsikamma Nation Park is open from 7am until 10pm everyday.
You do not have to pay to get to the posted coordinates.
If you want to overnight, you can stay at the Tsitsikamma Khoisan Village, which offers Backpackers, Self Catering and Camp Sites. http://www.tsitsikamma.info/listing/tsitsikamma_khoisan_village
If you want to walk out on the bridge or bungee you will have to pay. https://www.faceadrenalin.com
To claim this cache you must complete the following tasks and questions and email your answers.
1. It is advisable and optional that close to GZ you take some interesting and funny photos or a photo of yourself with the ravine or just the ravine itself, this might prove a interesting way of tracking changes to the area over time.
2. At the nearby harnessing hut you will find four posters displaying records achieved at the bungee. What are these four records, from left to right?
3. What two land masses formed the Tsitsikamma mountains?
4. Standing near GZ, observe your surroundings and use the provided information to explain how you think the ravine was formed.
Feel free to log straight away if I see something wrong with your answers I will contact you.
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