Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 4- Rock Mine and Rock Art in Swaziland

Finally, a day where we were on the move rather than traveling! Today we accomplished a lot: we toured Swaziland’s capital, Mbabane; went to the Ngwenya Glass Factory; hiked around the Ngwenya Mine; and went to a rural place in Nsangwini where we saw Rock art from bushmen who lived 4000 years ago.
 Having not seen our hotel in daylight, I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it was in the morning. 
 Up and at em' with my roomies! 
 We stopped on the way to the Ngwenya Mine to marvel at beautiful scenery. There are not many homes and houses that disrupt the beautiful mountains and natural beauty of Swaziland. 
 We sat on the railing at the Ngwenya Rock Mine. Behind us was a huge thousand foot drop. Inside the main building there was a small museum with artifacts that miners have used throughout the centuries to mine the valley. 
 Chips out of the mountains were created by miners who blasted and dug for precious metals and gems. 
We hiked for about 15 minutes to reach the top of the mine. The view was breathtaking.
 Our guide jokingingly said that the red powdery dirt created from mining is "one of the oldest cosmetics." These three decided to test that claim out!
 To see the rock art, a local at the village led us on a 15-20 minute hike down a very steep mountain. It was a treacherous journey, but definitely worth it. Bush men from a much as 4000 years ago painted the underside of the rock. In a burgundy paint, there are depictions of various animals, people, and scenes.
 Children from the village chased our van when we arrived to see the rock art. Those who had candy gave it to them and by the time we returned from the rock art, there were 10 times more kids surrounding the van. I suppose word got around that we had "sweets." Not many people travel to this rural area so they were very interested in us.
The children were really impressed that we played soccer with them. Girls do not play soccer in their village, so seeing girls (especially Kate) who had skills surprised them.

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