We’ve posted a bunch of photos from our travels of the past two weeks, plus one gallery all the way from mid-June on our return to Gauteng from Rustenburg. Stretching from Mpumalanga to Zimbabwe, there’s a large set of photos to view, and while we hope most will be undertstood in context, we will eventually add captions and give a better understanding of where we were and what we were seeing. The Lion Park was not completed by the time we left Mugg & Bean tonight, but should be done at our Lodge in Kimberley since it has WiFi. The links for the photos are below:
We finally were able to upload one of our HD videos to YouTube today. Make sure to watch it in 1080p!
An early start was what today required, and Alisa gave a gasp of excitement when she saw sun and blue skies at 0800, but she inexplicably let me continue to sleep, so we only hit the road north at 1000 after packing up and leaving Blyde River Chalets. However, there was still clouds and fog remaining, which completely obscured the area around the Pinnacle and God’s Window, so we continued on, and shortly after spectacularly broke through the fog to see the mountains and valleys laid out before us. A 20 minute drive brought us upon Bourke’s Luck, the name of so-called potholes dug out in the side of a canyon by the pools of running water. We wandered the park, clearly a commercialized area (including the R55 entrance fee), took the requisite pictures (though the ones we had others take of us turned out to be quite poor), and decided to head to the main event of Blyde River Canyon. Continue reading
Woke up this morning to rain 😦
The plan had been to spend the day outside enjoying the natural sights along Blyde River Canyon and hiking, but the weather was not cooperating. Not ready to give up quite yet, we decided to driving up towards the first view point to see how much of the of the view was really obstructed by the rain. We didn’t make it there. In fact we only made it about 5 min out of town before we turned around. The clouds/fog were so dense we only had about 5 feet of visibility.
Pilgrims Rest is an old mining town that caters to tourists with museums, restaurants, and curio shops making up the entire downtown. Not on the top of our list to visit, we were just going to stop by the next morning on our way back to Joburg, but with the rain it seemed a good a place to stay dry. Twelve Rand a person gave us access to the towns 4 tiny museums: the old garage, the printing building, a victorian home, and the general store. Although most of the museums were just compiled artifacts, we did learn two interesting facts: (1) A model T Ford was the first vehicle to make it over Robbers Pass unassisted by horses to Pilgrims Rest (2) During the second Boer War there was a shortage of paper, so the government had to use paper from the mines to print money on.
After eating lunch and visiting several shops we made our way back to Graskop where we went back to relax at our chalet.
Around 5pm the rain stopped, so we walked towards Harries to have pancakes. Many places in tGraskop claimed to have great pancakes, but Harries was the original and Lonely Planet gave it a rave review, so we were looking forward to the experience. Unfortunately when we arrived Harries was closed for the day, as were most places in Graskop except several tourist shops that we quickly popped into just before they closed for the night. By 5:30 pm it was dead along the main street of Graskop. We walked down the road to a Portuguese/Mozambican restaurant, that we had noticed a number of cars parked in front of the pervious night, to watch the end of the soccer match and have dinner.
The nicely decorated interior was complimented by the warm glow of the fire, which I was delighted to be seated next to. We were given bread with pesto and chili dipping sauce to start, which is very unusual for South Africa. In the States we are accustomed to having a bread basket of sorts served before dinner, but that is not a practice in ZA. Alex order the beef and reef and I had the lemon garlic chicken. Both meals were delicious and very filling.
Back at our chalet we read and watched ZA Soaps until the soccer match.
Off to bed. Hoping tomorrow will a least be partly sunny.