Shandle (said Shandly) & Brian are our guides. We leave in the sunshine, at about 7:20 am from Road House Rivonia…. a very budget hotel…. nothing like the place on CT.
4million people live in city of Joburg….8-9 million in area. It just looks like any huge modern city with rolling hills. I’m sure that parts of it have the slums I was expecting.
Our truck, they call, the Red Elephant. If you have to use the toilet, you just say”bushy, bushy”…lol! …. and they will stop wherever.
In city there are man-made lakes that anyone can canoe in, fish, play in the park, etc although there is also private membership probably for the golf course part and other facilities. Very nice! Again not what I was expecting.
We have Anne from Munich, Helena from Frankfurt , Katrin from Karlsruhe, Martine from Ratingen …all from Germany, Peter from Graz, Austria,
Rosie, Leif and their two boys Eric and Dennis & a girl Olivia from Stockholm, Sweden, and Jeanette and me from Canada on this trek.
We passed by one of the shanty towns on the way out. Brian said that a lot of people choose to live there because it is too expensive to live in Joburg. They have electricity, satellite dishes and public transport….. just not the homes (these are literally tin shacks) and gardens necessary to keep up with the Jones.
He says this is the beginning of rainy season. Very flat…. farms (predominantly corn) are being planted recently) for harvest around April.
I noticed large hills surrounded by farms….. enquired as to what they were??? Garbage dumps that are then covered with grass.
We passed by a couple of coal fired power plants(no smoke so thought they were nuclear) provide 10-15% of the electricity used in ZA. On the right there were 6-7 huge stacks. We also passed by open pit coal mines.
I think we are traveling on the N4 -a toll Hwy…….Nice, not too much traffic.
Men working along the highway using weed wackers….. not ride on lawn mowers or tractors. Another work project????
We stopped at Belfast for groceries, drinking water and alcohol for the next 3 days.
Dullstroom famous for fishing….head waters of Crocodile River that flows through to Kruger…. beautiful surrounding area, gorgeous little town…. touristy shops and restaurants.
Beyond Dullstroom the topography changed to something similar to the foothills of Alberta. Who would have thunk!
1776 metres above sea level at Crystal Springs mountain lodge. Pine tree and eucalyptus plantations in this area….2million hectares. We stopped at outlook to view Pilgrims Rest. We then drove down to the town yes there are the original old buildings, but it was filled with locals selling crafts….pushy!
Then on to Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes….. absolutely spectacular. After hiking down and back up again in the approx 27-28C heat I think I sweated breakfast and lunch off. The potholes have been made by the swirling waters of the Breur River (river of sorrow) converging with the Blyde River (river of joy).
Went for dinner after relaxing and cleaning up a bit to be met by pouring rain and thunder and lightning. What will tomorrow bring.
Lower Sabie tomorrow.