23rd - 29th June
Blog Week 2
23rd - 29th June
705km to date
Bulembu – Diphuti (just inside Limpopo)
Swaziland – Mpumalanga SA – Limpopo SA
The kindness of strangers
Thank you Paul, Isla, Irma & Johan and so many people who have encouraged and waved us on.
and the kindness of friends
Thanks Sian for being so helpful sending us the stuff from Zululand Cycles
Incredible view from Gods Window over the 3rd largest canyon in the world (What is the 2nd largest by the way?)
Blyde River Canyon (that's “Blader” River Canyon for those who don't speak Africans)
We used our camping stove for the first time on the trip having carried it 500km!!
Sunset over the Three Rondavels
Coming down Abel Erasmus Pass – We had thought this MASSIVE hill from Mpumalanga into Limpopo was going to be uphill – IT WASN'T ;0)
Does anyone know who abel erasmus was?
Pol still looks like a girl even though all her hair is gone!!
Bulembu (Swaziland) to Barberton (South Africa).
Even standard border posts aren't fast but thankfully getting through the border back into South Africa was not as slow as feared.
After the border was an absolutely stunning mountain pass.
Then on to Nelspruit. time in Nelspruit was successful.. We managed to get multiple vaccinations (plus an extra one for free!?) a sleeping bag, some stuff to fix the tent, and some US dollars.. But we did decide that it was a bit of a hole and got out ASAP.
Nelspruit to Sabie is part of the Mpumalanga Panoramic Route – and with very good reason. The views made up for all the climbing.
In Sabie we stayed at a cosy back packers renovated by Garth and Managed by Kenneth. Kenneth is from Malawi. Malawi (Blantyre) to Nelspruit only takes a day by car!!! We stayed an extra night as we were sooo tired after some very bad night’s sleep in Nelspruit.
After Sabie we moved onward and upward to Graskop.. 30km uphill.. The residents of the the area seemed to want us to get very lazy and fat.. Half way there a lady stopped and insisted on carrying our bags as the next bit was particularly steep!
We then met the owners of Autumn Breath B&B who insisted on giving us very tasty high calorie food and then drove us to the local view points to save our legs for tomorrow! Awesome!
Irma makes very tasty waffles and pancakes
Rob burning off some surplus energy having been driven to Gods Window.
Johann & Ina – our Graskop guides
Graskop to Blydepoort took us along the Blyde River Canyon. We had stunning views the whole way and the cycling was not as tough as we had feared it might be.
The famous “Pillar” took us right back home to Symonds Yat & we reminisced on happy times climbing with great friends.....
Lunch was at Bourkes Luck Potholes – deep deep potholes in the rock formed by the river where Pol had an amusing chat with a local teenager who lived across the road from the potholes:
Monica: “Where are you from?”
Polly: “I'm from England”
Monica thoughtfully: “Wow, you really like potholes!”
Today we came from Byldepoort to Diphuti crossing from Mpumalanga into Limpopo. The scenery has been incredible and the descents exhillarating as we came down off the “Kleine Drakensberg”
Another amazing week :0)