A Travellerspoint blog

Week 2 From Swaziland back to South Africa

23rd - 29th June

Blog Week 2

23rd - 29th June

Week_2.jpg

705km to date

Bulembu – Diphuti (just inside Limpopo)

Swaziland – Mpumalanga SA – Limpopo SA

Highlights:

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?)

View_from_Gods_Window.jpg

Blyde River Canyon (that's “Blader” River Canyon for those who don't speak Africans)

Blyde_River_Canyon.jpg

We used our camping stove for the first time on the trip having carried it 500km!!

Dusting_of..stove__.jpg

Sunset over the Three Rondavels

Sunset_ove..ndavels.jpg

Coming down Abel Erasmus Pass – We had thought this MASSIVE hill from Mpumalanga into Limpopo was going to be uphill – IT WASN'T ;0)

We_were_go..e_pass_.jpg
Does anyone know who abel erasmus was?

Pol still looks like a girl even though all her hair is gone!!

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Read on..............

Bulembu (Swaziland) to Barberton (South Africa).

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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.

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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.

No Picture!!

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.

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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!

Isla_carri..for_us_.jpg

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!

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Irma makes very tasty waffles and pancakes

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Rob burning off some surplus energy having been driven to Gods Window.

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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.

Abel_Erasmus_Pass_1.jpg

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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”

Pause

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”

Abel_Erasm..rovince.jpg

Another amazing week :0)

Posted by robandpol 07:32 Archived in South Africa Tagged bicycle

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Comments

AWESOME photos amazing well done you seem to have the bit between the teeth and meeting loads of kindness along the way . thanks for keeping us in the loop Lotsa luv see you in Kenya
Liz xx

01.07.2009 by Liz and Ruli

Just to let you know that the 2nd biggest canyon is also in SA - it's fish river over near namibia - definitely worth a visit but possibly a slightly long detour for this trip! sounds like you guys are doing brilliantly - keep it up but if you get tired we miss you!! xx

01.07.2009 by Claire Procter

I had to look up the canyon stats. Here's what wikipedia had to say: "By some measures it is the third largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon in the United States and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia but this depends heavily on one's definition of a canyon"

but...

"The Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, China, is regarded by some as the deepest canyon in the world, and is even slightly longer than Grand Canyon. Hence it is regarded by many as the world's largest canyon, followed by the Kali Gandaki Gorge in Nepal, Polung Tsangpo Canyon in Tibet, Cotahuasi Canyon (3,535 m deep and the deepest in the Americas), and the Tekezé gorge (2000m+ deep and deepest in Africa)."

01.07.2009 by Peter

WOW! that's amazing! What a plan guys, i'll be definately keeping track of the two of you...
Lots of luck love and laughter!

Xxx Lotte (who wants to move into that empty trailor of yours hihi... Is it still vacant?)

Hi lotte. The tralor scramble has ended with the new pharmacy manager getting it.. longhouse crew a bit miffed!

03.07.2009 by Lotte van Dijk

Hi Polly and Rob

Just found out about your adventure. I hope you continue to have a marvellous time. I will make sure your blog is added to my 'must read' list.

Best Wishes

05.07.2009 by Claire Newing

Wow! This is an amazing (an dare I say enviable) adventure you two have set off on and raising money for 2 great causes. Fantastic! I'll be watching your blog closely, stunning photos already, must be breathtaking at times. Stay safe and smiling and keep those chains well oiled and bums well padded! :) Lots of love Annie xxx

05.07.2009 by Annie Simms

Hi Both!

What can I say? wow, you two are crazy!! Claire told me about this site, so thought I'd drop you a line to say well done and good luck for your journey. Hope you are both well. Beats reading the BBC news website on my lunchbreak
Cat xx

06.07.2009 by Catherine King

hey guys... looks amazing!!!!! greetings from lake malawi. following you crazy coconuts as best as inet allows but as you are finding out i am sure.... internet is scarce and slow!!! keep on keeping on.... i am proud just to know u 2!

Chris Fish!! looking foreward to seeing the malawi music video!

07.07.2009 by Chris Fisher

Hi Pol and Rob, I have followed your trip, so exciting!! I wish Rob a very happy birthday, I wonder what you get as present! I wish you lots of luck on your further expedition.
Love and thoughts from
Merete

27.08.2009 by Merete

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