A Travellerspoint blog

Week 2 From Swaziland back to South Africa

23rd - 29th June

Blog Week 2

23rd - 29th June

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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?)

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

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

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Sunset over the Three Rondavels

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

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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!

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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.

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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”

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Another amazing week :0)

Posted by robandpol 07:32 Archived in South Africa Tagged bicycle Comments (9)

DONATING ONLY PARTIALLY WORKING

oh dear :(

Currently you can only donate to Lulisandla Kwmtwana - foster care project. Read 'HOW TO DONATE' then click on the link.

You are unable to donate to the Hipporoller project.. we're working on that.

Posted by robandpol 00:00 Comments (2)

Week 1 - Mseleni to Bulembu

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Check out the photos of our first week. They took ages to upload and the internet cafe is now closing. The article will follow shortly.....

Mseleni to Bulembu - a good start.

Summary of Week 1 16th-22nd June

It was a full week ago now that we left Mseleni.

What has happened in that week - our 1st on the road?

We made it (with a little help from our friends) to the first nights campsite at Lake Jozini and spent a wonderful evening being completely spoilt. Jeanne, Laurence, Henrik, Carri and Merion (so sorry about the spelling) gave us an evening we won’t forget and set us up with a very good start to our trip.

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399 Kilometres were covered,

1 set of brake pads were used up,

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Swaziland was traversed,

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The Jozini road was conquered

and the Ubombo mountains were summited.

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We were fed copious amounts of food and treated to a boat safari by Derreck and Odette - Thank you very much.

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We said our fond farewells to friends and colleagues in Mseleni. Saying goodbye is always so hard. We will miss everyone there so much.

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We were reunited with friends in Northern Swaziland for a truly wonderful and unforgettable weekend of hiking, rugby and banagrams!

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Rob got familiar with the bikes gearing mechanisms (thanks Rob :0))

Pol mastered the GPS

The GPS found us and awesome camping spot just before crossing into Swaziland when we were too tired to keep going

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We met Qhing Qhing Dlamini at the excellent Ngwavuma Backpackers in Southern Swaziland

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We reached the Northern Swaziland border post of Bulembu after as the lonely planet put it a "pretty hilly road" -
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just to clarify that's a beautiful but extremely hilly gravel track!!!

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We loved Bulembu. The ex-asbestos mine is re-juvenating itself after the collapse of the economy when the mine closed in 2000.

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It's been a good week!!

Posted by robandpol 10:02 Archived in Swaziland Tagged bicycle Comments (5)

HOW TO SPONSOR US

Do it.. you know you want to!

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As said before we are raising money for 2 charities that we have seen doing incredible work in the area around the Hospital. To learn more about the charities check out ‘SPONSOR US’.

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If you want to donate to Lulisandla Kwmtwana (foster care programme. Caring for orphaned children in the community – they currently need a 4x4 to access children in remote areas) (UK taxpayers can claim Gift Aid)

Follow these simple steps:
Click: DONATE to Lulisandla Kwmtwana (on favourite links)
Type in amount you want to donate
Tick: SIM project
Write in 'Details of Donation': Long way Home

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If you want to donate to Hipporollers.org (a simple solution to water access) follow The Link: DONATE to Hipporoller.org. Write longwayhome in the extra info section. (Gift Aid doesn’t apply as the charity isn’t registered in the UK)

Posted by robandpol 23:06 Archived in South Africa Tagged living_abroad Comments (10)

Mseleni Dawn

Helping keep things in perspective

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Dawn at Mseleni.. winter mornings give a mist that covers the ground and reflects the dawn rays – just the trees poke through. I’ll never forget the first time I saw it.. running up the hill to labour ward having had 2 hrs sleep, terrified by the emergency that I was being summoned to...But that incredible sight reminded me that God was in control and I could trust Him.

Hopefully we’ll remember that in tough times on our travels.

Posted by robandpol 22:56 Archived in South Africa Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

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