January 26th – twelve travellers from five nations meet in Johannesburg with the Edelweiss tour guide and the South African local, driving the support vehicle. A remarkable day, because it is the beginning of a two weeks adventure.
Leaving Johannesburg on the motorway we exit at Middleburg. Being a kind of used to left hand traffic in the meantime we cruise through the Highland Meanders, passing through Dullstrom and Lydenburg, before we finally end up at Misty Mountain.
South Africa we're coming!
Almost as good as in Tirol!
What a great first day!
The weather god shows us why this place got the name. Taking off in dense fog we climb back across Long Tom Pass. At Pilgrim’s Rest we take a rest as well and charming Mrs. Nutseller #3 sells us half of her stock of Macadamia nuts.
God’s Window had unfortunately its curtains closed, but Blyde River Canyon offeres an outstanding view.
Realy a misty mountain!
Mrs. Nutseller #3
At God's Window the curtains were closed...........
........but Blyde River Canyon offered an outstanding view!
A lot of fun!
Happy birthday Werner!
In the tour book it says rest day – but for relaxation we have to wait until afternoon. We are chased out of bed at 5.15 am, but it is worth the struggle. With two Landcruisers we explore a small section of Kruger National Park and it looks like the rangers set a new record: the “Big Five” (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard) within 1 ½ hours!
Traffic jam at Kruger
That big cat was watching us too
We are leaving Krugerpark in the morning heading for Swaziland. Crossing the border you can feel a change. It is hard to describe, but Swaziland is different. A long day including a visit at the Swazi Glas factory finds its end at the Royal Swazi Spa.
Our first stop today is at the House on Fire, a hot spot for Swazi and international musicians and artists. The real artist we find at the Swazi Candle Factory, where a young man forms in less ten ten minutes a wax elephant. Öjen got to try to make the elephant baby. A great ride takes us to the border and back into South Africa. The Ghost Mountain Inn in Mkuze is a great place to be!
some serious studies in the morning
Real artists at the candle factory
Öjen giving it a try
Swaziland at it's best
Leaving Mkuze we follow the main road towards South. A side trip to St. Lucia surprises us first with rain and than with one of the most beautiful beaches. The permanent change of weather, the Indian Ocean and the beauty of it is overwhelming. We stay longer then planed, so we skip RichardsBay and head straight for Shakaland. Not knowing what to expect we get thrown into Zulu cuture – sawubona!
Beach at St. Lucia
Riding in KwazuluNatal
sunset at Shakaland
Zulu warriors and maidens awaiting us for the show
More Zulu experience in the morning, some of us get to throw the spear, others fight a warrior with the stick – just to practice. The blacksmith explains how the spears were made and learn about the sangoma. Our ride takes us to the beach at Salt Rock, were Bethuel waits for us – it is picnic and beach time! After relaxing three hours we mount our bikes again and ride through Valley of Thousend Hills to Wartburg.
Alejandro fighting the Zulu warrior......
.........Pat looks like a professional
Picnic at he wonderful beach of Salt Rock
What a surf!
Zulu house in Valley of Thousand Hills
A perfect morning! Looking out the window at 7 a.m. fog hangs in between the trees. By eight the sun burned all the clouds and fog and we start out in a great day. It is one of the long days on this trip, but the roads are like a permanent race track. Up to lunch the weather god shows his best side, afterwards we enter the Transkei and ride into a black wall of storm clouds. Nothing to hide or shelter, trenched wet in five seconds, but we got through the storm quickly. A challenge for most of us!
Taking off in Umtata we have a decent ride through the transkei. In Dutiwa, were hundreds of locals line up in front of shops, ATMs and banks, the police doesn't want us to stop at the redlight. Blocking the traffic with the car, sirenes on, the wave us through. After our lunch in East London we head for Mpekweni, stopping along the way at the Birma Craft Store, were local ladies make some earning by knitting carpets.
What a happy crowd!
100% hand made - checked by Jan
Most of us could hang out at one of the most fabulous places at the coast. In spite of walking the endless beach we ride through Pineapple Country. In Badhurst we vist the Big Pineapple and the Agricultural Museum, a collection of old machinery, tools and just everything that's old. At Grahamstown we experience the Camera Obscura befor we had via Kenton-on-Sea to Port Elizabeth.
An endless beach......
What a big pineapple
At the museum in Badhurst
After a short loop in town we leave Port Elizabeth and head West towards the Garden Route. Unfortunately a school class is doing Bungee, so that our brave adrenalin junkies can not go for the jump. Instead we keep on going, riding through the Tzizikama Rain Forrest, stopping for Italian coffee at Mario in Knysna, enjoying the sweepers on OutiniquaPass and cruising trough the Little Karroo to Oudtshoorn.
Beach at Wilderness (Garden Route)
An eventful morning! Some us take off to see and ride the ostrich, others go to climb Swartbergpass on their bikes. Breathtaking sceneries – first at Meirungspoort, a spectacular gorge framed by red rock walls, later from the top of SwartbergPass, were the climb gets awarded with outstanding views into the Greater Karroo with its unlimited horizon.In the afternoon we roll to Montague, not missing the stop at Ronnie’s Sex Shop.As the last highlight of the day Greta from Ashton Cellars introduces us to their excellent wines.
Swartbergpass - a national monunment
On the top of Swartberg
After Ronnies Sex Shop we finished the day.......
.....with a winetasting
We leave Montague towards the coast. Riding through winyards we head towards Hermanus. Sometimes it looks like riding in painting, were shades and sun are drawing patterns into the landscape. A fantastic ride along Gordons Bay takes us into Cape Town. To top the day we go on a sunset cruise with a two mast sailboat, named "Howard Davis". good wind makes the ship lean over pretty far and the sunset is a perfect on.
Like a post card....
Charles, the captain, is telling Lynda not to sail to Rio
Having fun or what?
Sailing back to the harbour
It looks like heaven is crying with us because the great trip finds its end! we take off in rain, heading for Cape of Goode Hope. On the way back we visit the penguines at Boulder and the weather god shows mercy by stopping the rain and offering us a clear view of Cape Town from Signal Hill as a farwell.
At the Cape
Thanks to a great group and a lot of fun during those two weeks - have a nice stay in C.T. or a good flight home!