Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, June 30th, Graskop, South Africa


Every so often, there is this little sign along the roadway which says “Highland Meandering”.  It’s meant to indicate access to a river, but I think it aptly describes our journey today.  We meandered up a long low incline until we got to the foothills of a mountain, had lunch, and then climbed up over the top.  
A short distance down the other side, we visited Pilgrim’s Rest, where we explored South Africa’s original gold rush town.  Finally, we drove lower into the valley below to our hotel in Graskop.

The town sits atop an escarpment, not unlike a bench seat.  Tomorrow, we head over the knees and down 1,000 meters into Kruger National Park.

To see the few photos we took today, click on Monday, June 30th, Grastop, South Africa

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 29th, Pretoria, South Africa


It’s Sunday night here at the Pretoria Hotel, but most of you are just preparing lunch.  From the OR Tombo Airport in Johannesburg, we took the train to Pretoria, then drug our bags to the hotel.  Checking into a nice suite overlooking the pool and river, we caught a few hours sleep before some unusual thunderstorms awakened us in time for our meetup with the tour staff and fellow travelers.

There are only three others besides us on the tour, all from Australia.  Anne, Margaret, and Albert are all traveling alone, and like us, they’ve been many places.  Our guide (Quintin) grew up in Cape Town, and is a tall white guy our age who grew up under apartheid, whose wife is “dark as can be”, with a three-year old child.  He’s eager to get into any subject in depth, and it appears we’re all ears and questions.

We walked to dinner at a small restaurant called Ocean Basket in a nearby car park.  Their fish, mussels, shrimp, and chips were all excellent, and they must go to great lengths to bring them so far inland so fresh. 

After stopping at a mall to pick up a unique electrical adapter and some supplies, our 16-passenger bus (with lots of room) will head northeast toward Kruger National Park, near the Mozambique border.  The size of Wales, Kruger is a must-see destination for most who come to Africa.  Passing first through mining country, tomorrow is mostly a traveling day.  Our destination is Graskop, just past Pilgrim’s Rest.

To see the few photos we took while traveling from SF to Pretoria, click on June 29th, Pretoria, South Africa

Gregory and Pat

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Africa Revisited


On June 27th, we'll be traveling back to Africa to visit some more game reserves and southern Africa locations.  We'll be back on August 10th.

Here is a map, using Google's new Map Engine Pro, of the areas where we'll be.