Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday, July 10th, Zuurberg Village Inn, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Since we spend a lot of time on the road, I should probably share with you some thoughts about the roads of South Africa.  They seem like a work in progress.  The roads inside the parks, even when they are dirt roads, are much better than outside the parks. Almost every road has a work crew upgrading the surfaces.  We are told that some road improvement projects have gone on for years because contractors were charged with corruption, and the road completion was held up while the court trials continued.  

The smart move would have been to invest in the company making the black and yellow caution signs placed every 100 feet on the sections being improved.  Or the company that makes the bright green or orange clothing worn by the workers.  And would someone please tell each town there’s a limit to how many speed bumps they can install.

We awoke at a reasonable time today (7:15), packed up, and went to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  Eggs, sausage, cereal, coffee (Pat says it’s pretty good) and orange juice, and fruit.  We were on the road by a little after 8am, and made it to Ado Elephant National Park by 11:30am.  A quick lunch, and browsing of the gift shop led to the game drive for the rest of the day.

This is the last park we’ll visit on this tour, even though we’ve got a week left on it.  We’ll be back here tomorrow for another six-hour game hunt, and leave the next day for the drive south to near the coast.  This park was established to protect the last remaining elephant herd in this area, lowered to 15 at one point by the eradication efforts of the farmers whose orange groves were being decimated annually.  

Otis elevator and the railroad company pitched in and created the original preserve, and it’s been expanded to stretch all the way to include a marine sanctuary on the coast.  Soon, we’ll be going on a whale-watching cruise.

Shortly before dinner, we drove out of the park and up to the top of the perennial escarpment to the Zuurberg Mountain Inn.  Great rooms with indoor and outdoor showers overlooking the edge of the escarpment, with tennis courts and pool, horseback-riding, and hiking trails.  And separate men’s and ladies bars that are 150 years old.  I’m sure glad we didn’t choose the tent-camping level of this tour.

To see the rest of the photos we took today, click on Thursday, July 10th, Zuurberg Mountain Inn, Eastern Cape, SouthAfrica.  

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