Greetings from South Africa everyone,
Just came back from an epic road trip to the Drakensberg Mountains
with my wife, daughter, and my daughter's friend. We covered 3000
kilometers and stayed at various places en route, which took like
two and a half days to get there so we could make spaghetti al
pesto and eat pickled onions out of a bottle because we were so
hungry that Carrs Water Biscuits tasted like pepper steak, but I
digress because the experience was still with me when I wrote this,
loaded with pictures and videos I'd just transferred from various
devices, including a dashcam, which was a good thing because some
of the drivers out there were from Dodge City, not that we saw too
much of that on the way up as we'd left on a Sunday morning and
skipped most of the traffic.
I'd done all the bookings online and waited to see how tripadvisor
panned out. I'd stuck to the plan and only booked at places that
were near 100% free of complaints. We were on the road for ten
days and over-nighted at the towns of Hanover and Clarens on the
way up. It was bitterly cold at night in both places, but Hanover
took the prize with an iced up swimming pool. After Clarens we
drove through the Golden Gate National Park and then past
Sterkfontein dam, the third largest dam in South Africa. Besides the
great expanse of water, we saw vultures soaring and a dead zebra
in the back of a bakkie.
Our first two nights in the Drakensberg were spent at the upper
Thendele camp right in the Amphitheater, which is the kick-off point
for all the major walks in the area. You could've walked out of our
bungalow and headed straight for the Tugela Falls, which is the
highest waterfall in the world, after Angel Falls in Venezuela, with a
height of 979 meters. The Tugela Falls, is generally accepted as the
world's second-tallest waterfall at 948 meters.
The drive up to Thendele is in the movie link at the top of the page
above, so catch it there. It's in HD so you can safely expand the window.
Due to drought the Tugela falls wasn't 'running', and in any event it
was a twenty click hike, so we skipped that and walked to the
cascades instead. You can see it in the movie as well. The following
day we drove further South to our final destination at the Rock
Lodge in the Giants Castle reserve. As you'll see from the pics on
Facebook below, this was an amazing experience, the lodge being
built into the rock.
On our last night we watched Jurassic Park while outside the glass
doors three large eland walked by, a classic experience of adults
and kids alike.
On the way back home, a journey of fifteen hundred kilometers, or
nearly a thousand miles, we stopped at Gary Players's favorite hotel
on the !Gariep Dam, formerly the 'Hendrik Verwoerd Dam'. As you
can see, the dam is very impressive. It's 400 square kilometers and
is the largest dam in South Africa.
The N1 highway on the way back was a nightmare of badly behaved
drivers, but the long passage was helped along by the Jeep's
powerful 5.7L V8 engine, even further boosted by a howling RGM
Stage One performance kit, (which means a more than 400 HP with
a loud freeflow exhaust). Additionally, the body is raised by 2" BDS
lift kit wherein the kiddies watched Scooby Doo on the rear TV
screen on bluetooth headphones encased by blacked out windows
behind which I listened to cool lounge over the 200 watt speakers,
sometimes checking my heading on the GPS.
On the last day sometimes the 900 kilometer felt like I'd taken a
jump into the future of road trips, but it's a future in which the
Commander Hemi is still 'King of the Road'!
Honor the code! - Bless the tech!
More stills here - you don't have to have a login or be logged on with Facebook to see them