Blimey, is it a year already? Since my last RR I sold the mighty (and very wonderful) Jota and bought a weird time warp has-it-ever-been-used 1100GS. Here it is parked up near Lochinver in the Scottish Highlands:
But tooling round up here isn't exactly adventuresome (there don't seem to be any off roading opportunities at all in Scotland), so I packed my bags and headed off to South Africa to see Mpumalanga (sort of east of Johannesburg), Kruger, Swaziland, The Zulu battlefields, the Drakensburg mountains and Lesotho.
We flew into Johannesburg. We were quite surprised to make it as the weather here wasn't exactly cooperating- minus ten centigrade and tons of snow everywhere. BA were having lots of trouble keeping up with the de icing.
First off, a quick word about SAMA tours http://www.samatours.co.za/
who supplied our 1150GS. Really nice guys to deal with, very helpful during booking (unlike some I could mention) and even willing and able to pick up at Oliver Tambo airport for the transfer to their base in eastern Pretoria. Top guys and highly recommended. Of course, in my excitement I forgot to take pix of the guys...
We arrived early, got changed and packed up and with an escort from Jonathan at SAMA headed east on the N4 towards our first stop in Hazyview.
Lunch stop in Dullstroom, Flyfishing Central and 2100m above sea level. Nice wee place.
We rode the Long Tom pass, which I can highly recommend. This is the big gun at the top. The plaque giving the info was all in Afrikaans so I can't tell you anything about it, but it was a stonking run.
Our overnight was in Hazyview at the bottom of the 'Panorama Route' which took us in a big loop up the Blyde River Canyon. Anyway, that's tomorrow. Here's the Rissington Inn, our base for two nights.
Next day, The Panorama Route. Top road this and in excellent condition. Just right to ease us in to a longish trip.
Lisbon Falls where I tried (not deliberately) to pay for some souvenirs with Namibian money. Cue much merriment among the ladies manning the stalls when my mistake was discovered.
The Canyon and the 'Three Rondavels'
Bourke's Luck Potholes. River's been busy here.
We took a shortcut on the way back somewhere near Pilgrim's Rest, dirt at last!
Our last visit of the day was to God's Window.
And then back to Hazyview for a quick (outdoor) shower and 'dops'.
I can't remember exactly wwhere this was along the way, but eh???