Middelburg, South Africa

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Johan, Alien and Jolene
Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa
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On the map, all of the roads around Graskop look great for biking. Yesterday, i’d arrived at Graskop using the road from the Sabie in the south. Just north of Graskop were a number of viewpoints – with hopefully amazing scenery, so that’s where i headed. At each of the viewpoints, a sentry post has been erected, charging ZAR10 per motorcycle/car. It peeves me for one person on a motorcycle to pay the same price as a car with up to 5 people, though at £0.70, i can’t get too upset. The view points (Gods Window/World View) give beautiful vistas along the Drakensburg escarpment, where you are positioned on the top of a 700m cliff face – beautiful. The different coloured sandstone, wooded escarpments and sound of water flowing across the rocks in the valley below was exquisit.

I visited the Berlin falls, which were pretty, though i’m sure would be more impressive if i could have reached the valley floor and looked up at the waterfall.

Next, i came to the start of the Blyde River Reserve and the Bourkes Luck Potholes. The potholes are at the convergence of 2 rivers – (happy/glad river) and Treur (sad/mourning river) and created by kolks or giants kettles creating cylindrical pothole over many years. Pretty impressive formations with water still cascading through the potholed gorge. Walking around the potholes kept making me think of the arcade game ‘Frogger’, where you hop from place to place – as there are no smooth paths to help you navigate the place.

Talking about potholes, the road from Lydenburg to Belfast was atrocious, i was greatly releived when i found the pristine tarmac of the N4 toll route to Pretoria.

Heading to Middelburg in the early afternoon, i was going to be at the hostel just after 5pm, which is right on the cusp of comfort. Trying not to travel at night, if there was a problem, this would not leave me a lot of time before dusk arrived at 5:30. Arriving at the address i had for Pukka Backpackers in Middelburg, my heart sank as the owner of the house told me that there has not been a backpackers at this location. Turning around, i parked on the street and started to see if i could find alternate cheep accommodation – most places were ZAR500, and my target is under ZAR200. After a while, Johan from the house i was parked outside of came over and offered to help, saying that he had a BMW. Being a little cheeky, i asked if he would mind if i could put my tent up in his yard, at which point he welcomed me in.

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  • Dinner with Johan, Alien, and Jolene in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa
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Posted: 6 May 2014

Author: Steve Armitage

Category: Africa

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