There's a small tree between my site and the showers that is shedding copious quantities of fruit, which the monkeys really enjoy. This is the Kei apple Dovyalis caffra though the latter has probably been changed to appease certain elements. The fruit is actually tasty in a sort of vegetable way but can be very tart. I seem to remember Jo making jam from some which was excellent.
While headed along a back road to Chrissiesmeer, came across a patch of these yellow watsonias, Watsonia watsonoides if you can believe it.
Lake Chrissie itself which was named after a daughter of an old president, was a bit disappointing even though it has a reputation as a bird hotspot, they were not in evidence the day I was there..
On one of my morning ambles I noticed a canal from which water was being extracted as they have an on site purification plant, but the bulk of the water by-passed the extraction point. Being a nosy engineer I followed the canal to where it disappeared into a steel header pipe a metre in diameter and dropped over a cliff. A staircase led to the turbine house where presumably they generate most of the resorts requirements, cunning devils.
A long range forecast showed a three day window of sun sine in an otherwise very wet Sabie so I shot back to Boksburg jumped on the bike and zoomed back to Badplaas. Unsurprisingly the forecast was wrong and the planned visit had to be postponed by a day.
On my first visit to Sabie, I thought it might be a good idea to come back on a motorcycle and nearly 40 years and a dozen bikes later I finally made it. Three glorious days were spent riding 11 different passes a total of 18 times, some twice and one three times. The first between Badplaas and Barberton provided a brief taste of what was to come. From the latter I decided to do the Pigg's Peak road along the Geo-trail which I've mentioned before. The picture below shows a small part of the road and I arrived back at the bottom with a grin which was difficult to wipe off.
I'd booked into Sabie Star Chalets about 3 k's from the village, very comfortable and reasonable,........
.................with a river running through it. After lunch it was off to Long Tom Pass.............
............where I did the grand old Duke of York thing, but rode instead of marched.
Next day it was up into the clouds and over the top then down to Pilgrim's Rest, then over Robber's Pass to Ohrigstad......................
............with some fairly impressive scenery on the way.
Blydepoort was next on the agenda then a lovely swoopy bit to Graskop. A nasty patch of potholes tried to spoil the party but fortunately I remembered them from previous visits. Kowyns Pass down towards Hazyview was pretty abominable and potholes were the order of the day for about 15 k's on the road back to Sabie but then 30 k's of a road made for bikers - orgasmic.
Back at the ranch I made the mistake of feeding this monster a few tit-bits and Misty the Dane became my new best friend.
Unused to riding 350 k's in one hit, I chilled in the afternoon but simply had to do the Sabie to Hazyview bit again the next day, before setting off back to Badplaas via Mbombela. Between there and Barberton the road drops down to the lowveld via a particularly serpentine stretch, which I would have enjoyed a lot more without the unbelievable traffic. Being unexpectedly presented with the rear of a truck in the middle of a 120 kph sweep can make the sphincter a tad over-wrought.
A couple of nights in Badplaas, then back to Boksburg and the fun began. First the rain, though Pete had lent me an enormous wet suit which was very effective but 50 k's out The Beauty,what do expect with a Beast in the stable, decided to croak. Unfortunately the computers, fuel injection and other gizmos have rather left me in the dark as to how it all works, which necessitated a call to the cavalry in the form of Pete and the bakkie. We towed it back and after I'd cleaned it up the next day, it started with nary a problem.............women! Back in Badplaas I went to switch on the TV and realized I'd left the decoder in Boksburg - which meant another 600 k round trip.
I'd also picked up some neighbours, 300 sites and they have to park right next to me and sit on their stoep, no more than three metres from my chair and glare at me malevolently. Figured I must be on THEIR site, so I moved................
.................to a much more private site where I have two sides open and the most stupendous view. Just up the road is Vygeboom Dam which supplies water to Carolina and Machadadorp. The outlook is so enchanting that..............
.........a whole community has populated one shore with two angling clubs, a yacht club and a large estate. Pity about the totally diabolical 3 k dirt track to get there - it certainly wouldn't be very kind on a Mercedes.
.............and Blesbok with their continuously nodding heads.
An abortive visit to Songimvelo Nature Reserve left me at a loose end in a very beautiful spot. Not sure what they're hiding in there but I certainly wasn't about to pay R150 to see. So I set about atlassing some of the surrounds which weren't wildly productive but did come up with
a few surprises...
Some way from the road I noticed what looked like a large cauliflower but zooming in showed it to be a massive Yellow crassula, Crassula vaginata, and no I have no idea why!
The weekenders really outdid themselves and my little corner that had previously only ever had a couple of tents was crammed with seven other vans of which three were Exclusives like mine. Then a sight never before witnessed a towing rig that dwarfed an Exclusive, a full house Unimog, double cab with 32 in wheels, one-upmanship at it's finest. Unfortunately I was a bit slow on the uptake and only managed to get a pic as it was leaving.
My time at Badplaas is drawing to a close and a bird which will be a lifer is calling from Mkuse so will probably be heading that way soon.