Day One - The Tour Begins


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Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop
July 28th 2012
Published: June 28th 2017
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The First MorningThe First MorningThe First Morning

Sun rises at the Rivonia Lodge in Joburg
Geo: -24.9337, 30.8405

So here we are in South Africa! The currency is the Rand and 1 AUD = approx 7.5 Rand. The weather is cool nights (down to around 2C) and moderate days 15-25C with minimal to no rain. We emerged in the lobby @ 6am for breakfast. Our tour was scheduled to
leave at 6.30. Our group consisted of 12 members, and was generally an
older age. Aside from Nat and I, theres a Belgian couple around our age (Bert & Nela),
an American couple (50s; John & Paulie), two Australian sisters (70s; Margaret & Lesley) and four non-English-speaking-Russians 50-80 (didn't even learn all their names; Olga and Zoya were two of them).

We have two tour guides for our tour, Jonathan and Shanli. Our transport is an all-terrain style twelve seater truck with full length windows and roof windows as well.

For our first day, today was not exactly a thrill-fest.. the majority of our time was spent driving, some 5-6 hours from Johannesburg, finishing up in a place called Graskop, near Pilgrims Rest. Aside from a few petrol and shopping stops, the first significant stop of the day was lunch at Pilgrims Rest. This town was founded in the late
Sunway TruckSunway TruckSunway Truck

Me in front of the truck that would take us from Joburg to Cape Town
1800's amidst the discovery of gold in the area. We enjoyed a walk through this historic town before a picnic lunch in the afternoon.

Another memorable stop was at Mac Mac falls, an impressive 60metre waterfall dropping into a gorge. It wasn't far from here to Blyde River Canyon, the worlds largest Green Canyon. We stopped at Gods Window lookout, and also hiked on a rainforest track to some other viewing points, enjoying some spectacular views.

Our accomodation for the night was in Graskop, on the embankment of a cliff face. Here, was home to a crazy attraction called 'The Big Swing'. Their motto here was 'Conquer your Fears' or otherwise translated into 'Risk Dying.' Nat and I enjoyed watching some stranger participate. It was risky enough getting to the attraction, which basically consisted of jumping off a cliff with a bungee cord attached. The danger of the attraction was marked by a nearby shrine and chapel. I joked with Nat that the monuments might mark people who have died on the swing. This joke became less funny when we were soon advised it was likely fact...

We enjoyed a BBQ dinner, watched some Olympics and went to sleep around 9.30 for another
Misty MorningMisty MorningMisty Morning

Temperatures got pretty cold near Joburg, from a couple degrees over zero over night, to comfortable 20-25C days.
early start and trip to Kruger!!




Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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Craft MarketCraft Market
Craft Market

The first of many..
Creepy Zulu DancerCreepy Zulu Dancer
Creepy Zulu Dancer

Yep, there's a person in there, stamping their gumboots..
Mac Mac FallsMac Mac Falls
Mac Mac Falls

Pretty Impressive Waterfall near Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River CanyonBlyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon

The worlds largest Green Canyon.
Me @ Blyde River CanyonMe @ Blyde River Canyon
Me @ Blyde River Canyon

Gods Window Lookout
Accomodation in GraskopAccomodation in Graskop
Accomodation in Graskop

Last use of a TV for a fair while..
Big SwingBig Swing
Big Swing

No Refund of life permitted
Random Crazy PersonRandom Crazy Person
Random Crazy Person

Doing the big swing
These people, weren't so luckyThese people, weren't so lucky
These people, weren't so lucky

100metres from the big swing... people who have died here.....??


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