The birthday boy drove all the way to our next stop…and I enjoyed every minute of it. It took us a while to get out of Swaziland because we had decided to go north instead of west as it saved us from doubling back once we got back in South Africa. But this is a very mountainous area, so the road goes up and down and round and round…but it is breathtakingly beautiful.
We tried to make contact with the Bishop in the Diocese of Mpumalanga as we drove up, but failed. He was not where we thought he would be! We made a few wrong turns because our map still has a few old names on it and the signs have changed to the new names. I had visited this area 40 years ago and a lot of things have changed…more than just the names. Travelling can be tiring and we still have a lot of miles to cover before we get to our next meeting place…but we are making the most of the road in between. This is lovely country and needs to be explored in a more leisurely manner.
We drove up Long Tom Pass, named after some canons used in the Anglo-Boer War…2154 metres above sea level…yikes!
This is Jock of the Bushveld country…as children, we cut our literary teeth on the adventure stories of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his dog, Jock, and his right-hand man Jim Makhokhele. In the late 1800’s someone discovered alluvial gold in the streams here that attracted fortune seekers from far and wide. Looking at the mountains and ravines today, one wonders how anyone got over and through them on ox wagons…bearing in mind that there were no roads back then and the forests thick and lush.
Louise took me out for a birthday dinner at The Glass House…scrumptious dining. Spoiled rotten…I know…and enjoying every moment of it!