Dullstroom is a delightful little town I hadn’t visited for way too long. That made it the preferred lunch stop.
We stopped at Pickles & Things where we had to try the trout. It’s what the town is famous for. Then we dropped in at Tram’s Antiques where they had a player piano for not a whole lot of money. Coupled with the auspiciousness of the date I only barely managed to avoid temptation.
So we proceeded on to Sabie where we found the Sabie Brewing Company, where I ended up buying 12 bottles (lager and IPA) after tasting all six their beers. I was impressed by the lager.
Went shopping and booked into the Hazy Park Lodge which is somewhat eclectic but very good value for money at R450 for the two of us, and also about half an hour from the closest Kruger Park gate (Phabeni).
Big bedroom, big living area, lots of kitchen space, available per night or for longer periods (like a month, for example). This would really be a good place to stay if you want to drive in to Kruger every day.
So we were on the road, Vereeniging to Hazyview. First stop, Trichard, to pick up some Philips SXA radios. Trichard is where potholes are made. They make them in big factories and load them on the back of a truck. As the truck shakes and bounces, some of the potholes fall off the back. Around Trichard there are many potholes, and then as you get further away from town you see fewer of them.
That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
From there the GPS put us on a road that’s perfectly good until it gets to some kind of a SASOL installation, after which it turns to crap quite spectacularly.
This is the last pic Google Steetview has. After this point, it gets … interesting.
Should have taken the R547 instead.
In Witbank we met up with OM Johan who has (had) what we believe to be the only existing copy of the documentation for the locally made Fuchs R10 Type Receiving System* — of which I have only the FAP-901 antenna tuner. He got the signal generators, I got the documentation, to be scanned. From there I took the N4 toll road to to Middelburg and found that the place I was looking for was half way back to Witbank on the R555 — should have skipped the toll road completely.
And that took care of the deliveries and collections and the holiday could begin.
* It’s a copy of, or based on, or similar to (I’m not sure which) the THOMSON CSF TRC-180x
We left De Rust fairly late because Meiringspoort is much less spectacular at night. The bridges in Meiringspoort are often washed away by floods, and the subsequent upgrades have been a constant improvement, making for a really nice road to drive.
Other side of Meiringspoort, the N12 runs past Caroluspoort and straight on to the N1 just before Beaufort West. And from there it’s the long slog north.
Not being as young as I used to be, I wanted to pick a halfway (between De Rust and Kruger) spot to overnight, and I settled on the Vaal. Distance-wise it’s more than half-way, but remember that I have deliveries and pick-ups and I wanted to take the scenic route via Long Tom Pass so the Vaal’s a good choice.
The guest house I googled, not so much.
The geyser plumbing is interesting in a Not Right way, which makes the shower very difficult to get right. I left it running after I finished showering so that Tanya wouldn’t have to go through the same process of finding the one spot where the water was neither scalding hot or freezing.
Don’t get me wrong — apart from the shower the place is perfectly adequate — but if you compare this at R550 to Olivier’s Rust in De Rust at R500, it falls flat miserably.
We had supper at Fandangos which is pretty good but rather expensive.
From Vereeniging the R42 goes past this gorgeous place just outside Heidelberg, which I’ve blogged about before. Accommodation is not in the main house but in converted outbuildings, and it’s also rather expensive at R600/night. But I’ve made a note to drive a bit further and consider Heidelberg as an overnight stop next time.
There’s this theory that back when the world still had kings, if the king was mildly displeased with you he’d give you a horse. You would have to take good care of the horse, since the king gave it to you, and that would slowly bankrupt you.
This trip was a lot like that.
Specifically, Tanya’s brother invited us to visit Kruger with him, he’d pay the accommodation. How can we refuse an offer like that? Of course we’d have to pay for fuel and accommodation on the way up and down and food… but it was worth it.
Of course, as always, I had a few deliveries and collections. A rifle safe to Oudtshoorn, a whole stack of signal generators to Witbank, and bring back some old radio documentation and a 2m linear. So on Sunday the 20th of March we took Route 62 to Oudtshoorn, dropped off the safe, and proceeded on to De Rust.
There are not many options for supper, so we went to Harrie se Plek (Harry’s Place) — Herrie being C.J. Langenhoven‘s imaginary elephant. I can recommend the burgers.
And the wine was pretty good too.
We even got atomic cookies.
1939-11-13 to 2016-03-10
I like this photograph I took back in November. Having put us through school as a professional photographer, he was very comfortable behind a camera.
We had some chicken fillets and my dietician told me I should eat lentils so google to the rescue.
Fry two finely chopped onions in a bit of oil, add chicken and fry for a few minutes.
Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, 20 grams ginger (I realised I only had pickled ginger left over from experiments in sushi, that worked fine), 2 teaspoons garam masala, and 1/2 a teaspoon chili powder (I used flakes).
Fry this for a bit then add a tin of tomatoes and some stock, and 100g lentils. Add two bay leaves (I get mine from my brother’s tree in Bellville) and cook for 3/4 of an hour.
I also added a quarter butternut, cubed, 15 minutes before serving. Serve with rice (dietician says I can eat Basmati, I’ve been avoiding rice for a while so this is a bonus).
Some hot chutney and yum.
Playing catch up. The following two funnies from Kevin.