Thursday, November 14, 2013

Seven Hours to Phalaborwa - and that's ONE way....

After leaving Johannesburg behind us our trip took us through boring miles of murky morning sky and landscape and nothing worth taking the camera out of the bag for - until these power stations, together with endless orderly rows of power lines are favorites of mine for taking pictures and trying to get the best out of them!
In this area between Witbank and Middleburg the trucks go non stop back and forth to the coal mines feeding the power stations night and day.  In the midst of it farming goes on, sheep and cows keep eating and eating.....
There was no way we would pass through the quaint little town of Dullstroom without stopping for a fresh cup of coffee!  There is our car parked in-between it's two larger relations.
I just managed to get this shot as we hurtled past on the R540 towards Lydenburg - the road map just said 'British War Graves'.  These are from the Boer War 1899-1902.  We would've like to have stopped but we couldn't stop every-where!!
As we neared Lydenburg we passed fires slowly eating their way up the mountainsides in the late morning heat.  We stopped here to buy our dinner for the evening when we would staying over just outside the Kruger National Park.  In the picture below - clouds wow! we were heading in the same direction so hopefully we would catch up with it.
What a beautiful sight the Olifants River Valley is, lush with endless swathes of green wheat fields twisting and turning as the valley floor winds along.
What a stunning house perched up high, in all likelihood owned by an 'orange baron'! Oranges, avocados, pawpaws and macadamia nuts are grown in this area.
The blue, blue, blue of the Wolkberg so beautiful against the dryness of the terrain.  From here we decended to the valley floor on the other side of the Abel Erasmus pass going through the J G Strijdom Tunnel flanked with these lichten covered orange cliffs.  The further down you went the hotter and thicker the air became.  The downward journey is fairly quick so one needs to equalize ones ears along the way.
The Motse River down the other side.  The mapmakers do not name the rivers very often and so it is fairly difficult to find the correct name after the river splits and goes off in two directions.
No problem with rules of the road here - everyone has right of way!
The mighty Wolkberg in our rearview mirror and now onward to Phalaborwa.
Chrome is mined in the Phalaborwa area and the trucks go non stop 24/7 - strangely enough the roads are not as bad as we would have thought in spite of the constant heavy traffic.  
We were behind this important looking vehicle at a small shopping center outside Phalaborwa - it looks like the Premier of the Limpopo Province's car!
Standing looking into the Kruger National Park from our lodge - cool spacious cement floors and high ceilings with fans or air conditioners awaited us - and an ice-cold glass of wine - bliss!