I have been resting up at my sister for a few days now, my ankle feels so much better and although I have a terrible sinus situation, it is time to get going again, I need to get back up the pass and off to Sabie and Hazeyview. I have a safari to get too, and a lot of ground to cover by the 16th of June. Lydenburg was fun and relaxing. I got to walk around a bit and see some great sights and amazing coffee shops and interesting old buildings. I even got a possible whale watching trip planned. If that is not Networking then I do not know what is, because I am about three weeks travel away from the ocean…
Friday morning, last goodbyes and hugs and I start up the pass, the uphill starts at the gate, so I cannot even ease into it. About 4km (yes only 4km) out of town, I get stopped by a fellow in a bakkie that used to ride a bike and he asks me if I need a lift up the pass. I considered it and took him up on the offer. We had a nice drive up, chatted about touring and carpentry. The fellow has done some bike touring, and I love hearing from fellow cyclists and their adventures. So now I am 10km outside of Sabie and I did not have to work at all to get up the Mountain pass.
I felt terribly cheated! I just sat on a bench staring at the pass as it wound out back toward Lydenburg. I considered going back halfway and then cycling back to Sabie. I missed the satisfaction of fighting to get up the hills and the relief when gravity takes control and you can just let the road take you down. I missed the breathtaking views and a few places I would have like to stop for a visit… The next mountain pass I find, I will have to redeem myself. I will come back one day, to take on the Longtom pass. I have to complete it. It is like the Moby Dick of my Mpumalanga leg of my trip. I will conquer it!
With this stomach twisting disappointment, I head into Sabie and arrive at my hosts for the night. I met some folks along the road that offered me a place to stay in Sabie, so I took them up on it and in doing so found myself chilling on a deck overlooking town with the sun setting over the Lowveld.
In the morning when I was supposed to be leaving I was invited for a road trip to Hoedspruit. I got to drive the routes and see the area that I was heading into. I saw the World’s largest pot plant, the biggest hat I have ever seen and got to meet some more great people that could help me with a place to sleep near Hoedspruit. On the third morning in Sabie, I was told to spend another night because we need to redesign my carrier on the handles. People are truly amazing. I have been blown away by the generosity of people and the ability to allow a smelly stranger into their homes and share meals and stories. A truly life changing experience to travel.
After all, we do not travel to escape life, we travel so as not to let life escape us.
Day four we head to Sudwala caves and do a detour home to Sabie via Kiepersol. What an amazing view. Endless hills of banana trees and citrus farms. The road winds through the hills and everywhere around as far as you can see is lush green perfection. I decided to head into town for a walk around and take some photos of the place. Sabie is, after all, a town of the year winner. I spent a couple of hours wandering the streets of town, and was not the only one. There is a bike rally in town. Every bar, coffee shop and tourist spot is overflowing with bikes, leather jackets and moustache’s. It is such an amazing vibe with so many people, but I could not really appreciate the sights or get any good pictures without there being a bike in the picture. And also, being a skinny ginger boy, I did not tempt fate by getting to close or encroaching on any territories. So I retreated to safer ground and headed back to the house.
I had an amazing time in Sabie and it turned into a longer stay than planned, and now I head to Hazeyview for a safari and then back to Graskop. See you there.