Monday, September 28, 2009

Kwazulu to Swaziland

Today's Route: 205 miles

Today was a longish drive from Kwazulu-Natal to Swaziland - 205 miles.  After glorious weather yesterday, today dawnd grey, cold and with a promise of rain. Being Yom Kippur, we skipped breakkfast and set off early - only to stop within a mile to put the roof up as the cold wind was a little to penetrating.

The border to Swaziland was just 30 miles - and shortly before getting there we came upon three giraffe at the side of the road. I wanted a photo of them crossing in front of the Ghost, but apparently they did not think it as good an idea.

The border was interesting - go inside, present all your paperwork, get lots of stamps, the drive 50 feet into Swaziland and do it all again.

Swaziland is a beautiful country - all mountains, with every hillside scattered with villages of thatched rondavels, kraals with goats and cattle, and occasional stores. People seem to be everywhere, very friendly and very interested in the car.

By now it was raining lightly, so we put on the side curtains - became quite warm and toasty inside. Linda preferred that!

The road to the lunch stop was not good. Full of potholes, it was a switchback mountainous road that climbed to 5000 feet. As we had now ascended into the cloud and mist, visibility was very poor. We had intended to bypass the lunch stop, and we soon realised it was an out and back route - we would have to retrace the same road. So, we turned around. On the descent (in 1st gear all the way to hold the car back), we came upon a terrible accident on that road - the police were just clearing it.

Driving to the hotel, many Ghost passed us on their way to lunch in the direction we had just come from. Needless to say, that created confusion as they all thought they were going the wrong way!

Once at the magnificent Royal Villas we were shown to our villa - and entire house with indoor parking just for us. As they are used by the King of Swaziland, and owned by him, they are spectacular. That did not, however, stop me from servicing the car in the garage and leaving the telltale marking. I will clean it before we leave. In servicing, I found we had suffered the common magneto failure (points destroyed) - managed to call Bill V before he left nad he will bring some - in the meantime I have disconnected the magneto and will run on one ignition.

Another wonderful dinner - good food made better by great company - the Boyntons and Kennedys. Tomorrow is an explore day - likely go to the craft market. No long drive.


  1. I love this Blog. What an amazing trip. Yom Kippur and breaking the fast will never be the same. Is the Middelberg you are visiting in the Transvaal or the Cape?. My Dad was born in Middelberg Transvaal. I loved seeing both of you in Durban and wish you exciting and safe travels! I leave Wednesday on a more conventional trip via KLM. Love Sandy.

  2. linda and danni-
    sounds like you are having a fabulous time-as you well deserve! natural for it to be gloomy on yom kippur, right? glad to hear that things are going well and can't wait to hear everything you have seen and done. have spoken to mimi several times and things seem to be alright here. take care. drive safely and look forward to seeing you soon, linda.