Sunday, January 20, 2013

My personal peace of paradise (part one)

My personal peace of paradise is the mountains of Mpumalanga.  Now how does one condense hundreds of photo's and plenty of trips to my absolute favorite destination and adequately "paint a picture!"  I have to start somewhere...
Let me begin with a video I took with my Samsung Galaxy s2 mobile phone whilst going down the famous Robbers Pass.  Seeing as we don't own a helmet video camera, the mobile phone had to do!  It sure was tricky holding onto it tightly!

The feelings of exhilaration, excitement and freedom wasn't my initial experience on our first trip.  I have always had a fear of heights and on our way there along the Robbers Pass it started to rain whilst we were climbing.  I clung on for dear life, and have to admit even ended up literally crying in my helmet paralyzed with fear! And if that wasn't enough, coming back home was another test of my bravery, it was the first time we had ridden in thick heavy mist.  We never had any raincoats, so the lady at the resort we were staying in at the time, gave us some plastic black garbage bags which we cut a hole out of to put over our heads.

The one thing I learnt after that is the weather in the mountains is unpredictable!
Most of our stays were in the little town of Graskop, we made this our base station to explore the area around.  Graskop is situated in the panoramic route of Mpumalanga province.
We have stayed at the Panorama chalets, in a basic chalet with a breath taking view overlooking the Graskop gorge and beyond!

The other place we have stayed at is called Franka lodge, which doesn't have a view but is a very comfortable chalet. 

The panoramic route comprises many natural spectacular sites namely the;

...and I have left my most favorite spot for last, the Three Rondavels.  It is here that I am left speechless at the beauty and am profoundly touched by what I see! To do justice, I created a "movie" in Picasa to hopefully portray what it means to me: 

Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.
Elizabeth Aston

That wasn't the end of our exploration to the area, but I am going to leave that to another story...


  1. Wow, such absolutely stunning scenery. I can see why you would want to ride though there all the time.

    I am not a big fan of heights but I can handle the twisty roads, but I enjoy them much better when they have a guard rail and not just a 1000 ft drop to the death. At least when riding pillion we can squeeze our eyes shut in the bad parts.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. I can only stand from a distance at all the lookout points with guard rails. I observe from beyond not down below LOL!
    Thankfully my hubby doesn't have a fear of heights so he took the videos of the Three Rondavels so I could look afterwards at the sheer drop. ;-)

  3. Loved the video adventure ... you have such spectacular scenery and so many places to explore (though it freaked me out a bit to be riding on the wrong (ha ha) side of the road. Don't know why, I just wasn't expecting it!)
    The thing I remember that I loved about riding pillion was the ability to admire the scenery and take so many pictures (the thing I didn't like was finding myself almost lulled to sleep at times - for fear I'd fall off). I took thousands of pictures on that trip to make sure I stayed awake.
    Nice digital scrapbooking too.

  4. Thanks so much V Star for all the compliments :-) I think I would freak out if we were to ride on the RHS of the road too! LOL! Yes the best part of being pillion is not to have to worry to concentrate on the road or traffic but to be able to look around and see and soak in so much. Luckily I haven't yet fallen asleep, can you imagine LOL!

  5. I love all of your pictures, especially all the green valleys...thanks for the trip...looking forward to some more!

  6. Thanks so much Suzi, just need to make the time now to do the follow up to this one!

  7. Stunning! You live in a breathtaking country. What I love bout your blog is that your joy shows through.

  8. Thank you Dar, yes despite all the political and economic problems, we have a beautiful country! Riding on the bike experiencing the scenery as if in a movie, is what makes me happy! I'm glad that it shows in my blog :-)