Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Father and Son Road Trip

One of the best things I can recommend is a Father and Son Road Trip, and we decided for the road trip is to head out to the Mpumalanga Escarpment aka the Slowveldt on my trusty Vespa.

It was a slow start as halfway to pick up Matthew, I realised that I left his helmet behind which delayed us by one and a half hours. But the weather was good with clear skies as we headed east towards the country on a open road.

To miss the Tollgate which costs the same as a tank of fuel, we turned off at Witbank and went on the back route through to Middleburg where we stopped for lunch. On the route between Middleburg and the Carolina turnoff the tar road turned into gravel with bits of tar giving us a hint what it used to be.

Going was slow and the blue skies started to form fluffy popcorn clouds which raised a bit of concern as I didn't want to be caught out in the open country in a raging thunderstorm. One consolation was that we came across a huge signboard warning of endangered Grass Owls in the road. What? After our trip we researched this never heard of Grass Owl which turned out to look similar to the Barn Owl to our untrained eyes. More research revealed that the farmers grain trucks drop corn along the bad roads which attract the rodents which in turn attract the owls who wait for the rodents to come out into the open road for an easy dinner, hence the warning sign.

After that bumpy section, we were happy to reach the freeway again even though it was for the short stretch to the Belfast turnoff. With the blue skies behind us, it started to get cloudy as we headed through Dullstroom to Lydenburg and by the time we reached Lydenburg there was a large ominous looking black cloud building up over Long Tom Pass. What to do, stay over in Lydenburg or take a chance? I have been on this pass in thick mist, thunderstorms, hailstorms and in snowstorms, this pass knows how give the worst to weary travelers.

Matthew and I, decided to take the change on the going over the pass and we were glad that we did as the trip over the pass was awesome. The weather always threatened but allowed us over safely with spectacular views and cloud formations along with misty areas just to give us the hint of what this pass can dish out.

Arriving at Sabie we were greeted with a carpet of leaves, broken branches, and a devastated landscape. We found out that the day before at about 3pm, a massive storm came over the pass with hailstones between the size of golf balls and tennis balls. And I was very thankful to God, that we didn't ride out the day before which was an option open to us.

Now with sore bums at the end of Day One of this Father and Son Road Trip, we sit with feet up in this beautiful place called the slowveldt.

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