Thursday, 25 January 2018

Gate 1, South Africa - Day 8, travel to Jo-burg

Today was a travel day, from Kruger to Johannesburg. A long day in the bus but there was enough room to stretch out and some fabulous scenery and stops.
The stop at "Gods Window" was a chance to hit the washrooms and stretch our legs
unfortunately  the walk up to the lookouts
didn't reveal the views across the Lowveld, at the start of the 16 mile long Blyde River Canyon, as the morning mist had not yet burned off.
From the bus we caught glimpses of the canyon as well as huge forests of Pine and Eucalyptus trees, sugar cane, pineapple and macadamia nuts.
Our next stop was Bourke's Luck Potholes. It doesn't look like much, walking down from the parking lot and, in Canada anyway, potholes have a bad name.
But it was lovely.
Two rivers
meeting and swirling
created these natural
It was the first time that it had felt really hot, with the sun beating off the rocks
But the presence of the water cooled us. Tessa posing for a picture.
Noah in the hat Kristen hated and his Gate 1 lanyard that we all hated.
Christine taking a picture of me, taking a picture of her.
We could have stayed here longer than the allotted time but had to get some major mileage done today, so, back on the bus.

The next stop was a lookout with amazing views. This panorama shot doesn't work well on the blog but it was a view meant for panorama pictures.

It was another stop
were I would have liked
more time.
After every stop Renier would walk down the bus giving each of us a squirt of antibacterial soap. Part of his effort to keep us all healthy. I asked him to pose with the bottles like a gunslinger, that's not his usual expression.
The rest of the drive was through an increasingly industrial landscape; factories, coal fired power plants and the squatters, informal settlements. There was less and less of the subsistence farming; small plots with small round houses (some of them mud and thatch), chickens and corn. We drove into an area of Johannesburg called Melrose Arch which is a gated area full of hotels, restaurants, bars and retail. This was where our hotel was. Renier said it was a safe area and that most of Jo-burg was not. High unemployment and high crime rates.

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