planned the tour to leave on a Sunday to
miss the normal week day traffic. Little did
we know that the annual Big Walk was
scheduled to take place on
Having discovered this after our dates were
set, we planned to leave earlier and avoid
the hot spots.
On the day we actually didn't encounter any
walkers and we arrived at Cape Town
International airport well ahead of the
departure time for our flight to Lanseria
Check in had been done on line the day
before, so all we had to do was hand in our
luggage and have some breakfast.
The flight departed on time and we arrived
at Lanseria in a flash, all ready to tackle
the road to Clarens, a trip of 3-4 hours.
Our luggage was retrieved and we located our
booked vehicle and driver. There was only
one Hylton Ross vehicle outside arrivals,
but it couldn't be ours because it didn't
have a trailer, which we had pre-ordered.
Wrong, it was our vehicle, but HR operations
had forgotten to tell the driver Nelson to
take a trailer before leaving the Pretoria
depot! The vehicle
rear seats were folded away and we managed
to fit in all the luggage and were soon on
our way to Germiston to pick up our final
passenger Nico du Plessis.
With my trusty Samsung Tab Navigator in hand
we headed to Klipportjie, Germiston, only to
be led astray within 2km of our destination.
Undeterred we eventually departed Germiston
at 2pm on the main road to Durban from which
we would branch off to Frankfort and
Tweeling (pot holed), Bethlehem and
ultimately Clarens, arriving at 5.30pm.
Our home for the next 6 nights was the
Clarens Golf and Trout Estate within a
stones throw from the centre of Clarens. We
had hired two houses for our group, with the
driver being accommodated in a B&B in town.
The Estate was quiet, having earlier today
bid farewell to many Harley Davidson Club
members who had spent a few days in Clarens.
Thank goodness we didn't have to put up with
The housing estate covers a wide area of the
golf course and many roads are relatively
steep but not inaccessible to normal
vehicles. The Quantum 11-seater vehicle we
were assigned (without a trailer), battled
to reach the top of a moderate hill and
stalled. It was at this point that we
queried what mileage the vehicle had done.
550,000km was the response! Wow, no wonder
it didn't have power. (It was fine en route
to Clarens). This was addressed with HR and
a newer vehicle (and trailer) was delivered
on Tuesday 12th.
Having settled into our respective
accommodation we enjoyed dinner at VITO’S
found us having breakfast at
followed by a walk around town to become
familiar with the surroundings (and shops).
The Titanic rock outside of Clarens provided
photographers with something to do!
Our group enjoyed breakfast and dinner at a
different restaurant each night.
CLEMENTINES; THE COURTYARD RESTAURANT
(their chef excelled himself with
a starter dish of fresh asparagus coupled
with a deep fried lightly poached egg);
PHATT CHEF; & ROTER
HAHN. Of course for breakfast
CAFE MOULIN on
the road to the Golden Gate was announced
VALLEY CATS &
278 RESTAURANT were also
interesting experiences for breakfast. .Our
day at the Ben Nevis Cherry Farm proved to
be a different day and our lunch at the
restaurant, despite their wedding
preparations, proved to be delicious!
Meals aside, we
spent a fabulous 2 hours at the Cultural
Village within the Golden Gate National Park
- a very enlightening time indeed!
Golden Gate mountains are certainly a sight
A quick visit
to Fouriesburg allowed us to see the Queen
Victoria rock formation.
gathering on the part of the ladies on tour,
everyone was 'amazed' that their luggage was
not overweight - can't say the same for the
bodies. Everyone complained they had
eaten far too much - "Not what we ever eat @
home" - but the meals every night on tour
are a time to come together and relax and
chat about the day! An important part
on any tour.