13 Sep 2007
Blyde River - Swadini
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During our holiday in August...in South Africa......we were very lucky to find accommodation at a place next to the Swadini Forever Resort (previously Aventura). I grew up in the Eastern Transvaal....now Mpumalanga...which means..."place of the rising sun" (which is the East...of course)...We drove through Lydenburg, spent time on the farm where I grew up...Krugerspost, between Lydenburg and Pilgrims Rest, the historical town, and then ventured off to the Echo Caves, but first stopped at Ohrigstad to fill-up the car. We first thought to stay at the Echo Caves Motel, but changed our minds and headed for Blyde......thought that we will just pop-in and have a place to stay! But, we....didn't know about the long weekend...Thursday was Women's day...and the Friday was a public holiday...! Anyway.....got at Blyde River Forever Resort..."sorry...we are fully booked!" Oh my....ok, it is 7pm, (not late, hey!) .....there are loads of B&B places which we saw on different roads, very close, so...let's go!
Just as we took a turn-off, stopped to look at an entrance of a B&B...Andre stopped next to us...he was our angel!..."Hello...are you lost?"...he asked very friendly and with him was his partner...."No..., but we're looking for a place to stay", we replied..."Come with us...you can stay in Marius's lodge!"...We didn't wait for a second invitation...tired of being all day on the road basically from Groblersdal...we followed him...for only just about 80 m! What we got, was a fantastic lodge, place for about 10 people to stay...we could pick and choose where to sleep, like Goldilocks!! haha..I tried different beds...playing Goldilocks...! It was fun...2 bathrooms, showers ...huge kitchen...(if you keep coming back to my blog later, you will see all of this)...fantastic...and ...."because you don't have any cleaning services for the weekend, you can pay R30 per person less...," he continued through all the non-stop talking! I wanted to say: "Shut up! you're talking too much," because Andre was talking non-stop about all the places we can visit and the more he talked, the more excited he got!! He also told us about Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre, but our time was limited and you have to book to go there. Our boat trip was already booked for the same time we could go to Moholoholo, so sadly, we couldn't go there, as we were heading for Pilgrims Rest and Sabie the following day...If my memory hasn't gone lost..."moholoholo" means something like..."falling rock"...(rolling rock...can't remember...)
It was really fantastic...loads to do and see....even a waterfall about 30 min's walk from the road....stunning! .....these pictures here...let me explain...this place is the "other side" (the back) of the famous "Three Rondavels"...or like most people in SA...know.....Bourke's Luck...this is Blyde River-country! The Blyde River is in the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest in the world....and the greenest canyon in the world.....click on the key words at the end of the post..."Blyde River Canyon" or the others...and you will find more on my blog about this Canyon. You can even do a search in the box top corner, left. I also have a link on the site saying..."the greenest..." follow that link to read more...
Ok, the boat...on the photos you can see the dam, or part of it! We went for a trip on the dam...first we thought it's going to be just us! Then more and more people arrived...it was really interesting...a guide gave us lots of interesting information, there is a waterfall, a Tufa, (read on the link more about a Tufa waterfall)....and it is about 43m...the third longest Tufa waterfall in the world...for South Africans knowing about the waterfall at the Strydom Tunnel:....that is also a Tufa!! I didn't know it...never too late to learn something, hey! We spent an hour on the boat for R70 and I really think it was worth going...the guide also took us to the Hippo's! He showed us some crocks....and a bonsai tree on a rock...I've got a picture of it...will post it shortly...You can also see the wall of the dam. The guide also said that he was going to appear on the nature program, 50/50 at one point to tell people about the Tufa waterfall.