Friday 25th September
Today we booked ourselves in to do whitewater rafting, costing R280 for 3hours and lunch. We all had a good time although the rapids weren’t very good. Along the river there were many signs about hippos and crocodiles in the area but fortunately we didn’t see any. Once we finished here we drove to Hazeyview where there had been rioting only days before – there wasn’t much here apart from a few cafes so we drove over to Graskop instead, which is internationally renowned for their pancakes. I didn’t try any as they were too expensive.
Saturday 26th September
Late in the morning we drove to our next stop at Blyde River Canyon backpackers which we stayed at for 2nights. Because it was such a hot day we did not do much apart from going to the local shop to buy some meat and get some lunch at the take away, which we waited for 45mins for!! When we arrived back at the hostel we chilled out by the horrible green pool and read my book.
Early in the evening we had to make a braai from scratch as we had no fire starter which was good fun to do! We met some other backpackers who joined in; they were from Norway, Oman and America.
The hostel is split up into sections, we stayed in the 3 bedded shelters which was surrounded by the outback or you could stay in the main building.
Sunday 27th September
We had a very lazy morning today and left about 10ish to go to Blyde River dam which was very impressive and in a very beautiful area surrounded by mountains and dense forests. I have taken some pictures and will put them up on facebook. After going to the dam and the museum we drove over to the animal rehabilitation centre which was very good and interesting. At the start of the tour the guide gave a speech about how all the natural habitat is disappearing and that Kruger National Park is far too small for what the animals need to migrate. The guide went onto to talk about how man has polluted rivers, hunted animals to the brink of extinction, and destroyed their habitat. This did put me off going into Kruger as well as seeing the animals I wanted to see at the re-hab centre and not being able to afford entrance fees.
Monday 28th September
Late morning we headed over to the reptile park which was very good! We saw lots of snakes, crocodiles, turtles etc, and had a lot of talks about different types of snake and what to do if you’re bitten etc.
After this, me and Colin were in desperate need of an ATM and the closest one was 15Km away, and that been stolen – literally, the robbers blew it out with dynamite! So still very low on cash.
In the afternoon we went to ‘Forever Resorts’ to camp there for the night. We stood out big time! I probably being the poorest person their, all the other campers were rich Afrikaners with their big tents, and generators, while we had a 3man tent between 5of us! In the evening we went for a buffet which fortunately takes card. At the resort they had many activities to do such as 3swimming pools, one being heated, mini-golf, trampolines, paint balling, and family activities in the evening.
I decided to sleep outside as there wasn’t much room and it was pleasant weather. Slowly the weather worsened, was becoming cloudy, and very windy. The wind was making beautiful sounds down the valley brushing past the trees. Eventually it got to windy so I slept in the car which wasn’t very comfy!
Tuesday 29th September
We woke at 4pm as the others wanted to go to Kruger National Park early and to book accommodation for 3nights. They dropped me off at the backpackers where I slept in the kitchen till I cook check in. I got my room in the chalets and went straight to sleep! It was a lazy day, most of the time I was sleeping and read my book. I took a walk over to my local shop and café which is about 6km south. I brought some beans, bread and canned meatballs which tasted foul. After getting back I went to sleep again, read my book, had dinner of bread and beans, and didn’t wake up till the morning.