Saturday, November 27, 2010

Manouta to Louis Trichardt

Kuname River Lodge

I stay at the most stunning Safari lodge you could imagine , Kuname River Lodge , my hosts Barry , Min , Ralie , Mike and Peter were really great . I was luxury at its best . Look at the pics below and you will understand how special it was

Tzaneen to Soekmekaar

Set off from Jan and Leoni's house early early and was pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the Limpopo province with the waterfalls, fruit and tree plantations and stunning scenery. Leonie gave me some sandwiches for the road and an I had a chuckle when I eventually opened them and found two little notes saying “minced rump and cheese - safe miles “and” black current and cheese - happy miles”

When I reach mojaji's kloof town I was stopped by a lady who gave me a gentle squeeze on the arm and thanked me for what I was doing, I was really touched by her gesture. I met numerous people on the road and after about 40 km I was flying along thinking how easy the day was going. I had to climb 400 m from Tzaneen to Soekmekaar and it had been really easy so far and I only had about 20 km to go.

I reached the 12km sign and rounded a bend and then realized when the 400 m climb had been hiding. Well needless to say the last 12km to well over 2 hours to complete and I ended in Soekmekaar after 64km and was shattered.

I went to the impala cafe to try and track down Ria Erasmus; they gave directions to her house as well as supplying me with some milk and a plate of hot chips full of salt and vinegar.

Ria and Andre were fantastic and fed me and told me about the road ahead and there life in the region of Soekemekaar and Bandelier kop where I would be heading tomorrow...

Soekemekaar to bandelierskop ( Lalapanzi)

I left at 6 and took it easy as things were still a bit stiff from yesterday. I had only gone about 8 km when a mustard ford pulled up and the lady greeted me by name. her name was Kobie , we chatted for a while and I ask where she was headed to , She told me she was headed nowhere and had come to find me to see if I need anything as she had heard I was on my way to bandelierskop and that’s where she lived .

I told her I was ok for now and would probably see her later. She came back once more and then met me for a last time at the bandelierskop centre where she introduced me to Martin the manger of the centre. I suggested she stay for coffee but she left me with Martin.

Shortly after that radio jacaranda called and asked that I give the listeners an update of my journey. During the update I was cut off when the signal dropped, as I looked up a young lady came skidding to a halt to tell me that I had been disconnected :-)

That night I spend the evening in the Lala panzi hotel and Marius the owner told me stories of the notorious " breaker Morant " who was and Australian who had been assigned to help the British fight against the Boers . He was a really bad man and killed anyone who got in his way. look it up it’s really fascinating.

I was my steves birthday today and the 3rd anniversary of me stopping smoking, hard to believe that I have been running for less than 3 years.

Lala Panzi to Louis Trichardt

Had a great run in to Louis Trichardt. downhill all the way. I stopped at the farm J3 where a chap called Frans' works and had coffee with him and his grandchildren. he had called me the day before and invited me and as today was a short day I decided to take him up on his offer. I enjoyed my brief stay and the company was good.

When I arrived in Louis Trichardt, I was met by Dirk and Jan from the Zoutpansberg 66 roundtable. they had organized a group of guys to escort me into town, which they did and blocked the intersections as I arrived at each one so that I did not have to stop running.

With that done we headed to the round table club house for some early morning beers :-)

Later I went to Camp Africa in the mountains where I was to stay. and have my rest day.

I headed off early the following morning and made my way to bokmakirie . On route i was met by Steve , My brother , This was a really welcome site and was a highlight for me . We shared some stories , had a few cold cokes and he stocked me up with all kinds of goodies for my upcoming border crossing . I can't say more than this as it was a moment you had to be there to appreciate . We parted with a laugh and a promise to catch up again on Kili.

I had met a girl , Karlien ,, at a party in Louis Trichardt who had made contact with her dad in Bokmakirie and organized a place for me to stay . She told me to look out for Grizzly Adams and that would be her dad .

i found Charles and spent a good eveniing with him , his wife Helene and there son .

it was really relaxing.

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