‘Sharp’ is what most South Africans of any colour reply when asked if it is ok. Sharp wasn’t how I was feeling the last few days. My mind was preoccupied with a few things. Zimba’s mechanical issues made me wonder if I should go on with my adventure through Southern Africa. He is not the youngest anymore and with twice as many visits to the mechanic within 3 weeks, comparing to last years 3 months South African adventure, I am thinking off calling it off. The more important thing on my mind was that my sister-in-law’s funeral is in a few days. Should I have called this journey off before coming here, to stand by my brothers side at the hardest day of his life, giving the last respect to his soulmate. He said not to worry about going to Germany, and I know he meant it. But still. The signs are speaking a different language.
I needed to free my head and drove to Lisbon Falls, just north off Graskop.
A spectacular waterfall plunging down 50 meters from all directions.
Flowing down the flat plains, before cascading down.
Most people stayed at the car park lookout, I ventured down the track. It was another sunny, hot day.
The sun was beyond the gorge, and didn’t shine directly on the larger falls. But it was peaceful and quiet. The deep clear pools looked inviting for a refreshing swim, the waters were freezing cold.
I passed a group off black church goers, having some sort of memorial with African gospel songs.
Nothing else could be heard, apart from the thunderous power off water falling.
I found a shady spot downstream and relaxed for a while. After all, Mercury and Ozon were rising.
I decided to move on to Sabie and see what happens there. I somehow missed the ‘sharp’ turn off road and ended up in the lowfdeldt. I didn’t even register that Sabie wasn’t signposted anymore. Things that me me go ‘ummhh’?
There was a short cut road, right through the Forrest, up the mountain, mainly used by tree loggers, which is big business here in the area. As far as the eye can see, natural native forrest had been destroyed to plant pine trees.
Just like down south on the so called ‘garden route’. It became obvious quickly, this wasn’t a short cut. Washed out tracks from heavy rain left massive potholes and exposed large boulders. Zimba did extremely well, climbing further up the mountain range, eventually arriving in Sabie.
I had a closer look under Zimba’s bonnet the next day. I know as much about cars, as most people know about bread. The upper, smaller V-belt disc wasn’t moving, it got jammed. This is not good, not good at all. My Kruger National Park visit was in serious doubt. Particular on this long weekend, which actually goes over 5 days. Nothing would be open, no hope?
I was lucky again. Very lucky. The local mechanic happened to be not far, and would pick me up from the helpful tourist information centre. Jacques arrived in an ‘84 Landrover, which he renamed Rand Lover. I had a good chuckle as I opened the car door. We drove to Zimba’s carpark, when his eyes glanced and had a wee chuckle. Ach ja, that is no problem, Jacques said as he opened the bonnet. We have that sorted in 5 minutes. It is only the disc (pully) for the air conditioning, you don’t need it to drive. But you will when you go to Mozambique. We started chatting for about half an hour and he then invited me to join him and his family and friends for a drive up to ‘Haartbesvlatke’ the next day. Absolutely. Gotta love these helpful friendly Afrikaaners. Lekker Mann, lekker.
I just can’t believe my luck. On the flip side, can’t believe my family’s bad luck. I arrived at ‘Lone Creek Falls’ early afternoon to a hustling and bustling car and park area. Various African beats came from all directions, the smell of the ‘braai’ followed the tunes.
The sun was too far behind the gorge for clear photos, but shone a golden light over the creek. Everyone missed it, posing in front of the waterfalls. I will have to come back here earlier in the day.
The moss covered plants looked like a fairy tale forrest.
I found a quite peaceful corner in the forrest and lit 5 candles in memory of Maike. About the same time the ceremony in Germany started. It was the perfect setting to pay my last respect from a distant country, but close in mind. Rest In Peace, Maike.