March 11, 2010


Left Johannesburg at last! The first part of the trip is through the coal mining area’s of Witbank and Middelburg. Nothing too exiting. The actual holiday felt like it begun once I started getting into the eastern Transvaal, renowned for the highlands and their spectacular scenery. Green grassy hills flowing into each other, which makes quite a change to the Johannesburg metropolitan area. I stopped for lunch at Millies Trout farm, which is a sort of South African tradition on this route. The food at Millies is awesome – nothing like smoked trout to get the afternoon started.

I got to the Swaziland border post at about 15h00. I forgot that South Africans now need passports to get into Swaziland so I had to dig through all my luggage to try and find my passport which I had packed at the bottom of one of my panniers. Still lots to learn about sensible packing. Managed to get through the border fairly quickly without any major hassles. I had planned to spend the night at the Royal Swazi Hotel, but somehow managed to miss the off-ramp, so I continued on to a small town called Manzini.

On the way to Manzini , I passed the Royal Residence where the King of Swaziland lives with his 28 wives – yes, 28 wives - what a legend! Manzini is a traditional African town in the true sense of the word – dirty, dusty and with cattle walking through the main street?? That night I stayed at the Manzini Lodge which was in a bit of a dodgy area but was clean and secure. I had dinner and some beers at Marco’s Restaurant while a crowd gathered around my motorbike to discuss this ‘new technology’ of two wheeled vehicles with motor’s … something that I will have to get used to I suppose.

Woke up early the next morning and headed to the Swaziland/Mozambique border. Along the way I had to negotiate a few herds of cattle and goats that were intent on crossing the road just as I rode up to them. Dangerous!

Jaag maar aan.

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