Nov 072011

Slept in just a little, and woke up and drove up to the lodge for breakfast. It was just far enough that you didn’t want to walk it on a very very chilly morning. Breakfast was on the deck, and it was an amazing setting. I really want to come back here for a bit longer to do some hiking. The area is gorgeous.

After breakfast, we took a slow trip back to the room to pack up…a view of the five individual rooms at the resort:

…and a quick pic of the “damage” to the car from our run-in with the mud the night before:

We got directions from the lodge to the nearest post office, which included “go about 30 minutes on the road back, and then stop at the town with the helicopter.” We had no idea what that meant, but sure enough there was a small town with a mini broken-down helicopter. Out of the car, and we started looking for anything that looked like a post office. Found it, but no luck…it was locked up. We asked some of the chatty ladies in town where it was, and nobody spoke english…but they went off to find the one younger lady who spoke english. Meanwhile, they used the only words they knew: “SHOOT ME!” We were confused, until we figured out that this meant “take my picture” lol!

The young lady who spoke english arrived, and the conversation went like this:

Us: Is the post office going to open soon?
Her: Maybe
Us: Where is the person who runs the post office?
Her: Not here
Us: Will he be coming back soon?
Her: (pensive) Hmmm…….no.

Hah! This is Africa of course! We had to bail on getting postcards and stamps unfortunately, and continued our drive to a site that was supposed to have some rock paintings from thousands of years ago. It was a bit underwhelming, but still worth the stop:

After this we continued our drive to the border, and back into South Africa:

We continued on the drive to Ladysmith, which we’d chosen for the overnight because it was approximately halfway to Swaziland. Had a very tasty lunch at a small cafe in Clarens, South Africa, before driving on. It was a gorgeous drive, and we even saw our first zebra of the trip!

Eventually we got to Ladysmith…and it was a bit of a spooky town. It clearly had seen much better days…maybe 50 years ago, and the whole place just had an uneasy vibe about it. Hotel was…adequate and clean, and since we really didn’t have much other choice we stayed 😉 We had chosen the Royal Hotel which seemed to be the nicest place between Lesotho and Swaziland, and I would say it was still barely a 2-3* property. Oh well, can’t complain!

Headed out to dinner, and found a place called the “Guinea Fowl” which was actually surprisingly good! It was packed, and the menu had a fun little saying on it:

..and what would it be without a guinea fowl in the restaurant as cheesy decor?

After dinner (which was actually a delicious steak – who would have guessed!) it was back to the hotel to crash early since we had a very long day of driving the next day.

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