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Weekly Photo Challenge – Path

As we stood at the base of Table Mountain, we could see paths leading up the side. Once we got to the top and looked down, we saw these. The almost look like veins, don’t they?

View from Table Mountain

Table Mountain Path

Weekly Photo Challenge, Mountains

Sani Pass, Drakensberg Mountains

Sani Pass, Drakensberg Mountains

The highest mountain range in Southern Africa, the Drakensberg Mountains reaches 11,424 feet. This part of the mountain is the Sani Pass, a 5 1/2 mile unlit dirt road that connects KwaZulu Natal to the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Sani Pass Switchback

Sani Pass Switchback, Drakensberg Mountains

Sani Pass from Lesotho

Sani Pass, from Lesotho

The view of the Sani Pass from 9,400 feet, in Lesotho.

How about a braai?

About an hour after we left Durban‘s King Shaka Airport, we were at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Though only a short distance away, it felt like a different world.

As we exited, we noticed Stefan looking anxiously towards the arrivals gate then at his cell phone, as if trying to decide whether to make a call. We shouted his name and he turned and smiled widely. It was wonderful to see his familiar face.

Despite the fun we’d had in Victoria Falls, on safari at Hwange National Park, in Cape Town and Durban, Johannesburg felt as if we were returning home.

As soon as exchanged hugs and settled into the jeep, we – Sandra, Judith and I – began chattering all at once, like giddy teenagers tripping over each others’ words eagerly trying to get the stories of our adventures out to Stefan as quickly as we could.

Stefan had some news of his own. While we were gone, Shepherds Court, the guest house he owns and where we had stayed when we arrived in Johannesburg, had seen a flurry of new arrivals and was fully booked so he decided to put us up for our last night in Joburg at his pool house. He dropped us off then left to do some shopping.

We settled in and made our way to the kitchen of the main house and opened a bottle of Tall Horse, a local wine we had fallen in love with. The door bell rang unexpectedly. It was Thope. She had several bottles of wine with her and told us that Stefan planned to have a braai – a kind of a barbecue – for us before we left. A braai? We were excited!

In our two weeks in Southern Africa, we had not been to a braai. We hadn’t thought about it — it wasn’t even on our must-do list.

Finally, Stefan returned and more friends arrived. The men went about setting up and cooking ribs, pork, beef and boerewors (sausage) while we women remained inside drinking and chatting.

Once everything was ready, we moved outside to the covered porch area where the huge braaier was located and the party began.

We had eaten so much beef in Southern Africa, we’d joked among ourselves that we’d  have to take a vacation from meat when we returned to the States. But what’s a braai without meat? The beef was surprisingly tender and flavorful and hours later, almost all of it had been washed down with several bottles of South African wine.

After the braai

And several bottles of wine

Just before dawn

If we didn’t have plans to go to Soweto later that morning, we would probably still be there, chatting and laughing. We had a fabulous time. It was about 3 a.m. when we finally stumbled into bed on our last night in South Africa.

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Durban’s Miles of Smiles

Our last morning in Durban began with us watching the sun as it rose over the Indian Ocean.

Golden Mile Awakening

And watching as the area known as the Golden Mile, Durban‘s popular stretch of beach came to life with vendors, tourists, swimmers, people out for their morning walk and workers cleaning up the beach.

Golden Mile Morning

One of the things we wanted to do was dip our toes in the ocean. The sand was almost golden brown and soft under our feet. It was our only time in the water since we had been in South Africa.

We waded in, stepped back and screamed almost at the same time when the water hit our feet.  It was a nice, bracing cold. But just wetting our toes wasn’t enough. We walked further in as the water lapped our calves. It felt great.

The water was a little brisk!

When we returned to our room, our clothes were wet and flip flops full of sand. Disappointingly, I didn’t get any shells on the beach.

Near the street, a few people had gathered to admire this artist’s rendition of a cheetah

Golden Mile Cheetah

and a lion made from sand.

 Golden Mile Lion

Durban’s artistic flair.

Garbage?

What’s DSW doing on the side of this garbage receptacle? Sorry, Sandra, it’s not the shoe store.

Sculpture

During our last drive through Durban, we came across these sculptures that I just loved.

Golden Mile Sculpture

Before we left the U.S., I had seen photos of Durban’s rickshas and the drivers online. I knew I had to see and ride in one.

And as Don drove us around, we spotted this one. I was so excited, I started to jump out of the car before he even came to a stop.

Golden Mile Ricksha

The driver obligingly put on his elaborate headgear but we didn’t have time for a ride. I could only take these photos.

Ricksha ride?

Color infected even the fence of this building

And this tree

This cube caught our eye

Then we saw this tree in Sandra’s favorite color

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Named for a former general secretary of the South Africa Communist Party, Moses Mabhida Stadium, played host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Another view of the stadium

Coastline and highrises

Sibaya Casino from the highway

On our way to the airport, we noticed this building from the highway. It was the Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom. It looked impressive, if a little out of place.

Sibaya Casino Entrance

This would be one of my last photos of Durban. It had been a whirlwind three days. We had done a lot, racked up several thousand miles and made friends.

Compassline Africa, our travel agent in Durban, had taken fabulous care of us. If you ever plan a visit, send Tanya or Alison an email. They left us in the capable hands of Don “How’s ya Granny” Botterill who proudly showed off his beautiful province and shared personal and family stories, including the one that a distant relative was one of the first people to open the Sani Pass route through the Drakensberg Mountains to Lesotho.

Our goodbye to Durban was bittersweet – it meant we had just one more night in South Africa.

Goodbye Durban, till next time.

Back to Joburg.

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