Town. Picture: Derek and Chris Fourie Lipman
Town. Picture: Derek and Chris Fourie Lipman
One just has to pop into the very famous Pilgrim’s Rest .
One just has to pop into the very famous Pilgrim’s Rest .
I never knew how fun road trips could be in the right vehicle until I drove to Mpumalanga in Toyota’s new C-HR (which stands for Coupe High-Rider) crossover.

As a female, I’m drawn to aesthetics as much as I am to speed. This explains why I never miss a Fast and the Furious movie. Okay, the boys in it are cute too - but that’s just a bonus, like adding specs to a new car.

When I first sat in this sweet ride, the gadgets and electronics threw me. And I know those luxury vehicle and SUV drivers are going to laugh at my blonde moment.

So when I got in, I looked for the handbrake for a good few minutes before switching on the car. Had I done the latter first, I would have known that it was electronic. So once your seat belt is on and you hit the accelerator, it glides into drive mode.

On a long drive with lots of stops, this becomes an invaluable function. Another wonderful aspect is a small light that flickers to remind you to change gears.

As someone who is prone to distraction - especially with such beautiful panoramic views in front of me - it came in handy. It’s also great to help keep fuel consumption in check, by avoiding unnecessary revs.

We left the resort at 6.15am on Sunday, heading to Graskop to check out God’s Window.

The name is rather befitting when you are perched on that mountain top basking in the magnificent views of the ravine below and the dangerous sharp cliffs around.

A look through God's window! #MostAmazingView #Beauty #Nature #InAwe #NatureSelfie #AmazingDay

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Hikers are rewarded with an even more majestic view - not that I thought it be possible but I’m told that it is. Damn that lack of caffeine fix and dip in energy. Were I able to muster some energy, I might have hiked for a bit.

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Pilgrim’s Rest was our next pit-stop. This small town feels like you time-travelled to the past. Think along the lines of a live museum, with your small garage store, bar, hotel, gift shop, museums and so on.

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All of this can be accessed on one stretch, divided into an uptown and down town. For a city slicker, it is a foreign concept. But it was a fascinating exploration nonetheless.

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With our hunger pangs becoming impossible to ignore - compounded by those caffeine withdrawal symptoms - we headed to Sabie, a forestry town with its name derived from the Tsonga word Ulusaba, which means fearful and, I’m told, it is linked to the river.

A quick Google search singled out a few places and, for some reason, pancakes seemed to be the keyword of the day. As such, we stopped by the highly-recommended Petena’s Pancakes.

Impressed, I was not with my bacon, scrambled eggs and maple syrup pancake. In my head, when I read the menu, everything was served in the pancake. Not.

There was nothing scrambled about the blob of protein on the plate in front of me.

Don’t even get me started on that chunky thick bacon that might as well have been a steak. My friend decided on the savoury option of mince and cheese.

Again, you are probably thinking it was wonderfully melted and gooey. Not. My mocha was undrinkable. Felt like I was drinking warm milk with a sprinkling of instant coffee.

Yuck! Awful dining experience aside, Mpumalanga, which is known as Paradise Country, has so much natural beauty to explore and enjoy.

And to get to do it in a high-riding Cosmic Blue C-HR, well, that was just flippin’ fantastic!