I stumbled across this saying recently and found it most profound. It also aptly sums up my road trips to Mpumalanga.
This time, I explored the place where the sun rises in the Ford Kuga Titanium, much to the amusement of friends and colleagues. They teased me over my death-or-glory approach in getting behind the wheel of this ride, which has sparked controversy over safety concerns.
Unfazed, I hit the road with a friend, looking forward to two days of serenity juxtaposed with an outdoor activity or two and some sightseeing.
Misty Mountain, situated in scenic Sabie, was the perfect resting place for the weekend. This 280 hectare Natural Heritage Site can be found on the Panorama Route. The views of the majestic mountains and valleys require a pit stop (or two), especially if you are driving through at sunset or sunrise.
This relaxed, family-friendly three-star establishment, has been a family run operation since 1974.
The sun was dipping behind the mountain when I checked in. Co-owner Lisa Sheard was still around and offered a quick overview of the place.
The country-style accommodation offers two sleeper studio units, four and six-sleeper family units as well as a 10-sleeper farm house. The place is styled in such a way that you are able to shut out the “real world” and soak up that fresh mountain air. The stridulation of the crickets heighten your relaxed state while sipping a glass of vino.
We stayed in a four-sleeper unit, which was kitted out with a fireplace and a kitchen with all the basic amenities to make your stay comfortable.
Breakfast includes the traditional eggs, bacon, salmon, mushrooms, hash brown, toast, coffee, juices and cereals and yoghurt. Of course, we didn’t spend much time at Misty Mountain as the itinerary was packed.
After grabbing a hot brekkie on Sunday morning, we drove through to Hazyview. What should have been a quick drive, took us a little longer as we meandered an hour off course.
I blame the lack of reception for the adventurous detour.
Unfortunately, this meant that we missed the scheduled activity - a 2½-hour zip line adventure through the forest in Sabie River with Skyway Trails. By the way, this is Mpumalanga’s longest aerial cable trail, with eight slides offering the biggest rush, especially for a novice.
So we rescheduled for the following morning and made our way to the Graskop Gorge Lift Co - the latest tourism attraction to the area.
A hive of activity, especially with a plethora of curio stalls, we queued to get our tickets to the lift, which descends 51m into the Afromontane forest, where you snake your way through the marvels within, via a walk through the suspension bridges. You will enjoy the insightful tour of the butterfly bar, the bees that have been introduced and the conservation plans built around this tourist pit stop.
And you get to enjoy the splashes emanating from the Motitsi waterfall.
For those feeling nibbly, The Lift Cafe, which offers beautiful 270-degree vistas of the area, is worth trying.
Reasonably priced, the food is delicious. A bit ravenous from all that driving and walking, my friend and I decided on the crumbed chicken schnitzel with chips and mushroom sauce. Freshly-prepared, the chicken was cooked to perfection - succulent on the inside with a crispy coating.
Pizzas, burgers, milkshakes and yummy desserts are also on the menu.
Before heading back home on Monday, we followed through with our zip lining adventure. It was such a wonderful rush - and one I’m keen to enjoy again.
Sadly, we had to skip the Long Tom Toboggan run, which is 1.7km of unadulterated fun, as we had to hit the road.
Of course, there’s always a next time!
Misty Mountain: Landline: + 27 (0) 13 764 3377 / Mobile: + 27 (0) 73 375 1817 or e-mail: [email protected]
Graskop Gorge Lift Co: Call 066 305 1572/3 or e-mail: [email protected]
Skyway Trails: + 27 (0) 82 825 0209 or + 27 (0) 13 7376747