This past weekend we were lucky enough to enjoy a weekend away at Crystal Springs Resort near Pilgrim’s Rest. It was a fabulous weekend away but I wish it could have been a little longer as it felt like it was over just as it was beginning… I suppose weekends have a way of buzzing by really quickly when you really just want them to slow down! At least we managed to do a lot in the time that we were away.
We left early on Friday afternoon as the drive was going to be about 4 hours and we didn’t want to be driving in the dark. Just as well as we had to negotiate a 50km-odd stretch of road that had more potholes than actual tar. And not just potholes…craters! There was even a sign that read “Extreme Potholes”. I’m sure if we had hit a crater at just the right angle our car would be forced into becoming a Transformer. Okay, maybe not, but it still felt like the road would have been easier to navigate if we were holding a gaming controller.
Saturday was a lazy start. We hadn’t slept well probably because of a different bed, different pillow, and that it was really cold and we hadn’t taken out the extra blankets. So we got up when we got up, had breakfast when we were ready, and then headed out to start the day.
We headed to Pilgrim’s Rest first to see what there was to see. Unfortunately it is one of those towns that if you blink you miss it. So we ended up driving halfway to the next town before turning back and trying again. Second time around was the charm.
Pilgrim’s Rest is literally a one road town but it was really interesting to take in the old houses, a vintage BP petrol station, and a bit of the history. How awesome is this old post box I spotted?!
After our brief walk-around, we headed towards Bourke’s Luck Potholes which is a natural water feature that marks the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon. Over many many years, swirling whirlpools which occur as the Treur River plunges into the Blyde River, have caused waterborne sand and rock to grind huge, cylindrical potholes into the bedrock of the river. How awesome would this be if it were safe enough to be used as a water slide?!
We then headed to God’s Window which gives you a panoramic view of the Lowveld (with the Kruger National Park in the distance) more than 900m below. In order to get to the viewpoints, you need to trek a bit. This is a pic of the steps you need to climb.
By now we were thirsty and hungry so we stopped in Graskop for some Harries’ Pancakes. I had the most amazing sugar, cinnamon and milk tart custard one. It was totally to die for!
We drove back to our resort for a quick afternoon nap. Maybe an hour sleep isn’t quite a nap, but it was perfect!
We then packed a small cooler box with some drinks and snacks and headed out on a self-drive game drive. It was awesome to be able to stop when we wanted to, and talk when we wanted to without disturbing anyone else. The nature reserve does not hold certain animals which means guests are able to follow marked trails. It also means that we could get out of our car to walk into a bird hide.
Hope you had a good weekend!