Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Skukuza, Pretoriuskop, and Petra Mt. Resort

Finally getting time post.  We are south of Cape Town now so I am two posts behind.
Last post we were leaving Lower Sabie.
Oct. 29: We left Lower Sabie for Skukuza Rest Camp.  We had our last breakfast braai at Nkuhlu picnic area where there were lots of monkeys and baby monkeys.  They are very adept at stealing food quickly.  When we got to Skukuza we were too early for checkin so we used the Internet.  Poutney's and us shared a two bedroom, two bath bungalow which was very nice.  Skukuza is the largest rest camp with the most amenities - three restaurants, golf course, airstrip, post office, bank, large store.  I would highly recommend this rest camp.  We all went to eat at one of the nicer restaurants tonight.  Dean and I had the kingclip fish which was very good.  
Oct. 30:  We took a short drive in the morning around Skukuza.  It was very rewarding since we came upon a family of wild dogs.  They played in the road, walked very close to our car and then walked down the road like they owned the place.  There was only three cars around.  The wild dogs are on the endangered list so seeing them was a real treat.  After our morning drive we drove to Pretoriuskop.  It was my turn to drive and I picked some very, very rough gravel roads.  We were very glad to get to our last camp.  Nobody wanted to go out that afternoon since we had such a rough trip.  We are again sharing a three bedroom, two bath bungalow with the Poutney's.  This was our least favorite camp, probably because we were all getting tired and there is ot much to do here.  They did have a beautiful pool.  Dean and I didn't go on the next morning drive (Oct. 31).  Instead, we took a long walk around camp and had breakfast at the restaurant.  Poutney's went but didn't see much.  Too bad, because it was Ron's birthday so it would have been nice if he would have seen something neat!  That last night in the park I went with the Poutney's and saw elephants, rhinos, kudus, impalas, warthog, the usual animals.  Still no cats!  We cooked our last braai and Dean and I split a wildebeest steak.  It was very good.
Nov. 1:  We left the park the next morning and headed north on the Panorama route paralleling Kruger.  This route goes thru the towns of Hazy View and Gaskrop in the mountains with many view points and some waterfalls.  We stopped at God's Window which is a popular viewing area.  There were local artisans selling their products.  I bought an African mask for about $5.  Then we went back to Gaskrop, toured the silk factory, and had a wonderful meal at a Portuguese restaurant.  Dean and I had calamari rings and they were wonderful.  We drove over to Pilgrims Rest, a historic gold mining town, but it was too touristy for us. So we circled  down the mountains, thru the town of Sabie, to our stop for the night - Petra Mt. Resort.  This is a former religious retreat that is now accepting overnight guests.  It was quite lovely except for the monkeys who got into our room and stole my granola bars and cookies!
Nov. 2:  We set out early for the airport which was not too far away but we are still not use to the traffic and driving on the left.  Of course, we got there very early but we were glad to say goodbye to our van and not have to worry about driving for awhile.
Pictures: monkey and baby at picnic area, wild dogs, klipspringer, Pretoriuskop gate, bungalow, leaving Kruger, beautiful lunch of calamari rings, Dean and I on the Panorama highway, Petra Mt. Resort.

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