Mpumalanga is a province here in South Africa, the name means “the place where the sun rises”. It is here, where we spent the weekend. SA-Venues names Mpumalanga the “Paradise Country”, to which I cannot argue. It is truly magnificent. From the bushveld to the rolling hills and mountain passes, the sights and smells make you feel, even if it’s for a moment, that you are in paradise. So you know, Blairadise loves it!
The last time Johan and I were here, we visited the Panorama Route for Easter with my parents and brother, who was visiting us from the US. You can see pictures from that trip here. Before that was when we went to the Kruger National Park on our honeymoon, almost three years ago.
My friend Marissa arrived on Thursday from Colorado and we left early Friday morning. We had planned to leave Ava with my sister in law, but after being away last week in Cape Town I just couldn’t do it. So Marissa, our friend Lood, Johan, Ava and I piled in the car, trailer in tow and started on the four hour long haul to Mpumalanga, destination Marloth Park, on the edge of the Kruger Park.
To say the holiday home was a bit of a nightmare is an understatement. The other travelers may not agree, but for me it was pretty terrible.
When we arrived at the house, it was nothing like I had envisioned, as I was remembering the house we stayed in last time we were in Marloth Park. This weekend home was a bit rustic to say the least, which is super cool, but child-friendly, it was not.
Upon entering the front door, my eyes landed on the steep stairway leading up to the living areas, ie. kitchen, living room, balcony… Guess who else spotted the stairway and ran straight towards it? Yep, Little Miss Ava. Big sigh… Upon arriving on the second floor I saw the wrap around porch, with the largest, most unchild-friendly railing ever created. Really?!? Why, I wanted to shout, but instead let out another big sigh. I think it was at that moment that my back starting aching from all the stress I knew I was about to endure over the next few days.
Did I mention Johan had a terrible stomach bug? So bad I thought we were going to have to go to the doctor? Oh, yeah that was fantastic. As we all know how men are when they are sick…
Wait, here is the best part, Friday afternoon, I take Ava downstairs for a nap, shut the door behind us then realize I had forgotten her dummy (pacifier) upstairs, turn to go back up and the door won’t open. There is no key and I can see, the door isn’t locked. Thankfully, I had my phone. I called Johan and told him to come open the door. He couldn’t open it either. Sigh…
After what felt like being locked in for hours (probably only 45 minutes, but still), the handle was removed, we watched the part that turns to open the door disintegrate, and then the husband kick down the door. Did I mention this is his bosses holiday home? Yeah, disaster. We are now in the middle of BFE and we just kicked in the door. But you gotta do, what you gotta do and Ava needed her dummy. Plus, there was no way I was staying locked in there another minute…
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and headed for the Kruger. Within 30 minutes of being inside we saw a male lion resting under some trees. Not going to give you a play for play of which animals we saw because that would be super boring. Just check out my favorite pics from the park below.
*You drive about 10MPH in the Kruger and barely pass other cars, that’s why we let Ava out of her car seat for the day. Kind of a mistake, as now she screams when I try to put her back in.
Since we saw so many animals on Saturday, we decided to take the long way home through the Panorama Route on Sunday. Marissa being a mountain girl, I just knew she would love it, which she did. Not much to tell, just show.
The weekend wasn’t a total bust, we spent some quality time with great friends, Ava went on her first safari, and we all witnessed God’s gorgeous handy work. The Kruger is a must see destination in South Africa. It really doesn’t get much better than the Kruger or Cape Town. Think the Panaroma Route is a strong 3rd on my list of must see places in SA.
A few weeks ago I posted, The Key to Life. To prove my point further, below is a picture of the keys of to the house for the weekend… I got distracted at 20!
Thanks Mpumalanga! See you next time.