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Panorama Route

4/27/2014



A few weeks ago we went on a weekend trip to Graskop for my boyfriend's birthday.  He had fond memories of going there during his younger years so we decided to go back for a visit.

We stayed in the lovely Zur Alten Mine Guest Farm which is located about 5km outside of the town of Graskop. Graskop is located about 4 hours from Pretoria and is a traditional starting spot for those going to tour the Panorama Route.

Getting there was actually a bit tricky because as we drove up into the mountains we were enveloped in a giant misty cloud. Have you ever tried driving for an hour not being able to see more than 10ft in front of you knowing that somewhere close by to your left there is a giant plunge to your death?...yeah not fun (but it definitely gets your adrenaline going!)

The dam surrounded by mist on our arrival
We were eagerly greeted by Zur Alten's three resident dogs as well as our hosts Kevin and Lynne who did everything they could to help us feel at home.  Since we wanted to get up early the next day we grabbed dinner in town and then called it an early night.

To our excitement, the next morning we awoke to bright clear skies and managed to get on the road for our day or exploring at about 8 a.m. We ate breakfast at Harrie's Pancakes. All of the towns in the general area seem to have a big thing for pancake shops. Although the pancakes are similar to your typical flapjacks, they are filled with all sorts of combinations in the way that we fill crepes in America.

We had goats for neighbors
God's Window
The Panorama Route is a scenic route that run's along the Blyde River Canyon, which is actually the third largest canyon in the world.  It boasts sites including the Pinnacle, God's Window, Lisbon and Berlin Falls, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels of which we stopped at several. 

The views along the entire route are stunning and 100% different from the typical "Africa" that many foreigners first envision. 

On our way back we stopped at the Echo Caves and then drove through the old mining town of Pilgrim's Rest. 

Lisbon Falls
Lisbon Falls

Berlin Falls


View from the porch of our cabin

Once we made it back to Zur Alten we relaxed with some beers as the sun set and took a walk around the farm.  We even found the actual mine that Zur Alten was named after along with the graves of some miners who were buried there.

We ended the day with of course...a braii =)

Accommodation: R650 per night for 4 people
Other costs: R10 per car for each site

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