Posted by: tim ellis | December 23, 2012

Just Cats:- Tuesday 16th October 2012

Blyde River Canyon
During the night I am aware that the chap diagonally in front of me seems to be getting a lot of attention, then I notice they have given him an oxygen mask, and a call goes out for any Doctor or medical professional to make themselves known. The captain reports to air traffic control that we have a medical emergency, so we are given a fast, direct approach and land early. We don’t, however, disembark any quicker as we have to wait for the paramedics to attend and decide how to deal with him.

Consequently I am towards the back of the queue at immigration, but luckily, just as I arrive they start a new queue, so I am actually the second of the group to meet up with Leon and Jason, our guides.

Once we are all gathered, we load up into two minibuses and head East out of Johannesburg. We stop for coffee at a service station that has an unusual system, whereby you order from the coffee-bar, then go to the till to pay, taking your receipt back to the coffee-bar to collect your drink. Still the system seems to work, and the coffee is good.

We travel through a variety of villages and towns with Afrikaans sounding names (and one called Belfast) before stopping for lunch at a pancake restaurant in Graskop – savoury pancakes (nearly) all round!

From there it is a short journey to our first nights base – Blyde River Canyon – reputedly the third largest canyon in the world, where we are staying in “luxury chalets”. After freshening up, we take a short walk up to the viewpoint, during which we see a variety of birds and a Van Dams Girdled Lizard.

Van Dam's Girdled Lizard

Then down to dinner, a delicious buffet before retiring ready for a 6AM walk before breakfast.


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