On to PMB via Clarens, Golden Gate NP, Winterton, Bergville, Estcourt, & Howick – ambling our way on back roads R74 & 103 rather than taking the toll route which we drove on the way up seeing nothing. In Clarens we had bfast and walked around the tiny community artist types moved to – reminded us of Todos Santos in Mexico tho no ocean but high colorful sandstone buttes surrounding. Very SWestish…red, orange, tan cliffs, plateaus, w/ spots of dk green brush among fields of dry, golden grasses on hillside slopes and valley bottoms. Thru the hills & dales of Drakensberg & the Midlands of Centerberg – small, upscale Afrikaan farming reminded me of the NE of the States esp. now w/ trees turning colors & cool crisp air, small villages & narrow roads. Got to PMB about 5 and ckd into Prince Alfred St. BPers. Andre, the very friendly owner(ex-landscape architect as of 4 yrs. ago) fully booked for tomor nite he called Umphiti BPers just around the block & reserved dorm room beds for us. Our plan now is to drop the car off 1st thing tomorrow in Durban, pick up our passports at Indian consulate and then head back here to PMB. We nixed the China visa in Durban idea and opted to go back to Pretoria so we bought Intercape bus tickets for Sat am, they gave us 15% discount as senior citizens…this getting old thing is starting really pay off, ha!!
Drive into Durban was a piece of cake but could not find a gas station to fill the tank to save our souls. After driving around for half an hour we finally found one but we were quite lost…it took us another 45 minutes to get downtown and to the 1st Car rental place only to find out upon inspection that two of the plastic hub caps were scratched & one had a chip out of it!!! They don’t cover this kind of stuff w/ our “Super insurance” policy and must charge us to replace them! The cost of this was almost the equivalent of 7 days rental!!! In the end they did not charge us for drop off so it amounted to paying for only one hubcap!! Live and learn, renting does not really pay except we were able to see a lot more of the country which would have been impossible via public transport.
S. Africa has been our most expensive country by far – almost twice what the others have been per day. Also, Bon hated the Opel – rotten gear box!!!
We walked around PMB downtown - very nice old buildings. A centenary statue of Gandhi is in the middle of a walking mall, it celebrates "my active non-violence began from (7 June1893)" when he was forcibly removed from a train compartment at PMB station!!! It once again reminds me that it is all in the journey, never the destination! This lesson is the one I find most difficult to learn!