Sooo … let’s go back to some memories and highlights! My last post on 1997 was Jeanette and Lance’s wedding in January. After the wedding, we took my Mum, for a few R&R days, to the Mont-aux-Sources in the Drakensberg. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photographs. Not one !!! We had a video camera in those days which we used the entire time on this trip. I only have two postcards slotted into the photograph album ..
Tugela Gorge in the Royal National Park ..
My Mum and Elaine walked with hubby and I on the long trail to the Tugela Gorge. We didn’t quite get there as we felt it was just too far for them, but were surprised at the distance they all covered. It’s quite tough in the beginning but then levels out .. but you always have to think about the your return and the timing. It was a wonderful few days :)
Also, in early January, was Keith’s 21st birthday Keith is the eldest son of Kathy and stepson of my brother Ian. Such a lovely family xxx
March : We took a drive out to Magaliesburg one Sunday, as we had never been to the actual town before. We wondered around the small town popping into antique and nic-nac shops and then drove down to the railway station …
As luck would have it, a magnificent old steam train was parked on the tracks ..
‘Brenda’ is one the magnificent steam engines belonging to Rovos Rail : website – www.rovos.com …for info on tours etc (which look absolutely amazing – hubby and I would love to trundle through the country in the luxury of beautifully restored coaches
Quote from Wikipedia : for info on tours (which look absolutely amazing – hubby and I would love to this)
Rovos Rail is a private railway company operating out of Capital Park Station in Pretoria, South Africa. The Society of International Railway Travelers has regularly named the Pride of Africa, as the train is called, as one of the World’s Top 25 Trains because of its excellent accommodation, public spaces, service, dining and off-train sightseeing.
Rovos Rail runs its train-hotel to a regular schedule on various routes throughout Southern Africa, from South Africa to Namibia and Tanzania. The trains consist of restored Rhodesia Railways (NRZ) coaches with two lounges, two restaurant cars, private sleeping compartments, each with private ensuite facilities. The train has three types of accommodation on board, the smallest being a Pullman, at 76 square feet; the largest being the Royal Suite, which is half a train car, and 172 square feet. All types of cabins have ensuite shower, sink and toilet. The Royal also has a Victorian-style bathtub.
The company was started in 1989 by Rohan Vos  and is still family owned. Rovos Rail employs a staff of 210 including the on-board staff to those working to restore carriages in the company’s Capital Park depot.
The train drivers told us that the train was being used for a movie called ‘Pride of Africa’
Through window of lounge car ..
Around the corner from the station was an antique/bric-a-brac shop filled with goodies ..
At that time, I had no idea my Mum was planning a trip on the 100th anniversary of the commemorative train journey from Johannesburg to Bulawayo, celebrating the first passenger train of 1887 between these two cities. My great-grandmother was the first and only woman on that train. So, only a few months later, we (Mum, Ian and his family, and I) stopped at Magaliesburg railway station where we disembarked to watch our steam engine, Rovos Rail’s ‘Anne’, chuffing and puffing her way slowly into the station, black smoke billowing, while photographers and steam train enthusiasts took their pics – all my photos and story in a later post of TBT
April : Rainy days .. Whiskey on lap and favourite book in hand. Elaine must have read all in the series of Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High …
May : Carl decided to spray paint his car, with the help of friend Jonathan, each piece of bodywork a different colour !!
Somewhat recognisable in the Technikon car park and everywhere else !!!!
Visiting the Krugersdorp Game Reserve for the day (40 minute drive from central Johannesburg) As in all game reserves, getting out of cars is strictly forbidden but there are safe picnic areas
A small number of lions are kept in a very large enclosure. There are several different habitats including grassland, rocky outcrops and forest for birdlife, zebra, giraffe and numerous antelope. In those days there was a family of rhino grazing in the grassland
July : We had a short holiday in Ballito where Jeanette and Lance joined us for the weekend. I think we were there for 8 days or so. It wasn’t very long and the weather wasn’t that pleasant. A cold front swept through the country with Jeanette and Lance having difficulty driving through snow on the way home. No cellphones in those days (well, if there were, we didn’t have them!) and boy, did we worry about them, not knowing how they were getting on, whether they were stuck completely and if they got home safely !!
Tea and doughnuts on The Boulders balcony with gorgeous view. There used to be a superb bakery in the village that made the most delicious baked goodies on a daily basis. Sadly nice coastal village with artisan shops is no longer :( .. sign of the times
We called him ‘The Thinker’. For several years, The Thinker, a baboon statue, sat on this rock alongside the promenade. He was eventually chained to the rock, we presumed due to vandalism, and then one year he was gone, leaving only a patch of cement where he had sat, watching the sea and fishermen ..
Jeanette and Lance’s first home in a complex …
It was a lovely two bedroomed unit, adjoining another on the right ..
August : Cheeeeese !! Elaine’s 11th birthday at MacRib with best friend Robyn
September : Elaine was chosen to take part in the Cecchetti Youth Ballet ..
And that’s where I will end ‘memories and highlights – 1997’ for now. In October of that year, we went down to Hermanus visiting hubby’s Mum and Dad who had recently moved there, and in November I went with my Mum on the 100th anniversary of the commemorative train to Zimbabwe. I will do separate posts for those