Author Topic: The Forester and Vitara Grand Tour  (Read 1284 times)

November 03, 2017, 10:50:15 AM
Read 1284 times

PietSkiet

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Working on the images... stupid photobucket!!! Sorted! Now using Flickr

Pretoria > Green Lantern Inn > Nottingham Road Brewery > Grazers Croft > The Bierfasl > Lower Lotheni Pas > Himeville Arms > Underberg > Fairways Resort > Sani Pass > Lesotho > Clarens > Jess Hill > Clarens Brewery > Val > Home

The weekend before our trip I took the Fozz for a test drive up a few rocky hills in Pretoria. All went well and I felt better prepared for our upcoming trip.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 05:40:18 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 11:01:40 AM
Reply #1

PietSkiet

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We packed, secured our homes, tucked in our dogs and left bright and early. My friend and his wife in their 3.2 V6 Suzuki Vitara, me and my girl in the Fozz, on our first trip.



« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:23:15 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 11:09:50 AM
Reply #2

PietSkiet

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Our first stop, The Green Lantern Inn, which apparently has a nice bar! We were not disappointed. We had a quick refresher and carried on.



« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:25:12 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 12:57:59 PM
Reply #3

PietSkiet

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The first thing I have not yet tested in the Fozz was its cruise control. I have never had a car with proper cruise control before, it was an absolute pleasure just steering. Later on I took back control of the accelerator, the Forester drove so smooth and comfortably, I started daydreaming, only to hear my girl “clear her throat” whilst realizing I am doing 160..

« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 07:50:35 AM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:01:08 PM
Reply #4

PietSkiet

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We got off the boring and irritating N3 and headed towards Nottingham road. I accidently booked us into an absolute gem, the Grazers Croft! This quaint, thatched cottage, once a church, with an extraordinary view, made for a great start to the holiday. The owner will tell you about his giant pig and whistle to call his “pet-like” cows. It is VERY affordable, and with all the amenities you need, plus only 2-3km from Nottingham Road Brewery, depending if you are going to, or returning from it…



« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:28:34 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:03:08 PM
Reply #5

PietSkiet

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We decided to reward ourselves after a very responsible day, with beer, gin, shirts and caps at the Nottingham Road brewery’s’ curio shop and bar. We followed this with an authentic Austrian dinner at The Bierfasl. A thick cold misty rain appeared out of nowhere and we decided to reward ourselves some more, by making a hefty fire in the fireplace of the cabin, and poured a few whisky rocks to end of the night.



« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:29:39 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:06:12 PM
Reply #6

PietSkiet

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The next day we had a quick breakfast and headed for Fairways via Lower Lotheni pass, with our first pit stop at the Himeville Arms. It was a beautiful pass! It is the second time I drove it, the first time with my company vehicle, so this time it was slower but a lot more enjoyable!

The ‘first pit stop’ at Himeville Arms was a bit optimistic in hindsight and we had to make a plan on the pass…

« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:30:19 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:07:41 PM
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PietSkiet

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When we reached the Himeville arms it was raining and properly cold, the prediction of snow on the mountains did not seem like false promises and we got excited, well the rest of my traveling party got excited, I was looking forward to sipping on a cocktail next to the pool, seeing as though it was October already… All “Excited” we continued to Fairways. The road between Underberg and Fairways was twisty and very scenic leading deeper and deeper into the mountains!

« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:30:56 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:09:09 PM
Reply #8

PietSkiet

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For the first two days it was raining and snowing... we cooked hearty food, drank healthy beer, played pool, darts, bingo, 30 seconds… it was bliss.











« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 07:55:16 AM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:20:14 PM
Reply #9

PietSkiet

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When the sun came out, we went canoeing, played bowls, put-put and golf and felt slightly younger again













The whole week we spent cooking hearty food, drank healthy beer, played backbreaking pool, dangerous darts, brilliant bingo and 30 seconds… it was bliss. We all came to a realization, after we properly enjoyed bingo and bowls, made plans to keep on doing it when we return to Pretoria, PLUS we complained about all the kids that made such a damn noise… that we had grown... awesome!!!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:47:24 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:24:34 PM
Reply #10

PietSkiet

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The next stretch of our journey was our first real adventure in the Fozz, up Sanie pass, through Lesotho to Clarens. We left Fairways after a buffet breakfast, where a herd of Dutch tourists mumbled complaints and profanities under their breath about the lack of order in the dishing up process.

I popped the Fozz into Low Range at the foot of Sani, ignored the butterflies and cottonmouth, and started the ascent. I was astonished by the renovation work done on the pass, the precarious positions of the excavators and the distance of no-mans-land between the two borders. O yea plus the mountain pass, dramatic scenery, glorious views, beautiful nature and thumping heartbeat due to my fear of heights made this experience surreal…

As we neared the top of Sani a cloud engulfed us and I could not see much further than the Vitara in front of us. I was actually very glad the top quarter Sani was covered in a cloud, that way I could avoid my girl seeing the cold sweats, startled look and breaking high pitched voice that would have made it’s appearance, could I have seen the heights, drop-offs and switch backs… But the Fozzy handled Sani like it was a Gelandewagen and we made the top with no drama.



























« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 07:58:24 AM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:46:26 PM
Reply #11

PietSkiet

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We reached the top of Sani, it was weird driving out of the mist into bright sunshine… just look!













« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 05:28:19 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:51:40 PM
Reply #12

PietSkiet

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At the highest pub in Africa I quickly did this and carried on with the rest of our trip…



« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 05:29:31 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:53:44 PM
Reply #13

PietSkiet

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The road from Sani top to the Fouriesburg border was tarred, but still very scenic. We were very high, around 3000m above sea level and climbimg. You could feel the Fozzy struggling for breath… It had NO power in 5th and went up some of the steep hills like a none turbo diesel bakkie…

The winds on that high escarpment mixed with my natural fear of heights made some of those thin tarmac roads with drop-offs a little bit narrower than they were…

As we started to drop down the escarpment, the last tarmac pas was astonishing! The rate of meters dropped per km travelled caused the car to become a very silent cubicle of stress and concentration…









« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 05:34:06 PM by PietSkiet »
2012 XS 2.5 Africa 20 Edition
Pretotia Gauteng

November 03, 2017, 01:59:25 PM
Reply #14

NeilV

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Lekker trip report so far, thanks for sharing. Congrats on the engagement!  :D
Cape Town

2009 Subaru Forester 2.5 XS auto