Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fountain Baths guest house and a wander around Barberton. Mpumalanga Province


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On our way back from Sabi Sand,
my wife and I stayed in this mining town for a couple of nights

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The guest house that we chose had the first swimming pool
in Barberton way back in the 1884.
Two years before Johannesburg was established.
At one point in its history, the pool was filled in and used as a rose garden.
However, for the Centenary celebrations, the beds were dug up
and the pool restored.

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This was our accommodation.
This is Room 2 that had been recommended to us by a friend.

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Having seen it, I can understand the recommendation.
Not so much just accommodation as a cottage.

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The guest house is advertised as either B&B
or self catering.
This kitchen is almost bigger than the one we have at home.

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We enjoyed breakfast here on the two mornings we were in town.

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But did we cook?
Cook we did not...
We "discovered" Josephine's Belgian Restaurant...
an absolute MUST for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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We had lunch and take ways from this new establishment.
Die Plaaskombuis Coffee Shop, that can be found in the lower main road.
Aside from serving food, it has a beauty salon
 as well as an indigenous nursery on the premises
A visit here for their milkshakes is COMPULSORY.
And the chips were presented in an "interesting" manner.

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I have to say at the end of two busy days,
bed did beckon early...

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We almost brought this cat home with us.
Not quite the leopard that we saw padding though the camp at idube game reserve,
but this feline decided to "move in" with us
for the duration of our stay.
Luckily was are both "cat people" and enjoyed the company.

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The weather was overcast on both days,
but that did not stop me from walking around the town
These old buildings hark back the colonial roots that the town enjoyed
back when it was established.

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Another building that caught my attention.
It used to be the local movie theatre,
but it currently houses a retail outlet.

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Probably the best "export" that the town is know for...
Jock of the Bushveld.
My favourite book "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtney
was partly set here.

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A private museum that opened recently.

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It is full of interesting items from the town and its surrounds.
I even found a car radio that my Dad had in his first car.

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As well as owning the museum,
Pieter and Wynand own and run Dusty Tracks Off Road Adventures
(www.dustytracks.co.za)

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They had just bought a new 4x4 and took my wife and I
on a "test drive"

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One of several old mines in the area.

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You can see the ox-wagon tracks clearly...
Considering the gradient, and the fact that a wagon could weigh
 5 tons, it could take between 18 and 24 oxen to pull it up the mountain.
To get back down again, the wheels were removed and replaced with wooden sleds.
The team of oxen were hitched to the back of the wagon
and served as a brake.
Oh, and all the pubs along the route helped as well

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