I found it!
One of the Eureka City Tour participants, Tom Cowell, sent us a short story of how he experienced the trip, which is always more authentic than us telling you. Here it is verbatim...........
"As kids we rode our bicycles to and from school. Our bikes to us were as a horse is to a cowboy. Mom always reminded us to leave early and stay off the main roads….a no-brainer because that’s where we had the most fun.
So it was when my wife, Natalie, and I replied to a web site invitation from a dude, Mike (Chilli Boy) Leicester of MOUNTAIN PASSES SOUTH AFRICA, to join him in filming the famous Eureka City pass high in the Barberton Mountainlands Nature Reserve, little did we know the degree of professionalism and attention to detail that went into the planning of this 3 day trip. Mike not only has a wealth of knowledge of our mountain passes in South Africa, but also their colourful surrounding history that seems to make them come alive.
On Friday our convoy of 4 vehicles travelled the N4 from Johannesburg via Nelspruit (Mbombela) to Barberton taking in no less than 12, off the beaten track, passes. As Mike put it, a devious route! Describing 12 passes in a day, (I’m sure I counted 13 but altitude changes and 17 324 twists and turns can leave one requiring medical attention) is for now rather academic. At the start Mike presented all of us with detail and facts on each pass together with a pre prepared GPX route file for our GPS devices. This was a great way of connecting the dots and painting in the trip as we went.
Mike arranged our accommodation in Barberton and cooked for us that night. What a beautiful meal…….all sure that’s where he got his nick name from.
Saturday (Eureka Pass filming) was lead by Wynand Engelbrecht, a professional 4X4 tour guide who has an intimate and interesting knowledge of the area. In the main this pass is a serious yet pleasant level 2/3 climb out the Mountainlands’ rivers, ravines and gorges passing within touching distance of long ago abandoned dwellings and diggings to reach the 1250 m ASL high plateau overlooking the town of Barberton in the west and “the valley of a thousand hills” in the east. After a few technical descents we lunched amongst the fascinating ruins & topography of Eureka City.
Since what goes up must come down, after our lunch stop we descended to the Sheba mine “Golden Quarry” via the tricky steep & narrow “Golden Highway” – so called because the concrete mixture for the road strips used mine tailings which in today’s modern gold recovery methods is thought to still contain tons of gold.
On Sunday morning Natalie & I say farewell to our new travel & adventure friends, John, Barry , Wesley and Bradley and head off back up the Saddleback pass and home via the Songimvelo Nature Reserve.
Special thanks to Mike Leicester (Mountain Passes South Africa) for the opportunity to join him in the filming of Eureka City pass and experiencing his passion for that stuff. We sure hope to do it again."
Tom & Natalie Cowell
And so, on to our featured pass of the week. In keeping with our Mpumalanga theme, we are featuring the Masjiennek Pass between Lydenburg and Sabie, which even through it's a major pass in its own right, is often overlooked by it's more famous sister pass (I suppose that should be brother pass) - the Long Tom Pass.
* * * * * M A S J I E N N E K P A S S * * * * *
New passes added this week:
Mkonkota Pass - A big gravel pass south of Ugie.
Dalibango Pass - A short, steep gravel pass in the old Transkei region.
Thought for the day: "When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go" ~ Catherine Pulsifer.