|Dave Mickle and Robin Gibb|
After another 11 hours we were in Johannesburg and had another wait there before leaving on a short domestic flight (1 hour) for Bloemfontein. It was supposed to be a two-hour drive from there to Sandstone but it took about three because of road works.
Sandstone is an agricultural property on the Lesotho border owned by Wilfred Mole. Here has built an extensive 2ft gauge railway to operate his extensive collection of narrow gauge steam locomotives from throughout southern Africa. The occasion of this visit was the annual steam gala when as much as possible is steamed and operated over a period of a week. There is also much other historical transport, farming and military equipment to see in operation.
We arrived at Sandstone just before the morning’s action finished and had the opportunity to see a Kerr Stuart 0-4-2ST and a Peckett 0-6-0ST in operation as we drove in.
|Kerr Stuart 4063 and Simon Mead|
|Peckett 2161 with Bob Baker|
After lunch, we had a Garratt NGG16 take us around the complete circuit of the railway including the section that had to be result after extensive washaways in the last couple of years. During this trip we had some much-needed rain – this year has been abnormally dry.
|NGG16 153 tackles the grade to Vailima|
We booked into our hotel in Ficksburg – dated but clean and comfortable. And at last the first chance for some proper sleep for 47 hours.
|Highlands Hotel - another entry for Fi's bedspreads of the world contest|