I spend the night at the Grey’s Inn in Machadodorp, Mpumalanga Province.

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On the first part of the journey.
I was looking at all the life.
There were rocks and plants and birds and things
There was sand and hills...”
(Horse with no name, America)
I did not discover a desert, 
but what I did find was the Grey’s Inn, in Machadodorp.

Mine host for the duration of my stay,
Mike Crawford.

One of businesses that the Crawfords
operate is the Stag’s Breath Pub.
And what would a pub be without a pool table
as well as a mounted head on the wall.

This female leopard skull resides on a shelf behind the bar.

Like any good “small town” in South Africa,
the pub has a variety of interesting items to keep 
visitors entertained.
This scale caught my attention.

Next door to the pub is the 
Purple Orchid coffee shop.
Great coffee and cake as well as delicious ice-cream.

In the parking lot , I discovered more
“items of interest”…

Mike told me that this old farm implement
is going to be turned into a sculpture at some point.

Some old tools hanging on what would have been a blank wall.

The veranda in front of the accommodation
 where I stayed.
This building, as with the coffee shop and the pub
have been restored by the Crawfords.

The rooms are all similar,
and contain a fridge and a TV.
The ablutions consist of a shower, basin and toilet.
It was hot when I visited,
so the working ceiling fan was much appreciated.
I find them easier to have running when I sleep rather

 than a thrumming air-conditioner.

Mike and his Dad have built a lot of the fixtures and fittings themselves.
The cupboard in my room was made out of reclaimed ceiling boards.

Home made burger and fries for dinner…
The roll was baked on the premises using mashed potato as an ingredient!

This is what Mike calls a 
“Whatever is in the kitchen omelette”
And it was delicious…

The roof of the main church in the town 
caught my eye as I drove out.
Although the clouds seemed to hold a promise of rain,
all they held was just “the promise”…
The temperature climbed steadily during my visit to the area.

People are living here?
Very possibly as I did notice two dogs lying in the shade of the veranda.
Due to the local smelter closing down,
many of the people living here no longer have work.

For me, this sign summed up the plight of many small towns in our country.
The majority of these were reliant on one large corporation for work
and when that closed the inhabitants are left stranded.
A company can move away and re-open elsewhere,
but that is often not an option for the workers.

The train that runs through the town several times a day
carries ore to the coast and no longer passengers.

I discovered that the local cemetery
has graves of British servicemen who died in the Boer war  
If you are heading North to Kruger National Park,
Sabi Sabi or Sabi Sands…
consider breaking your journey here in Machadodorp.
Stay the night or just enjoy a meal, have a cup of coffee 
and a chat with the Crawfords.

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