Piggs Peak - First Class.

Trip Start Apr 01, 1990
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Trip End Aug 21, 2002


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Where I stayed
Protea Piggs Peak Hotel

Flag of Swaziland  , Hhohho,
Friday, August 15, 1997

When we first arrived at Jacaranda Lodge it all looked a bit daunting with a very high security fence surrounding the Lodge which was closed at night. However the owners were a charming South African English decent couple with amazingly clipped English accents. The rooms were adequate and clean but the big surprise was a bar decked out like an English pub, obviously a good excuse to enjoy a beer or two. After we booked in we went and checked out what the locals were selling or bartering out the front. As it was mostly clothing and blankets we were not tempted to buy.

Next morning we took a drive into the local game park the Itala Game Reserve which is quite close to town. The park is quite nice, although not overly large. One of the good things with this park is that you can be a bit more relaxed, as the big cats (lions) are absent, so one can get out at lookouts and drive with the window down. Mind you there are still leopard, cheetah, baboon etc so staying close to the car is recommended. What was more of a problem to us was another vehicle. We had stopped to and walked a short distance to take in the view, when another vehicle approached and passed our parked car. Suddenly they decided they wanted to see what we were looking at and stopped then promptly reversed back into our car, denting the front. We took their name and address (local South Africans) and gave it to Avis and fortunately did not hear anything more!!

Next we crossed the border at Pongola and into Swaziland, then made our way to the capital Mbabane. Our first stop was the Palace but when we came near we spotted a sign on the approach street proclaiming anyone venturing past would be shot without question, so we decided we had seen the Palace. We then stopped at the bank to get cash and a local swapped serving cues to get behind Heather. Avan stood back to keep an eye on him and noticed he was paying a lot of attention to Heather's transaction. When Heather left the counter so did he without being served, so we went directly back to our car, watching our back, and left town. Sounds a bit dramatic but we felt it was better to be safe than sorry.

So it was off to Bulembu, back on the border of South Africa but this time on the Northern side of Swaziland and rocked up to stay at the nearby Protea Piggs Peak Hotel and Casino on the recommendation of the Jacaranda lodge owners. When we asked the tariff it was way out of our budget, so we told the check in we were moving on. He was horrified and advised even he wouldn't risk it, let alone a tourist, so Heather went into bargaining mode. We ended up with off season rates, staff discount, no tax and given there was nothing else available, a deluxe room at standard room rate less the discounts. Pretty good, Heather was well satisfied.
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