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Bentley Drivers Club - KwaZulu Natal Region
  Drakensberg Trip, August 2011
Orion Mont-Aux Sources Hotel
Photos: Lize Smith, Jeannette, Jamie and KC Saayman

The majestic Drakensberg Mountain range (Dragon’s mountain – direct translation) stretches along the Kwa-Zulu Natal,
Lesotho and Orange Free State borders, and is conveniently located about halfway between the Kwa-Zulu Natal and
Gauteng regions of the Bentley Drivers Club.

Kwa-Zulu Natal Region chairman Nigel Atherstone put the idea together of a weekend in the Drakensberg and extended the invitation to the Gauteng Region. So on the morning of 13 August several enthusiastic Bentley owners embarked on the 5 hour journey towards the mountains, some traveling Northwards from the coast (Kwa-Zulu Natal region), and others heading South (Gauteng region). Upon arrival at Mont-Aux Sources I was amazed to find a very modern and well appointed hotel. Much different to the old stone building I remember from my last visit in the early 80’s!

We arrived on Saturday afternoon in glorious sunshine, but woke on Sunday morning to mist and light rain. Nigel had arranged for us to have lunch at Alpine Heath, a nearby hotel and resort. At about mid morning we set of in convoy for a most enjoyable drive along the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, crossing several narrow low-level bridges which become impassable when the rivers are in flood during the summer rains. Alpine Heath has created a small “village square” with restaurants and shops, and a chapel in the centre. We were directed into the village square where our cars would be on display for all to see.

A delicious lunch was served in one of the restaurants followed by a bit of shopping before
we returned to our hotel, just in time for pre-dinner drinks and dinner!

Our story should end here, because that evening we all packed our bags before going to bed so that we would be ready
to leave for home shortly after breakfast the next morning. But we were in for a little surprise…snow, and lots of it!

On the morning of our planned departure we woke to find out that we were thoroughly
snowed in, and that all the roads in the area had been closed to traffic.

We decided to make the best of it and enjoy our extended stay at the hotel, so we secured our rooms for another day
and spent most of the day relaxing in front of the fireplace in the hotel lounge enjoying the good company
of friends and fellow Bentley enthusiasts. As the saying goes, life is tough in Africa.

We were almost disappointed that the weather cleared up by the next morning, and the roads
were declared safe and opened to traffic once again.

Our extended weekend had finally come to an end so we said our goodbyes and started our journeys home in
various directions, already looking forward to the next time we meet. That is how it is with Bentley friends.

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