Blinkpan, Cultural Heartland

Blinkpan, contrary to its name's suggestion that it is but a flash in the pan, is a pretty little rural town that provides a peaceful, country-style setting for Gauteng holiday makers intent on getting away from it all, just 45 kilometres from Ogies on the Ermelo line (which gives you an indication of just how 'out of the way' it is, even if it has a station).

It lies south of Middelburg and east of Johannesburg, just off the N11, and is en route to the Lowveld, making it an ideal stopover or just somewhere to lose yourself for a weekend. Unsurprisingly, this part of the world is given over largely to farms, and maize, potatoes and sunflowers grace the fields on the side of roads.

Whilst the little town may have its own golf club, there is little else in the way of tourist attractions here to disturb your stay - the largely grassland area is devoid of noise, and tourists. Pretty tree-studded farms, with veldt as far as the eye can see allow one to unwind. A large part of this landscape is available for beautiful hikes and 4X4 trails, whilst visitors can also look forward to a number of industrial and agricultural tours to local farms and collieries.

Wild flowers in and around Blinkpan (cosmos is rampant during spring) are one of the highlights, particularly the local cycad indigenous to the region, whilst the influences of the local Ndebele are evident throughout the locale where their brightly painted houses and huts hint at the bead work and crafts which are available at a number of cultural villages in Mpumalanga.

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