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Besters Village, old graves and the old Free State Line

Besters - Fred Johnson- Harrismith Kommando Monument - 18 Oct 1899 -  28.26.11 S 29.38.36 E (10)

First Boer killed in Natal 16 October 1899

Besters - old trading store - shutters

Besters - Hans Dons grave - Monument - Hans De Lange Monument

Ladysmith - Smiths Crossing - Free State HQ - Farm House - 28.29.51 S 29.42.55 E (32)

Smiths Crossing – Free State Commando HQ – 1899

Van Reenens Pass - Rail Route - old - KZN views - 28.22.16 S 29.25.47 E -  (23)

Rail line – Free State to Natal – views from Van Reenen rail pass

For anyone wishing to get some fresh air and to mix up a bit of History, rural life, and mountain passes, I can recommend an easy day trip from Ladysmith, past Smiths Crossing farm ruins(Free State HQ 1900), into Besters Village to see what remains, along with the grave of the first Boer to die, Fred Johnson, Kommandant Hans Don, executed for murder, Private Skinner of the 5th Lancers and that of a child (De Jager) who is buried next to Private Skinner.

The graves are hard to find but co ordinates are on my Besters Gallery (Inland Section), as are images of this area.

You can then take a drive along the Free State – Natal line and at the foot of the mountains head up the old NGR line, through an abandoned rail tunnel, along the old line route and emerge at the top of Van Reenen’s Pass. The views are Stunning.

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