“THE WORLD IS A BOOK – THOSE THAT DON’T TRAVEL READ ONLY ONE PAGE”
We awoke to idyllic weather following a day of thunderstorms with everything fresh. We’d slept at Springbok Pan Guest Farm in the Bateleur Campsite a few kilometers from McCathy’s Rest Border post.
Green grass and beautiful yellow flowers everywhere. This whole region, normally an arid, dry part of the Kalahari, had been transformed. The rains had performed their magic!
A week before on Saturday 7th January we started our journey at last! Our first nights stay was in Plettenberg Bay to say farewell to my sister Carol and David. We’d not seen their new home yet and also had a “limited edition” calendar as a gift for them. Carol had arranged a wonderful send off for us by inviting family and friends over for the evening.
Despite roadsigns to the contrary, we were able to detour on the old road through beautiful Natures Valley and the Groot River pass, as well as the Blaaukrantz pass, with its huge trees covered with old man’s beard and “Tarzan ropes “, rejoining the N2 at Coldstream. Thus bypassing the Toll road!
Our first night of actual camping was in Jeffery’s Bay, virtually right on the beach at one of our favourite places. We needed to check that we had made adequate preparations to our camping setup and vehicle. The caravan park was still charging holiday rates unfortunately. To add to our dissapointment, the weather was stormy too.
Our vehicle passed our final check and we left the next day for Camdeboo Game Reserve in Graaff Reinet at the Valley of Desolation.
A lovely campsite in the bush but with very little game.
The main attraction, The Valley of Desolation, didn’t let us down. After seeing the dam level and being told that the Sunday’s river had not run for 4 years we forgave the heavy rains that dampened our stay there. It was summer and we expected lots more rain before the end of our travels. We were adequately prepared for all types of weather.
After a nights stay in the town at the Urquhart campsite and a night in Kimberley at the Big Hole campsite, I must comment about some municipal camping facilities. Both campsites are run by their respective municitalities and in both instances, the electricity supply was faulty. NO EARTH ! Extremely dangerous to campers prepping their food in damp grass! To overcome the danger I took emergency steps!
Before reaching Kimberley we detoured to view the Solar Power Station at De Aar. Very impressive! From unconfirmed information we received it is said to be the largest installation of this type in the Southern Hemisphere. We drove alongside it for about 4 kilometers!
After another night on the road in Kuruman we did some last minute shopping and our journey began for real!!