Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Leg 10 and 11 of an epic journey

Missed out on one very important photo from Gold Reef city: Sunshine in a tin :)

After Jo'brg we hit the road again through part of the Free State and the Northern Cape. En Route we encountered the worst thunderstorm I have ever had to drive through. K was driving at that time and if we could see 10 metres in front of us, it was a lot. Thunder and lightning, hail and rain in buckets. Pretty scary stuff.

After this adventure, we stopped in Kimberly, but unfortunately the BIG Hole was closed for the day already, so we drove once around it, tried to get close to take pictures and then left for Britstown. Here we were accommodated for the night, but the service was not that great. Also, although we booked for B&B, breakfast was soemhow not included in the price. Mozzies also plagued us all through the night and the aircon was too loud to use.

The next morning we left again, drove through the Karoo on the R384 (if you never hear of that road, neither had I until I drove on it :) ) Vosburg was the next town on the map, and if there was anything to report, it was that we got petrol here. Next town was Carnavon (nope, never heard of it either, but it exsits) and here the road turned to gravel. Yes, they still do exsist in good old SA. This road (R63) was particularly well kept and we made good time. Williston was next (same as Carnavon), and then we joined the R27, where we were on tar again. We then drove through Calvinia and headed to Clanwilliam via Van Rhynsdorp rather than the R364, because we were warned that that road was badly damaged in the recent rain.

Clanwilliam Hotel had a strange set-up, with the bar and restaurant outsourced to someone else, who also had two rooms in the hotel at their disposal. There was no receptionist at all and we had to ask around for service. The room was pleasant enough, but the bathroom wasn't cleaned properly, so we had to sort that out. Then there was a swimming pool, but it was filled with kids. There was also only a bath, no shower head even and the room was hot, hot, hot, but at least the aircon was working and a lot quieter than the one in Britstown.

We went for dinner at the Olifanshuis Restaurant and Pizzeria. OH YUM. Food took a while, but was awesome.

We had a restful night - no mozzies! Then we had breakfast at the hotel (this time it was included), and headed to the town of Wuppertal.  The link takes you to Google maps, just so that you can see that it really is in the middle of nowhere. Again, the scenery is spectacular, and the dirt roads attrocious!!!

I'm sure there are lots and lots of things to do in Wuppertal when it's not Christmas, but actually to us, it was a bit of a disappointment. The houses and history were well documented and that was the end of that.

On our way back (mid-day) we stopped at a farm stall to go on their Rock painting hike. It was HOT, but the hike well marked, except the waterhole where you could supposedly swim. We only ofund the path on our way back and strolled through the water / river. On one of the banks, with one step I sunk into sand knee-deep, next step the same and then back on solid ground - my heart raced, K was in shock we had to stop for a while and thank the Lord that nothing had happened.

The water was about 25 Degrees Celsius and thus we did not swim, but take lots of piccies

The trail is called Sevilla Rock Art and takes between 2 and 3 hours, depending on whether you wan to do the whole thing, or just a section. We received quite a welcome back at the farm stall - with Grenadilla Ice Cream and 6 free Grenadillas - yum.

We headed via Citrusdal and had the most amazing steak I have had in a while at this place - Highly recommended. Then we finished the day in Cape Town and fell into bed.

Leg 9 of an epic journey

The journey continued the next morning. We drove via Bethlehem (yes, Christmas in Bethlehem), past Sasolburg and on to Johannesburg.

The trip took a while, so we relaxed at my brother's place, and that was the end of the leg. We stayed for a few days in Joh'burg and this is what we got up to:

24th - Gold-Reef City. I've never seen this place so empty. We could even go on all the rides - get whiplash as well, but having lots and lots of fun

Then, of course, Germans are weird and celebrate Christmas eve, rather than Christmas, so later that day we went to church and celebrated with the in-laws of brother dearest.
Happy Christmas
25th December we went to the Rhino and Lion park, where I did not take any pictures, but K did. It was pretty much like a zoo, except the cages were bigger. We also swam, swam, swam, because the wheather was good and sunny (for a change).