Monday, 22 June 2009

Road Trip 2.5

Tuesday 9th June

After having stopped at Augrabies for two days we decided to head straight to the West Coast and Lambert's Bay rather than taking up the option of stopping halfway somewhere.

With nearly 750km to drive the day got off to another good early start (it makes all the difference if you can be on the road for 0800hrs). We fuelled at Keimoes and headed onto the straight and featureless R27, what a road, mile after mile of dead straight tarmac and nothing else! The odd lone tree provides some respite in the otherwise never ending views of not much at all!

We stopped off to visit Oma Miemie's Farmstall at Kenhardt and are now the 'proud' owners of a tin bath. I'm not sure what Elaine plans to do with it but I'm sure it will prove to be of use to us one day!

Shortly after leaving Oma Miemie's and getting back up to speed we had a real drama as the rear offside tyre on the 'bakkie' went. We snaked to a halt but managed to stay on the road, thanks to some calm driving from Jon, and took a deep breath. Fortunately the tyre had 'delaminated' rather than bursting but still pretty scary! Somewhere in the Northern Cape there is now a strip of rubber with all of our tyre tread on it! We got the jack out and eventually released the spare tyre from the underbelly of the 'bakkie' allowing us to continue our journey.

After a short while the excitement had worn off and we were back to the miles of straight road heading straight through the salt flats around Brandvlei. To quote Wikipedia "This region contains very little vegetation, primarily very low shrubs and yellow grass among a rocky desert kind of landscape. If you travel north from Brandvlei towards Kenhardt, you will pass through a huge landscape of nothingness for the next 200 km and more". Eventually things began to look up, first we saw Camels, then Ostrich and Springbok. Then all of a sudden a hill loomed in the distance and we were through the most monotonous part of the day!

We stopped off in Calvinia to get a new tyre fitted and continued over the nearby mountain pass and back into the Western Cape. We enjoyed the dramatic change in scenery and soon enough we got to the N7 and the fertile fruit trees near Clanwilliam.

One more right turn and we were on the last leg of a long day and Lambert's Bay. Imagine our additional 'excitement' when the bakkie's oddometer completed a full circle and returned to 00000km (really 200000km), in fact so 'exciting' was it that we took a photograph to share with you all!

We had another one of those lucky finds in terms of accommodation in Lambert's Bay with another 'granny flat' called 'Die Pophuis' or Doll's House. We called them from port area and within 2 minutes owner Van der Merwe Burger had driven to collect us and show us the way round the corner to his and his wife Willa's home. We had everything that we needed for the grand sum of R120 (£9) for the night! 'Oom' even drove us to Isabellas Restaurant which they had recommended to us to show us how to get there. It really is the people that you meet that make travelling so rewarding.

We enjoyed a fantastic meal of fresh fish and watched the sunset before going back to Die Pophuis for a well earned sleep.

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