D-Day – 15 July 2017

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN ANYWAY?!

I don’t have an internet connection while I am writing this and I have never thought about Googling it before now but, what does the D in D-day stand for? Destruction? Disaster? Dangerous? Not sure why all the negative D-adjectives are popping into my mind but I did manage to find one that is bit more suitable and less doomsday-ish: Departure.20170715_151538 (2)

We left Cape Town in the rain which could be seen as a bad omen but being the positive person that I am, I took it as a blessing. Cape Town is in dire need of rainfall and every drop is a promise of new life and beginnings – thus the perfect weather to start a new adventure with.

The initial plan was to leave on Thursday 13th July, take the N2 and explore the South Coast. We left Saturday, 15th July, took the N1 and found ourselves on Route 62 exploring the Karoo. Why this change in plans? I have no idea but it seemed like a good idea at the when we pulled out of the driveway.

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Ronnie’s sex shop on Route 62
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Ashton – Bertus racing a stationery train!

As for Bertus: For those who think he is an old car, you will be surprised at how technologically advanced he is. He has a hill detector setting that automatically decreases the speed to about 40 – 55km/h when he senses a hill, or any slight increase in altitude.

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You will not find that in your new cars – that I can assure you. Since we cannot find the button to switch this safety feature off we realize that this might become a major issue in Lesotho and Swaziland but we will cross that hill when we get to it, eventually.

Equipped with our faithful, yet very much outdated version of Coast to Coast – your one and only guide to the best Backpackers in Southern Africa, we found our first stop: Amber Lagoon: located nowhere near a lagoon, 25km north of Calitzdorp. I can only describe it as a little piece of paradise in the middle of the Karoo. Unfortunately we only spent one night there but it is definitely on our list to visit when we get back.

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View from Amber Lagoon Backpackers

We pitched our tent under clear, blue skies and woke up in the middle of the night from raindrops splattering against our tent with increasing velocity. That morning, the mountains around Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn were covered in powder white snow. Absolutely beautiful but cold as fu… It was cold. Let’s just leave it there…

Clayton used this opportunity to inform me that the heater in Bertus no longer works as he had to close the vents to ensure that water will not get into the car during future water crossings. Lovely.

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We might need to rethink the packing situation

We packed up camp and set off to Jeffrey’s Bay where we hoped for better, warmer weather. Keeping in mind that it is the middle of winter, I have no idea what we were expecting. At one stage I feared I lost my toes to frostbite and I kept thinking about all the things I have seen on Bear Grylls of what not to do when you have, or suspect, frostbite. This is all the things you would naturally want to do like rub the area to get it warmer or soak it in boiling hot water. 

I will admit that I took out my phone and searched for non-camping options to stay at for the 2 nights we would spend in J-bay. But being the stubborn people that we are, and not wanting to admit that some people were correct about how fragile I am, we decided to camp at the Jeffrey’s Bay municipal camp grounds. That was an… experience.

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