Our journey to
Cape Town and up the West Coast
The last preparations
for our trip were complete - the Land Rover was fully loaded and ready
to go. The only thing remaining was starting the engine and hitting
23miles, we had our first puncture. The garage who had replaced
the tube had insisted that they had done a good job - I was not so
sure, as they had used a tube which was not ideally suited for such a
heavy vehicle. The tyre was replaced successfully, and we were
a small town called Sanieshof. Sanieshof, only exists thanks to
the success of maize farming in the area. The trip took us a whopping
5 hours to complete 300km. The Land Rover was slow and extremely
noisy when fully
equipped. It was going to be an interesting trip! In
Sannieshof, we got the puncture replaced at a garage. The owner
personally insisted on supervising, so as a result we got excellent
service. He managed to balance all 6 tyres, which was quite a miracle
as most of the tyres are on original rims. It was such a good job,
that the tyres remained balanced over 10000km.
Sannieshof, we headed for Kimberley. In Kimberley we stayed with
Lee-Anne's uncle for a night - It was a good evening, where we sat
around the table dreaming out-loud of all our dreams. The next morning the Landy refused to
start. Problem: one loose nut on the starter motor!
towards Cape Town we headed. From Kimberley we were heading for
the Karoo. The Karoo is a semi-desert area in the middle of the
Cape Province. Part of the Karoo host the largest observatory in South Africa.
Not many vehicles pass along these small roads - the sheep were not
even used to the sound of a vehicle approaching, so as we approached,
they would run away.
observatory was perched high on a peak top. Five telescopes (I think!)
point skywards. It was absolutely freezing with a strong wind blowing
as we drove past. We were headed for the small town of Carnarvon.
After arriving in Carnarvon, we found the camp site, and for the first
time, set up our roof top tent. It was a good feeling...
The tent is a homemade job sitting on top of the roof-rack. It
sleeps two comfortably. We had our duvet, pillows and mattress permanently
Carnarvon we headed for the beautiful town of Ceres, which is tucked
in the Ceres mountains. The trip to Ceres took us up some
beautiful passes. At one point, we were steadily climbing and
then finally we arrived at the top of the plateau. What an
amazing site to see the land stretching far into the horizon. During
this trip, we traveled on many farm roads. Most only catered for
the width of one vehicle.
leaving Ceres, our first and only major mechanical disaster occurred -
traveling down the Bains Kloof pass, our rear diff siezed. The
fault: plain wear-and-tear. To make things worse, we were stuck in
mist, on a pass.
arrived in the form of a break-down vehicle, which then proceeded to
host the rear end of the Land Rover. This resulted in the front
tyres of the break-down vehicle lifting off the ground. Ninety
anxious minutes later we arrived in the small town of Worcester. It was
not a good feeling seeing over R6000 (six thousand Rand, or 1000US
Dollars) disappear for repairs. That really manages to put a dampen on
Town is a beautiful city - it was also the time for the Southern-right
whales. We spent hours watching them frolic in the sea. We left
Cape Town reluctantly but full of
excitement as we headed North up the West Coast of South Africa. The
West Coast is clouded in Fog throughout the morning, which brings a
peace to the small coastal towns. We spent a very relaxed three
days in Lamberts Bay, enjoying long walks on the beach, and excellent
fish braais. People lived a totally different life along the west
coast compared to the life we were living in Pretoria / Johannesburg.
next stop after Lamberts Bay was Springbok, a small town in the
Namaqualand. It was a long journey as we had to travel from sea level
all the way to 1500m ASL. This trip, in a normal vehicle, does not
take long, but in a 31 year old Land Rover, it takes ages. Springbok
offers the traveler the last chance to check email before heading to
then finally we arrived at the South African / Namibian border. Rest
was in order, so after finding a camp site (called Fiddlers Creek) on
the Orange river, we set up camp, swam, canoed and relaxed for
three days. It was also at this campsite were we met our first
overland truck. The peace and quiet was not the same....
finally it was time to cross the border....
Namibian Story continues...