We woke at first light and packed up in a flurry so that we could kill some kilometers on our long journey back the Cradock to drop off the lost boys. We drove past a quiver tree forest of over 5000 trees and I finally got my photo taken whilst reclining against one and peering over the sweltering plains of the Northern Cape. I’m also glad to finally say that I now know what Putsonderwater looks like! The whole place was an abandoned ghost town which surprised me as word has it that the town actually did have a lot of water and the rumor that it didn’t was given to try and avoid an influx of people moving through with their cattle and settling there.
From there it was on to Prieska where we went to go and look for Wayne’s great grandfathers grave. He was well known farmer as well as a police cavalry sergeant in the town! After searching the oldest graveyard in the town we were finally redirected to the newer one to search but in 39 degree heat, we dispersed and frantically searched just to escape the heat. We eventually found it after about 20 minutes and paid our tributes before heading off again with the aircon on full blast!
The drive seemed to carry on forever and we eventually pulled into Cradock at about 4:30. We then decided to push on to Queenstown to try and cut off some distance for the next days long drive back home. We stayed at The Cullinan B&B, had about a romantic as possible dinner at the local Spur and rolled into bed to rest our weary heads.
We left Queenstown at 7am, pie and energy drink for breakfast and started the long journey home back to our loved ones and our little paradise called Zini… Passing the time we took photos of funny signs and the “Little Flour School” topped the list! Hopefully their spelling gets a little better over time LOL
All in all we can say that this trip has highlighted for us the beauty of South Africa with all its vastly different landscapes, cultures and diverse ways of life. We have done extensive journeys in many African countries and have found that the beauty we have on our doorsteps rates with some of the best we have ever seen!
N2 and R72 to Bathurst
R67 to Grahamstown
R350 to Bedford
R63 towards the N10
N10 to Cradock
R61 to Nieu Bethesda
R61 to Graaf Reniet
R63 to Murraysburg
R63 to Victoria West
R63 to Loxton
R356 to Fraserburg
R356 to Sutherland
R356 to Tankwa Karoo
R355 to Calvinia
R27 to Verneukpan
R357 to Prieska
N10 to Cradock
PLACES TO STAY
The Historical Pig and Whistle: basic restaurant
Pickwick’s Oven Rated best in Africa by ‘Going Nowhere Slowly’, Pickwick’s Oven offers sumptuous pizzas garnished with generous toppings and gourmet combinations.
The Owlhouse Backpackers
The Bethesda Tower
Starry Nights Guesthouse
The cow jumped over the moon
The ibis Lounge: fantastic restaurant and has Banting options.
Karoo Lamb: great restaurant and pub
The Ibis Lounge serves AMAZING food and offers Banting options
You can eat at the post office. Just book beforehand.
The Brewery & Two Goats Deli
Tankwa Karoo National Park: (self catering)
De Zyfer self catering cottage (Highly recommended)
Elandsburg cottages (Highly recommended)
Tankwa tented camp
VERNEUKPAN: (self catering)
*Extra fuel. You will need it as most small towns either don’t have a fuel station or are closed on weekends.
*At lest 2 spare tyres. We used Cooper ST’s which handled the road conditions extremely well. Choose tyres with a well protected side wall where you can lower the pressure to make the corrugated roads a little more comfortable. In general the gravel road conditions were good but don’t go unprepared!
*Take lots of extra drinking water. If you get stuck out here you are not likely to find help in a hurry. You will need it. Take at least 3 litres of water per person.
*Handy tip: having an Internet device allows you to Google interesting facts about each little town you drive through on Wikipedia.