September 19, 2005

South Africa FlagBreakfast was at 8 am, and our departure was scheduled for 9 am. We decided to sit in the back of the truck, since there was going to be a lot of highway driving today. The ride was quite bumpy, even though the road was paved, so who knows what it will be like on Namibia’s dirt roads.

Early in the trip we stopped at Bloubergstrand beach for a last look at Cape Town and Table Mountain, which had its tablecloth on. Continuing on north on the N7, we made a bathroom stop at Piketberg, where we also bought a small bag of candies. Lunch was at Clanwilliam, a lovely little one-street town in the citrus-growing area of South Africa. We could smell the orange blossoms in the area as we drove into the town.

We were on our own for lunch, and we found a little tea shop where we had scones and rooibos tea. We sat on a nice patio at the back and had a restful time. After lunch we had about half an hour before we had to be back on the truck, so we wandered down the main street looking at the few shops.

Continuing north on the highway, we passed out of the citrus area into dry country on the edge of the Namib Desert, an area called Namaqualand. Among the flocks of sheep we saw one group of springboks, but no other animal life. The desert flowers were just starting to bloom but they were still beautiful. Some areas were carpeted in purple flowers, which when looked at closely also had yellow, orange, and red plants interspersed. We had one more pit stop, at Nuerus, where we bought popsicles, then drove on all the way to Kamieskroon.

The Cosy Mountain campground was in a rocky area not far from the highway. It had hot showers, but with limited amounts of water. Leon demonstrated how to put up the tents, then we all put ours up. The tents are a lot larger than what we normally use—they weigh about 15 kg and we can stand up easily inside them.

It took quite a while to cook dinner, which was a very good spaghetti with meat sauce, so we didn’t eat until about 8:30, and dishwashing wasn’t finished until after 10 pm. We sat around the fire for a while, then retired to our tent to write our journals.

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