I have finally gone through all the photos we took during our trip to the Western Cape for the Christmas holidays. There are at least 1,000 pictures taken. Actually, that number is only what I have personally saved. There are a lot more photos taken with my father’s Nikon. I do have some of them but most of the pictures I will be posting are taken by my ever-reliable iPhone 6S. Its portability and the good-enough quality of the images make it my camera of choice. I just have not convinced myself to carry around a bulky equipment.
This is the first installment of this Garden Route trip. As much as I would like to have one detailed post, considering the number of images (and I love to use them) and the available time fellow bloggers and other readers have for reading blogs, I choose to have a number of short posts.
I hope you enjoy this and the others to come.
Driving from Gauteng to the Western Cape and back
It is a long drive. From where we live in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, it is slightly less than 1,200km. It is advisable to stop halfway through to take a break from driving and get a good night’s rest. A good halfway is a little town of Gariepdam in the Free State. We only stopped here on our way back home.
We needed to be in George to fetch my grown up biological daughter (who grew up knowing me as her sister) at the airport so on our way to the Western Cape we stopped in Graaff-Reinet. This small town in the Eastern Cape is 350km to George with the drive taking 3 1/2 hours.
Hubby, who was driving on his own 2 days after us as he still had to be at work, stopped in Colesberg in the Northern Cape. He was starting off in Sasolburg so instead of driving 650km for 6 hours he only drove for less than 5 1/2 hours the 560km from his work to Colesberg.
Challenges faced for failing to prepare fully for a 1,000+ km drive
The stop in Gariepdam was the best choice available for our drive back as hubby needed to make it back to work to enable him to work at least for half a day. This did not happen as we had a burst tire about 400km to our halfway stop and the unexpected crack on the wheel itself rendered us stuck in Bloemfontein (the “big city” between Gauteng and George) the next morning from 8am to 1pm. It was indeed unfortunate.
While the drive back was no fun at all (could be also because vacation was over), the drive to our holiday destination was quite exciting. We did stop more times than planned as no one remembered that the car needs new oil every 2,000km (I think).
My father was a little sleepy early on so I drove as soon as we were out of the Gauteng Province. This was when I noticed the oil light. I knew I needed to stop at the next town as I could not wait to make it to Bloemfontein. The nearest small town was Kroonstad in the Free State.
Has anyone ever tried to find a fully synthetic 0 W 40 oil in a small farming town? I never thought it would be quite a mission. Gas stations did not have and the 1st auto shop we went to had a measly liter. Luckily, we could get 2 liters of the good-enough 5 W 40. Problem solved. The only catch was we arrived in Graaff-Reinet only at 8pm.
Sights along the way
Notwithstanding the delay, we got to enjoy the lovely Karoo scenery along the way. Karoo may be a desert but it is quite a pretty sight.
There was more beauty to behold the next day; just before George is the magnificent Outeniqua Pass. I love mountains so I was totally in awe. The clouds made a difference – the view was even more breathtaking.
Short video of our drive past Outeniqua Pass
And here we are… well, mostly me 🙂
Till the next post – when I see you all in Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape! 🙂
Interesting info (for the non-South Africans): Did you notice that we went through 3 other provinces to get from Gauteng Province to the Western Cape Province? We drove past the provinces of the Free State, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. It was that long a drive!