We left today at 10:45am on route to Kgalagadi National Park. We have 6 nights booked in the park but as it is roughly 1037.7km from our home to the entrance, we decided to split the journey and stop on route in Calvinia. We have stopped in Calvinia a few times on these routes and we always stay at the same place – Die Blou Nartjie. So that was where we headed.
The traffic was relatively heavy getting out of Cape Town but once we were on the road it lightened considerably and we made good progress. We stopped at Piketburg for lunch at the Spur and then another mandatory stop at our biltong place in Trawal which has the “Best blerrie biltong” in the Cape. Just outside Trawal there were road works which were operating a stop-and-go system with delays of up to 20 minutes. We waited 12 minutes (timed precisely by Helen) before continuing on our way.
Just after this you ascend the escarpment and move from the Western Cape into the Northern Cape by going up Van Rhyns Pass. It was a lovely clear afternoon and that gave a spectacular view from the top. There were no delays after that and we arrived in Calvinia at just before 5pm. That gave us enough time for our mandatory walk around the town including a visit to the large postbox so that Oli could be educated. It is claimed to be the largest post box in the world and is the number 1 thing to see in Calvinia (and actually the only thing!).
We are traveling with the same 4 families that we traveled with 2 years ago when we went to Botswana. The Ws had arrived ahead of us and the Ms and Gs arrived after us but everyone had arrived by 6pm. Drinks at 6:30pm in the restaurant followed by dinner and in our rooms just after 9pm. Enough time to enjoy the liberal use of water (no drought here fortunately) and exfoliation with the sandpaper towel to dry off. Hopefully a relatively early night as we are planning on departing at 8am tomorrow.
The cell signal is very poor in our room so I am not even going to attempt to post any photos even though we did take some spectacular views. I might try to sneak some in when I have a better signal (though I suspect this might be the best we end up having for the next few days).
P, H, S, M & O (you might notice no C … she is unfortunately in the UK with G&G … missing you C!)