Thursday, 18 February 2016

An up and down route Karoo to Wilderness 3

A road trip is always packed with fun and when driving only on the back roads time is not relevant. 
We had time to chat, to look and to explore.
This will be our last leg of our journey that zig-zag through 3 provinces and travelled more than 2000 km 
You can read about the first leg of our trip here 
To read about the road trip through the Northern Cape click here 
Part 3
We needed to stop in Britstown 
The church in the centre of town
Our next stop was Victoria West
We passed all these wind turbines and wonder what was it all about. 
It was Noblesfontein Wind Farm
Beyond the valleys of Victoria West and Drie Susters in the Northern Cape lays a vast landscape boasting a new kind of bloom. Noblesfontein Wind Farm is situated 40km from Victoria West and is one of the first privately owned wind farms in the country. The erection and completion of the wind farm was in 2014 and there is 41 towers currently in operation. The farm, which belongs to the Roux Family Trust, was chosen not only due to the position of the land, but also due to the family’s own commitment to renewable energy in South Africa and it does not only focus on the environment through the use of alternative energy resources, but is also trying to give back through various projects in the community.
Thank you to Noblesfontein for sharing this picture
Beaufort West
Beaufort West is the largest town in the arid Great Karoo region, and is known as the "Capital" of the Karoo. Did you know? Professor Christiaan Barnard, the town’s most famous son who performed the first successful human-to-human heart transplant is honoured in the local museum, which houses a display of awards presented to him and a replica of the original heart transplant theatre.
Beautiful architecture 
After travelling for some time we stop for a bite at Boeteka Farm Stall 
They have proper padkos and the warmth and authenticity cannot be replicated. You will find this Farm Stall on the N12 
A selection with a difference 
When driving to the coast you have to make time to stop in Meiringspoort. The poort follows the natural gorge hewn by the Groot Rivier (big river) through the Swartberg range connecting, on either end, the towns of Klaarstroom and De Rust or the Groot and Klein Karoo respectively.
The 24 drifts are numbered and named according to something that happened. Some of our favourites are:
Spookdrif (Ghost Drift) A supernatural light, was seen at this drift.
Damdrif (Dam Drift): Upstream was a large waterhole. 
Boesmansdrif (Bushman's Drift) There are broad deep clefts in the rock, where bushmen lived. There artefacts were still to be found as late as 1965, but now the area is overgrown by wild fig trees. 
Skelmkloofdrif (Hidden Ravine Drift) Legend has it that layabouts (skelms in Afrikaans) living in this ravine stole Petrus Meiring's sheep. 
Aalwyndrif (Aloe Drift) named after the beautiful mountain aloes, which bloom from 
July to September
Nooiensboomdrif (Maiden's Tree Drift) Given this name because of two Kiepersol trees on either side of the road, their branches intertwining. 
Steweldrif (Boot Drift) Legend has it that Petrus Meiring's wagoner's boots were washed away at this point, causing him to return home for another pair. 
Herrie se Drif named to Herrie se Klip after CJ Langenhoven chiseled the name of his imaginary elephant in the stone which is found a little further up the river.
Witperdedrif or Rabbi se Drif (White Horses Drift or Rabbi's Drift):A Rabbi along with his horses and cart was washed down the river 
Wadrif (Wagon's Drift) A number of wagons were washed away at this point through time. 
Uitspandrif (Outspan Drift) There was space at this ford for the wagoner to outspan his oxen. This is now the site of a very neatly laid out picnic site near the Great Waterfall
Ontploffingsdrip (Explosion Drift) A wagon, fully loaded with dynamite and travelling at quite a speed on the very bumpy "Boer Road" is said to have exploded at this point because of the volatile cargo. Miraculously although the cart and mules did not survive, the driver did. He only carted wool afterwards.
Rooiuitspanning Or Langstraatdrif (Drft at the red Outspan or Long Street Drift) There was room enough at this drift for a number of wagons to outspan. The soil here is red, hence the name. This is also the end of a stretch of road almost 3 kms long without any river crossings, which is referred to as Long Street.
Peerboomdrif (Pear Tree Drift): A huge saffron pear tree made this a popular rendezvous and outspan. On the road nearby was a house. Two spinsters lived here until the death of one.The other buried her in the lounge and disappeared, never to be seen again.
De Rust a quaint, picturesque Victorian village connecting the Klein Karoo and the Karoo. De Rust has always been the place to rest before challenging the route through the next pass. 
Outeniqua Pass almost there. The Outeniqua Pass was built utilising labour from Italian prisoners of war between 1943 and 1951. 
Wilderness time to kick off the shoes and enjoy the sea. We stayed at Wilderness Dunes and this was wonderful. The only down side 225 steps to the beach. 
When in the area you have to visit Knysna and Belvedere, but that's not all you also have to eat at all the wonderful eateries in and around. Do not forget Victoria Bay, Sedgefield and Hoekwil. There is so much more to see and do. 
Enjoy your trip 
Thank you for taking this wonderful trip with us 
Till next time 
Sandra