On the Road
A long distance travel day that found us still 1000kms from Cape Town at the end of it. The road from Vredeport through Kroonstad and beyond is under construction, with bumpy dirt road detours, stop and go sections and speed restrictions. Once on the N1 the travelling is easier.
Plum Tree Cafe - main street of Parys
Parys has trendied up, one of those small towns in the middle of nowhere that has reinvented itself as a tourist destination. It’s vintage in an Afrikaans/Africa sort of a way, lots of antiques, broekie lace and homemade rusks. The mediocre morning coffee (ugly bubbles in the foam of my cappuccino) was rescued by the highly original presentation and served with the December 1974 Edition 51 of Huisgenoot magazine, complete with Anneline Kriel on the cover. Worth stopping for that alone.
Overnighted at: Forever Resort
Located: Gariep Dam
How we found it: We camped at the dam thirty something years ago, although it wasn’t owned by Forever Resorts then. “Camp & Caravan” confirmed that it was still operating.
Road access: Good.
Amenities: Awesome. Individual ablutions per campsite (kitchen, toilet, bath), braais and power. Restaurant at the resort, shops and a petrol station nearby.
Cost: NZD22 / ZAR220 for two adults (pensioner’s discount!)
It felt strangely familiar - not much has changed in the camping area since we came through with our windsurfers en route to Hogsback and East London more than three decades ago. Slightly surreal to see boat masts and an expanse of muddy-coloured water in what is basically the Karoo. Much warmer and dryer than our night at the Vaal and we had no security worries. Slept well.
Soundtrack: Birds, occasional helicopters and distant road traffic.
Highlight: Our own private, lockable kitchen and ensuite.
Lowlight: There wasn't one.