2009 road trip.The return journey


This song is probably the strongest connection that I have to my daughter.
Bob Carlisle with “Butterfly Kisses”…
Once I had dropped my daughter at her new “home” in Cape Town,
it was time for me to hit the road back to Johannesburg.
This time alone,
with only myself and MY choice of music for company.
The return journey, via a different route, took me three days.
This is that journey…

I left Cape Town in the rain and the wind.
This stayed with me thru the DuToits Pass. Lots of mist and snow on the mountains.

I decided to ignore the toll roads, but to take alternative routes where possible. 

By doing that I was able to discover places like this… 

And views that went on forever… 

Leeu Gamka, De Doorns, Lainsberg and Beaufort west were on my route.

Not a single “antique” shop in sight! 

I stayed at “The Vale” guest farm…my bedroom was actually my bathroom and vice versa…they also have stone cottages and a hunting lodge.
It is 28kms from B.W(on the Jhb side) and about 1km away from the N1, which makes it very quiet and peaceful.

I was joined at dinner by a visiting group of Australian sheep farmers staying at The Vale while doing a course on Dorper Sheep. Dinner once again proved that chicken is actually a vegetable in this part of South Africa. Lamb in various forms together with home made bread and jam, and a salad. Breakfast was memorable as what I thought was a meat free omelet turned out to have bacon hidden inside! 

Note that the bedroom, bathroom and toilet were all in one 

But is was a great stopover.
Even if I was feeling lonely having no passenger with me 

This is the hunting accommodation.
Stone cottages as well as a dormitory. 

All round porch… 

 Very little traffic meant that I could make good time and it also allowed me to stop of in Victoria West at an antique shop, which had been burgled over the weekend. Who says crime is a big city phenomenon? Barkley West seems to have a lot of business and residential properties for sale. I am not sure what that indicates, but like a lot of “small town” South Africa, this little town seems to be on the decline. 

Normally the first landmark in any small town in the Karroo  

The majority of house are well maintained.
However, I do wonder what keeps these communities going economically. 

The N12 to Barkley West is currently undergoing a fair amount of construction work, but for the most part it is long, straight and boring.

My final stop before the last leg back to Johannesburg.

Comfortable accommodation,
and the best steak dinner I had eaten the entire trip.

 The Vaal River flows across the road from this quaint guesthouse and was a reminder that this was the penultimate leg of a journey that had started 10 days ago

There are several B ‘n B, so there must be some overnight traffic.

Many km’s, many cities and towns and lots of interesting people!

 and then the last leg back to Johannesburg 

The Vaal River…
I cross back into Gauteng 

And so my epic road trip comes to and end.


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