In the previous blog, I told you about a night L and I spent at Camp Nguni, just outside Victoria West. This was only half a tale, as I have not yet told you about the road trip we took to get there and back. In today's blog, we start in Kimberley, stop in Jacobsdal for wine and grape juice, pass through Britstown and spend two nights in De Aar. We then head off to Victoria West, where we spend the night at Camp Nguni. The next day we stop at a number of small towns on our way back to Kimberley, among which is Loxton, a town I had been wanting to see for ages!
As L had business to take care of at Camp Nguni, and family in De Aar, it seemed logical that we would plan a route that would take us past both these destinations. Having fallen in love with the wines, and especially the grape juice, produced at the vineyards just outside Jacobsdal, we decided to buy a couple of bottles to take on our trip. This is always a good idea when you plan to visit friends and family.
From Jacobsdal, we stopped by the Kambro Padstal/Farm Stall where we had kaiïngs on homebaked bread and freshly brewed coffee. We also bought delicious homemade ginger beer. We stopped by here again on our way back and repeated the same dishes. This is a really good indication that the food here is excellent! You also should make a point of trying the homemade pies! Brilliant!
Having fueled ourselves up, we set off again towards De Aar, a route that took us past Ritchie, through Hopetown and Strydenburg, and finally to Britstown. At Britstown we turned left towards De Aar.
In De Aar I met L's family and was very privileged to be allowed to sleep in the four-year old's room. One should never underestimate the sacrifice a toddler makes when giving up their room, and always show one's appreciation. The room was lovely indeed! My genuine liking of the room was appreciated and I immediately made a fast friend in the usual occupant. The friendship was cemented when I made time for her the next day which we put to good use by drawing and painting some zebra from the book I was busy illustrating.
Aside from the obvious fun that is to be derived from spending time with children, and getting to see the world through their eyes, De Aar itself had an amazing array of places to see and visit. The ladies, 3 adults and one toddler, along with Janneman, the Capuchin monkey, set off in the morning to paint the town red. A morning is not enough time to spend in De Aar. Do not let the remoteness of the town fool you into thinking that it doesn't have anything to offer. There were coffee houses, tea gardens and restaurants to pick and choose from. Then we got to the craft stores and boutique shops. By the time we were done in, we had not even visited half the places we would have liked to have seen. What a pleasant little big town to visit.
On Sunday morning, most of the house was sleeping in or making a slow start. I decided to explore the town on foot, this time taking my camera along. Pretty, clean and well kept, are the words that come to mind when I think of De Aar. Then I passed a house where two men were unloading Springbok carcasses. I asked permission to take their photo, and was granted it, after explaining to them that this common occurrence in De Aar, is a most uncommon one in the city, where I hailed from.
We set off a little later towards Victoria West and took our time driving through the streets of this town. One could almost imagine the town being caught in a time capsule, although that would not be entirely fair. There are signs of evident progress in Victoria West, but at the same time, the older buildings have been maintained and preserved so well, that it stands proud next to its more modern counterparts. We spent the night at Camp Nguni, not too far out of town and was off early the next morning.
L made a special point of showing me Loxton after learning of my fascination with the town. I was enthralled. We leisurely drove up and down the quiet streets, forgetting that it was supposed to be a busy Monday morning, and continuously catching ourselves talking about it being a quiet Sunday. I have never come across a town more serene than Loxton on a Monday morning. We stopped by the Rooi Granaat Coffee Shop and spent quite some time there, without running into any other patrons. The coffee was good, the food great and the service excellent. What impressed both L and me most, however, was the language in which we were served. Both of us are mother tongue Afrikaans speakers, and so was our waiter. However, the man's linguistic abilities put ours to shame. This was the most pure and precise that I had ever heard Afrikaans spoken! Impressive indeed!
From Loxton, we drove through Carnarvon, then through Vosburg. We then headed back through Britstown, Strydenburg and Hopetown. Finally we were back in Jacobsdal. We then made a point of stopping at Magersfontein, before finally heading back to the farm. Magersfontein is the site for one of the main battles of the Anglo Boer war, now renamed the South African War. Today, a large monument spreads out over the site. Each of the small towns on our route, held a fascination all their own, and in each we made a point of stopping, or simply driving through the town itself. Do yourself a favor and take it slow the next time you travel through the Northern Cape. The towns are simply enchanting and the people tend to greet you as if you were long lost family. Stay, chat, get to know something about the town and its people. It will be time well spent.
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