South Africa

Trip Start Mar 11, 2009
Trip End Jan 05, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Saturday, August 8, 2009

8th - Crossed the Namibian border at Noordoewer and entered South Africa at Vioolsdrif.  We drove down till Springbok and stopped here for lunch.  Driving through Bitterfontein and we are staying at Gekko Backpackers around 21km north of Citrusdal.  This place is really good to stay, friendly staff and ample room....unless there are more than 1 overland truck here.  Of course we ended up bogging the truck in the orchard attached to the backpackers whilst reversing downhill, and it took 3 of their tractors to help pull us out.

Dist cov. =  501 km

9th - It took us about 4 hours to reach Stellenbosch, which can be found in the Winelands area 46km east of Cape Town.  It is a University town/city that contains lots of colonial architecture, and is the second-oldest European settlement - established on the banks of the Eerste River in 1679.

Martin, Elyse, Rob and I went off for lunch at McDonalds (really cheap), just for a change of meal for me and Martin has been eager for one since middle of west Africa.  Had a walk around Stellenbosch, a lot of the buildings are painted white and there is a mix between old colonial buildings and modern shopping centres.  We found a good bar called Cubana that has lots of cocktails, shooters etc.

We are staying at Stumble Inn, which is split over 2 old houses, one with a pool and the other has the bar and reception. This is where Easy Rider Wine Tours operates from - a long-established company offering a good price for wine tastings at 4 different winefarms with lunch and a cheese tasting included.

Had a Braai put on for us tonight by Stumble Inn.

Dist cov. =  175 km

10th - Went on the wine tour with Easy Rider, I did the non-wine tasting option and paid 120 Rand less than the full price.  It was good to see the places and it is good value for money if you like wine - you get to try at least 20 different wines.

Getting pizzas for our evening meal and we are heading off to Cape Town tomorrow.  Went out with Martin, Elyse, Rob and Gary back to Cubana for a night of drinking - they were already quite drunk from the wine tasting.  It worked out to be cheap between the 5 of us for all the shooters and cocktails we had during 4 hours of fun, about 100 Euro total for 5 people is a good price.

11th - Arrived at Ashanti Lodge at 11am, my parents were already there waiting for me.  So I went off with them to The Oceana appartments, which is in Camps Bay and it is where I'll be staying for the next week.  Camps Bay has the 12 Apostles behind it and beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, both views can be seen from our appartment.....these views are both fantastic.

Got a restock of clothes for the next part of the trip.  Plus checked how my 'African Diet' is going and I've now lost 20kg since the start of the trip.....that's alot of willpower and only being ill a few times.

Dist cov. = 56 km
Total Distance Cov. = 23,369 km

"See Cape Town blog for the activities during the week off the trip"

Start of Leg 2

19th - Said goodbye to my parents and prepared for the long drive today.  There are 6 new people on the truck and Tamlyn has decided to leave our trip so there will be 21 of us (crew included) on the road going northbound.  We are basically going to be transiting all the way to Maun in northern Botswana.  In the end we were on the truck from 7am till midnight...and it was absolutely freezing in the back of the truck from 7pm onwards.  Managed to drive past Kimberley in 1 day mainly due to the tarmac roads.

An introduction to overlanding for the new guys and girls.

Dist cov. =  1025 km
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doctorzick on

Good work!
Good to hear from you again; I worried for a time that you got sick cos the map showed a detour to Namibia, from Cameroon [sort of getting an ambulance plane ride]. Your log is becoming quite indicative of the African trip's general conditions and caveats.
Take care,

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