Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Sunday, May 13, 2012

From Harold's bay to Stilbaai

We set out after a not so great morning in Harold’s. The effects of the spider bite are really getting to me. By now all I can think of is being in a house with all its luxuries just a couple of hours away.

The road to Vleesbaai is a dirt road.  They are working on it at the moment and had a couple of delays to control the "traffic".  Have a look at the “picture that paints a thousand words” or maybe just one.  Even the ostriches found this amusing “Efficiency at its best”.  The vegetation changed from very green “fynbos” to a more arid Karoo- like type.  Plenty of sheep and some cattle.  Ostrich farming seems to be big around these parts too. 

Anyways, with the road works an all we missed the Boggomsbaai turn off.  Arriving to Vleesbaai “access control” limited entry. So nothing to report on Vleesbaai itself other than Boggomsbaai and Vleesbaai share a fairly big bay on either side of the river.  We ventured on along the outskirts to as far as the road allowed.  One can see a shipwreck in the distance to the right of Vleesnaai and as we missed all the other shipwrecks on the planned route, we had a new bee in our bonnets to go find it. As close to “dam-it” is to a swear word, that is how close we came before another PRIVATE / NO ENTRY signed ruined it for us.  An interesting thing at the point where we had to turn around was a stash of” braai-wood”, neatly packed in big white “streepsakke” with a note R40.00 p/bag. There was not a soul in sight so we wondered who did the collection of the monies.  We could do with a bit a dry wood so upon investigation there it was, a tin like thing with a money slot tied to a pole.  Not just any old tin though a properly made contraption.  We could however not fit the big bag in to the designated wood spot on the trailer and had to go without.

Next was a little gem.  Fransmanskraal.  Beautiful secluded spot with two tiny bays on either side of the tip at lands end.   On the one side three houses had the privilege of sharing the “bay” and on the other side – if I remember correctly – one house.  A few more houses a bit further inward, but otherwise untouched.

On to Gouritzmond. To get there we crossed the Gouritz River which is a rather wide river with high banks where it bends to make its way to the sea.  It runs through farmland. Gouritz itself is quite big with lots of holiday homes.  The coast is rocky with boulders right up to the road.   Stunning colours and span of little pools to play in.  This scene would carry on for miles while we drove towards Stilbaai on the dirt road in what they call Reins reserve.  Other than a couple of new homes and a few small “farms” along the way it was just us on the road. A fishing boat fairly close to shore kept our attention for most the route as they were pulling in their nets and hordes of seagulls dived in to get a free meal. We also saw about a couple of raptors. A Hotel complex with a very “green” label looks like the next hot cake on this stretch of coast.  Judging by the number of thatch reed heaps stacked on the side of the road, many more of the same type of accommodation will be going up soon. The stone and thatch buildings do looks amazing and fit right into the surrounds.  It just makes you wonder how they got the spot in the middle of a reserve.  Oh yeah, money honey, how can I forget.

Once again our journey through Reins was cut short by a gate.  Speaking to the guard he said that this road has been locked for 30 years and that the owner of this private reserve is a German that lived abroad.  Okidoki, so we have to back track. By now it was almost 4 pm and we were keeping the family in Stilbaai waiting.  Or should I say, I could not wait to get there.

Kobus, Johanna welcomed us with the kind of compassion only fellow campers could have.  Coincidently, these are the very campers we consulted at length before buying our trailer.  See, Kobus, Johanna and the two girls have been at this game for a long time.  They have been there and done that with kids a couple of times so they know all about it. 

They put together a fantastic braai with “buffalo” stakes and boerewors enough to feed an army.  Tannie Bybs, Johan and Henda also joined us.  They stay at Bosbokduin regularly while visiting the family. (I apologize for not having taken any photos.  I was just enjoying the moment). A long dinner table filled with family and good food. Just what the doctor ordered after 3 weeks of camping and cold wet weather.  A hot shower and some meds dispatched by Dr Johanna and off to bed we went. 

Next morning was a busy one in the Marais household.  Lize Mari had to be at church early to practice with the adult choir. No sooner was Johanna back home and she started the washing machine to do our washing before going to Albertinia for a mother’s day lunch.  Albertinia is known for its Aloe products and for the wonderful set menu on mother’s day.  Do yourself a favor and look at the spread on the menu.  Needles to say we were going to be here for a while.  The wine Kobus ordered was fit for a king.  A very aromatic red wine, with tones of cappuccino and chocolate.  The food was “to die for doll” and the company even better. 

Poor Henda was at the sharp end of Carlos and Johannas tickle fingers.  Thank goodness Jacobet, Henda’s friend and husband (newly weds) joined us just in time to rescue her.  Having met the rest of the family they seemed grateful that Henda turned out to be such a stable sober person LOL.

Tom also joined us after being dropped off by Peggi on her way to CT.  Thanks Peg. He packed in a solid plate of food and some pudding before we called it a “long delicious lunch”.  Die kinders en die ou mense was lank al moeg gekuier. Thank you Maraistjies!! That was one for the books. After coffee at home we will help Jeanne Carla with her project poster.  What fun! Forgotten what it is like to have homework to assist with.  Special times. Liza Mari played the piano for us while we painted away. Two very gifted girls. 

 Moeg geeet, we sat around talking about what to expect on the camp front and shared some photos. Too soon it was time for bed again.

Early Monday the tent had to be opened to let it dry in the bit of sunshine there was.  Washing hug out and bedding stripped and washed.  Only to be pulled in fast when a sudden rain storm threatened to ruin our planning.  Luckily the tent was pulled under cover by Kobus and Carlos while we scrammed for the washing. All ended well with the help of the tumble dryer and by 10 am we were packed and set to hit the road again.  Henda, Johan and T Bybs came to greet us with homemade chicken pies and lemon meringue in hand.  Coffee and a last visit in hand we greeted them with enormous gratitude.  Johanna, I cannot thank you enough for all the help – even having to playing doctor.  You have been a haven in a cold wet storm.  Love you guys to bits.  Hope to see you after your stay at …………..

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Tolomiro Gomez on

super viaje pero pareceria bastante deshabitado el territorio de africa de el sur o es gigantesco y no tiene grandes ciudades!!!! en fin bellos paisajes y linda aventura !! no pasas a cape town!! porque? gran cuidad por tanto con tanto movimiento social y cultural me imagino !!!!!! en fin salu2 compay y disfruta la vida es corta salu2 desde francia para vos y tu compañera y familias tolomiro

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