This place is unkwantifiably massive!

Trip Start Jan 24, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Tuesday, February 6, 2007

South Africa- the great big hot thing at the bottom of the even bigger hotter thing with a lovely coast line (not as hot) and a native tribe called the hottentot! Those Bushmen (The Khoi and San collectively known as the Khoisan) were the first inhabitants of this place for thousands of years BC, their influence now a few thousand and a few thousand cave paintings! So much has changed, yet the country exudes such an age, a dry resilience characterised by the fynbos (one of the plant kingdoms of the world confined almost entirely to the cape) with their water-saving, powerful aromas and ability to grow and abound in areas almost devoid of water. Our Road trip started and finished in the "beautiful" Strand, collected 1300kms on the clock of our trusty steed Fox and took in 4 main habitats- fertile farmland (if somewhat browned), mountains, semi-desert, and dunes. The land is massive. We headed to Oudtshoorn in the middle of the 'Klein Karoo', the semi desert plateau set between 2 mountain ranges, famed for its ostrich farming and stayed 2 nights in a lovely cottage with all the mod cons and its own small menagerie of very manageable pest. Their were a few small cockroaches (which Lauren found adorable!), a sea of ants on the dust tracks (with whom Lauren danced with joy) and even a baby scorpion (absolutely tiny but Lauren nevertheless felt the need to reach once again for her trusty 'DOOM' (a spray which kills EVERYTHING (even pesky husbands I hear!))). Its quite an odd sight to drive along seeing a few fields of sheep a couple of cows and then hundreds and hundreds of these bizarre bobbing birds with the most ridiculously large feather coats and equally laughably small brains! They can eat, strut, run, mate and fight and that's about it. Josh braved the beautiful Kango Grotte (cango caves) with their impressive caverns and winding maze of paths, whilst Lauren and Ouma prevented the (almost) certain collapse of the bar in the tourist centre, stretching a drink for a whole hour, baffling both physicists and hedonists alike! We then proceeded along a long dust track to see a beautiful waterfall, followed by a long walk through a forest only to arrive at this tranquil nirvana to be greeted in true 'EDEN' style by a school group of stark naked agricultural students. After Lauren had prised her eyes away from all the naked tanned bodies and ouma had finally realised that it was useless to try and wipe the smile off her face, the boys discreetly covered up leaving us to enjoy the waterfall in all its glory.
The next part of the trip was down to the lovely beaches of Hartenbos (lacking the crowds as in mid-season) here we enjoyed some body-surfing, wave jumping and general drowning, as well as a little sun bathing. Then it was the long trip back via a childhood memory of Kleinbaai, the holiday house of my Ouma and Oupa which I could still see in my memory, down to the harbour where the fish came in. One of the true spectacles of the trip was that during the 18 hours-ish of driving Ouma never once ran out of a story to tell and never repeated one either!
And we even saw a little tortoise.
The travels go on, we've a week in Strand before setting off on our own, so we can't wait for that. See you soon hope you're all well! The next entry will be more concise!...
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