Friday, April 6, 2012


April 4, ready to leave Capetown, the end of the continent, and start the journey back to my former world.  I purposely made it a challenging journey so there would not be an abrupt landing in LaLa Land since Capetown shares many decadent things with that region.  I will be going overland through Namibia and Botswana.

I met my new travel companions at the Nomad office in Greenmarket Square, Capetown.  Besides me, there are five Germans, a Spaniard, and a Brazilian.  Only one male, and he is married to one of the German girls.  Our crew includes Dingy, the driver,  Gertrude, the guide, and Ivan, the trainee.  The first two are Zimbabweans and Ivan is from Namibia.  

Our first day we began with a shopping trip to a local mall to get money and supplies, then Table View for a last chance look at Table Mountain.  We visited Kwa Itu and went in a farm wagon with our Bushman guides to learn about their lives in the coastal desert, including how they track and trap animals, where they live, how they dance, and what they eat.  My stomach has been a little upset since I ate lunch at a Kurdish restaurant the day before, so I passed on the traditional African lunch.

Bushman guide shows different animal tracks

Stone painting, apparently not ancient

Going in the farm wagon saved us a hot walk

Org Derac winery
Our next stop was at Org Derac, a winery in Piketburg in the Cedarberg Mountain Region.  It was apparently an expensive hobby farm of a Capetown businessman, but now with the recession needs to make money like everything else.  They export a lot of their wine to Scandinavia and Germany.  The winery looked functional, clean and modern, but I didn't really care for any of the wine.  It is hot and dry here, and they just can't grow grapes like the ones in cool, coastal Stellenbosch.  One of the German girls, Annika, just completed a 7 month wine internship there and will be going back to work in her parents' winery in Germany.  I didn't learn that until after we had left, or I would have asked her opinion of the wine.  They gave us all a free bottle of wine, but not sure if we will actually drink it.

A rest stop on a long driving day

We spent the night at Blommenberg Guesthouse, which reminded me of an old Boer house with its high walls around an interior garden and pool, and many lovely, crafty touches.  I had some diarrhea in the morning.  Since someone had stolen all my medicine in Uganda and I had never needed it, I had to borrow some Immodium from one of the German girls since we drive 8-9 hours this day.
A drug sniffing dog came in our truck looking for drugs and guns

Hours of driving through desert
We continued on the Cape to Namibia Highway and finally crossed the border at the Orange River and came to Felix Unite, where we stay overnight in  little chalets that overlook the river.

River view from my chalet

Ivan in front of my chalet

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