Week 11 – End of stage 2!…
12th Mar 2012
McCarthy’s Rest to Bray
After a morning game drive at Kalahari Rangers Lodge, we set off on the long dirt road to Bray, another border post town next to Botswana. We had to go via Vostershoep to get petrol and then we had the choice of travelling the longer border road or the shorter and more direct route to Bray. The latter was chosen, however, it would not have been possible without the superb directions of the petrol attendant in Vostershoep. Put it this way there were a lot of lefts and rights and all in all a route that neither TomTom’s GPS nor our map book would have managed. We reached Bray at about 2 pm and to our surprise it was more than just a border post. It was actually a sweet little community with a cooperative between the Riverside Restaurant and the Bray Guest House – both of which were great. We had lunch and then met with the owners of both establishments to discuss the area’s past, present and future. After the useful chat, we had a delicious local sirloin for dinner thanks to Bray Guest House and Riverside Restaurant.
13th Mar 2012
Bray to Vryburg
After a really nice breakfast, we did a tour of the township community including the Love Life HIV Awareness Centre. This was followed by a sponsored pizza for the road by the lovely Schalk of Riverside Restaurant. Schalk also sponsored us R300 for a day’s worth of expenses – the first sponsorship of the kind we have received. The drive to Vryburg was a combination of dirt and tar and took us through Tosca and Gaynesa, the latter of which was more a cattle crossing than a town. After the long 3-hour drive we arrived in the pot-holed town of Vryburg. My first impression not being great as the town seemed run down, and dirty and the roads were the worst we have seen so far for a town its size. Before arriving in Vryburg we had been warned that car break-ins are frequent, especially if they spot you as a tourist, Our vigilance was high. We checked into Villa Lin Zane for our two-night stay.
14th Mar 2012
Unfortunately, our second day/night in Villa Lin Zane was not as comfy as we were moved to another room, and although we are always so grateful for any accommodation we can get, you can help but be disappointed when you move from a really nice room to a really not so nice one. It’s human nature I guess. Needless to say that night we got eaten alive by mosquitos. Not feeling too inspired by Vryburg we didn’t find much going on, unfortunately.
15th Mar 2012
Vryburg to Mafikeng
We woke up to a rainy morning and a rainy drive was on the cards for our trip to Mafikeng. About 2 hours later we arrived in Mafikeng, a town steeped in history, thanks to Baden Powel and Sol Plaatjie. The town makes you feel like you are in a real African town unlike what we have seen so far. Minibus taxis were everywhere, and street markets were quite untidy and rough around the edges, you would be mistaken for thinking you were in Ghana or a similar West African country. We attempted to check into Ditlha Guest House, but unfortunately, there was some confusion with the booking and we were almost left homeless in the rain for the night. We managed to sort out the problem and settled in for the night. Pleased to see that our latest Place in the Sun wine delivery had arrived, the day wasn’t all that bad. After a tour of the town, a few pictures, and with the rain persisting we resigned to our cheese and crackers for dinner. Surprisingly though a knock at our door at 8 pm produced a massive room service meal! Thanks, Ditlha Guest House!
16th Mar 2012
Mafikeng to Zeerust
Before leaving for Zeerust we had a Radio Namakwakand radio interview at 9 am – the first one we have had in a few weeks due to bad phone reception. After the live chat, we took the short 60km drive to Zeerust. It was clear on the drive that we were entering game park territory now, not just with all the parks we passed but the landscape was prime game farm flora, with the fauna, I’m sure, hiding behind it. Zeerust was a green, much more scenic version of Mafikeng, nestled at the foot of lush mountains. The community seemed well integrated with the mainly middle class and not a visible sign of lower or upper initially. Our accommodation – Villa Rosa – was a huge guest house in the upper suburb of the town. Large rooms on either side of a massive spiral staircase and a pool on the upper levels overlooking a well-maintained garden. It seemed that we are being teased more and more these days though because we were shown to a large suite only then to be told to move to another room. Luckily though this time the move was to another really nice room and most importantly a room with an excellent internet signal – FINALLY!
17th Mar 2012
Saturday was spent catching up on admin and outstanding uploads! We really needed to spend a day doing this at the very least! We didn’t even stop for lunch and went to bed without dinner. Dedicated or what!?
18th Mar 2012
We were fortunate enough to meet up with Theresa from the North West Craft and Design Institute on her way to the airport. She showed us what the institute had accomplished over the years and told us all about the amazing projects and products they have developed alongside many North West province communities. This is exactly the kind of link-up we need for our ARTS Project!
We then moved onto the Mweba Cabins 14 km outside of Zeerust for the day and night. Tucked away under trees, the thatched cabins are what can only be described as a simplistic luxury -in that they are very simple but not by any means uncomfortable or poorly equipped. An awesome place to spend our Sunday!
…of the week:
- Towns visited this week – McCarthy’s Rest, Bray, Vryburg, Mafikeng, Zeerust
- Accommodation sponsored this week –Bray Guest House, Villa Lin Zane, Ditlha Guest House, Villa Rosa, Mweba Cabins
- Food sponsored this week – Riverside Restaurant, Bray Guest House, Ditlha Guest House, Mweba Cabins
- Highlight of the week –Our Place in the Sun wine delivery arriving!
- Lowlight of the week – Miss-communication with Ditlha Guest House
- Meal of the week – Schalk’s Riverside Pizza
See you in a week…