31st Jaunary 2009

Ship of the Desert
Tomlinson Clan
Sat 31 Jan 2009 20:54

5:27.43s 18:26.4e


We embarked upon our expedition at 5.30am fondly saying our farewells to those remaining safely at home.  The morning weather embraced us with fog which thickened as we left Soweto township behind us; it was as if we were being wrapped in cotton wool, and from time to time, a dark tree glimpsed from the car window , resembled a lonely African from a bygone age.


As we broke into Eyetu Territory, the sun joined us on our journey, and there it shone, lighting our route heading SW on the N12, towards Potschefstroom.

Great excitement ensued at 6.25am when I spotted a giraffe grazing lazily on a tree.  Knowing me, you can imagine my intercom radio broadcast to the other ‘trekkers’  was ablaze with fervour and joy!


At 6.48am the Nelson Mandela Drive led us through Potchefstroom and one could only imagine the hustle bustle of yester year, with travellers coming and going, just like ourselves.


Having driven through Klerksdorp, where we had breakfast at 7.30am, then Hartbeesfontein and Ottosdal, we headed for Delarey, five minutes outside of which, our road deteriorated immensely and suddenly before our very eyes, our road was flooded. No vehicle went forth, people, lorries, cars watched the raging torrent. In two sections, where the original bridges had been, the river was rushing with such great velocity, it was breathtaking...........Yes.........of course, we were not deterred but ventured forth in our sturdy stallions. Caspar, at this point, jumped down from the safety of his car and led us across, using his feet to locate any holes which might endanger our crossing........as one might imagine, it didn’t take much to do the same!


At Delarey, at 9.15am, we joined the A14 and headed due WSW towards Vryberg. By the time we reached Kuruman at 11.15am we had driven 530km.  Kenneth did very well, in that the first time he asked how long it was until we were to arrive, took him 5hours and 40 minutes!!! Nothing other than excitement and appreciation was uttered from this delightful, young, appreciative young man.


Our journey took us through Olifantshoek and Uppington where we encountered a mini whirlwind.....VERY exciting!  We were fortunate enough to be invited to a Grape Farm 20km from Kakamas, where we were given a very personal tour and were thoroughly spoilt by picking a wonderful selection of grapes......we can highly recommend the Red Globe variety!


Our next adventure was the dirt and sand road that took us from Kakamas to the N10. We really felt the benefit of our cars, and it resembled being in a rally race with us skidding at (for Mother’s sake, I won’t say) umpteen mph!


One hour did it take, for us to cross the Namibian border.....which was the easiest crossing Francois has ever experienced! 


At 7.15pm we finally arrived at our destination, 13 hours and 45 minutes, 1,145km after setting off that morning.  The entrance gate took us to our night time abode along a dirt track in the sandy earth.  The warm wind blew gently over our skin as we descended from our sturdy steeds! The birds were singing in their throng and, as the breeze blew their songs into the distance, the sun started to set.  As I glanced up, a new moon was shining dimly, waiting for the night sky to increase it’s comforting glow.


A new moon, a new adventure, a new day.............  Kx