Sunday, March 15, 2015

A long day in the drivers seat

Today we departed Lady Grey and headed for Cintsa just outside East London to meet up with my cousin whom I last saw a very long time ago.  But first a goodbye view from Lady Grey, that didn't make it into yesterday's blog.

We finished up our traditional breakfast at the Inn and paid the bill, all R850 for two people B&B which was pretty reasonable.  It wasn't 5 or 4 and only just made 3 stars but it was clean, comfortable and warm and those are my most important criteria.  The hotel was decorated with some prints (they looked hand drawn) detailing the arrival of various families into S.A with the various waves of colonisation, dutch, huguenot and english and I was surprised to see that the Naude's emigrated from Berlin in spite of their obviously french name.

 We had decided to take the scenic route which turned out to be very much the road less travelled; I had to move a few boulders that had fallen on the jeep track out the way so that we could continue down the pass.  The pass is called the Bastervoetpad pass and is simply magnificent but definitely 4x4 territory.  I think going down in good weather a 4x2 with decent clearance might make it but if you are trying to ascend it, a 4x2 is just asking for trouble.  Even a 4x4 going up would be an exciting climb.

No, the curvature of the road is not a result of the lens, the road really does curve like that.  We didn't have any real problems going down but there were a couple of scrapes on the rock sliders and some sickening moves sideways on some of the muddy patches.  This pass is a strictly good weather pass unless you really like to make your life difficult ... and short.

Having negotiated the pass we were surprised that we were still 4 hours away from Cintsa and since we had already been driving for 5 hours, it was starting to look like a very long day.  Fortunately the driving was interesting up and down Satansnek pass (we thought the name sounded interesting so had to try it) and after last nights good sleep, I didn't struggle at all.

Just before we got to Cintsa we went through a pretty wild hailstorm at Kei Cuttings.  Although most of the hail was relatively small and we knew not to worry, it was incredibly loud and the occasional one made the actual car shudder.  I was very glad that we had a roof rack on which took most of the punishment; the charcoal bags on top looked like someone had taken a shotgun to them.

We met up with Patrick and Barbara who emigrated from Holland 8 years ago and who are trying their best to turn a farm into a going concern.  The good thing is that it is exceptionally beautiful and has good water and access to a reasonably sized town; the bad thing is that it is a farm.  Patrick certainly didn't choose an easy avenue to follow in life and hats off to him for having the goedspa to even attempt such an undertaking.

They are in the middle of renovations of their house so everything is a mess as is normal for renovations so we felt a bit bad about imposing ourselves and causing yet another complication but we had a great meal out at the local pizzeria; their gas stove being U.S due to the builders cutting the gas line.

1 comment:

margaret said...

It still looks like pioneer country - beautiful and untouched. How did the pass compare with Sani Pass?

Excellent photos as usual. Good writing too. So glad that you discovered full stops and capital letters eventually.
Keep writing - we are following with interest.