Day 21 – Oudtshoorn, Cango Caves and back to Wilderness

The drive from the Karoo to Oudtshoorn consisted of kilometres of dry nothing to either side. We went over many river bridges with only dry channels below. How can you name something as a river if it only runs for a short while each year? Surely it’s nothing more than a gully or a drainage culvert, completely devoid of life?
The terrain changed suddenly as we approached Oudtshoorn, and we found ourselves driving on a well-constructed road running alongside a river. Over millions of years the river cut itself deep into the bedrock, resulting in the sheer cliff sides rising to either side. The foliage in here is green and lush, and we spotted some baboons in this Karoo oasis. The river basin continued for some kilometres with many very well-established rest stops and picnic areas alongside the river. You are free to braai here in the appointed fireplaces, and every one of the five-something sites that we passed had thatched public toilets. For people living in the George/ Wilderness area or even in the Karoo towns on the other side, this is a lovely place to take the family for a budget-friendly and relaxing afternoon.
We had to drive approximately 30km past Oudtshoorn to get to the Cango Caves. This was an awe-inspiring experience and for only R68 per person (Erica free) it was good value. I recommend it to anyone passing near to this area.
We finished with a delicious Karoo lamb curry at the Cango restaurant, which came served in small potjie pots to keep it warm. We drove the last 90km to Wilderness, passing the George airport where we watched a plane land. Heather managed to get is the same unit we had a few weeks back and we settled in for two days of relaxation.
We decided that if we do a trip of this magnitude again we will spend two days in each place instead of one. Otherwise the pace is just too frenetic, especially with a young one. We supped on the last of the Karoo chops, which we decided were just as nice when you fry them. It’s all about the meat, and not so much the preparation. The meat is just that damn good.
We slept in seperate beds tonight, Heather and Erica in one and me in the other so I could rest for my MTB tomorrow(the units come with two singles, which we usually push together). But Erica had other ideas and decided she wanted to sleep by dad tonight, so screamed and shouted until we had her tucked in next to me. This is very endearing but it broke Heather’s heart. Babies can be very fickle and want different things from one day to the next, so I assured Heather that one night’s whim is nothing to be concerned about. I’m afraid we may be in for a lot of re-conditioning when we get back home to get Erica back into her regular cycles.