Day 8 – 28 July – Kalahari Trails and back to Augrabies

I woke up this morning a little saddened because we are on the way home. We have had such a wonderful holiday. Its comforting to know that we know the way home, without map books and GPS and that we have a list of awesome places to pop into on our way.

Professor Anne, is so knowledgeable, it really is amazing how much she knows about the Kalahari. This area is a special place and  listening to someone talk about it from the heart, puts it into perspective. Its home to people, home to animals, a special place of much diversity and not just a tourist attraction.

I scratched the tummy of a MeerKat this morning, little Casper is only 6 months old, him and his sister, Kitty were abandoned by there group in March, most likely due to food shortages, they were the runts of the litter but looking at them now they are just beautiful. Until the 21st of June, they slept with Anne in her bed, not gross at all because she front lines them to keep away the fleas and gogga’s. If i had a rodent in my bed I would certainly frontline it :). Erica was over the moon to be able to tickle them both under there chins and on top of the heads. I think it must of been the highlight of her trip.

We left with the views of rolling kalahari hills on either side of us, driving past salt pans and farmlands, and sociable weaver nest suspended cleverly on phone poles, a road that runs straight down the side of Namibia and straight into Upington.

There is a guesthouse, restaurant, farmstall about an hour from Upington, delicious biltong and perfect spot to pick up a few little things as momento’s.

We had lunch at a quaint, pub and grill in Keimoes, we turned left at the only major intersection. The owners are clearly SA rugby and cricket fans, right down to green springbok curtains. Yummy burger for lunch and a much needed cuppa and we were on our way, with some pressies as well.

Our next stop the very popular Pink Padstal, I am totally in love with the old tin implements been used as decoration here, I have a fun idea for the dogs at home. I want to make them a corrugated steel farmhouse dog house, complete with stoep and minature windmill and a little cactus garden in a wheel barrow. Another fun idea is to make wind-chimes usng old metal coffeepots and tin cups, really awesome. The Pink Padstal has very interesting signage for the loo’s like “shake dry” for the men and “drip dry” for the ladies. Absolutely classic. Its a wonderful rest stop filled with interesting goodies.

We arrived nice and early here at Augrabies, I unpacked and sorted out our stuff while Phil and Erica made fire. We had a nice early dinner and then went exploring over the big granite boulders that make Augrabies really interesting. Erica dropped her water bottle and it rolled off the walkway, down the rocks and burst open about 15 meters down and then rolled into the Augrabies’ main fall. I felt awful that we were litter bugs and Erica was very sad to have lost her water. Shame she cried bitterly in her Dad’s arms. We put a smile back on her face though by going back up to the shop and buying water for all of us.

The restaurant has a wonderful view and an interesting menu, Kalahari Kebabs are snails on a stick! and no we didn’t eat that, we only ordered a coffee which was superb and enjoyed the view and the silence except for the distant roar of water.

Just as the sun was shining low into the sky and turning the granite into glowing boulders we left to take some photo’s. Boulder climbing is such a lovely thing to do, especially when they are so huge and when they lead to wonderful spine tingling drop off’s and awesome photo opportunities.

Tomorrow we visit some familiar towns like, Kenhardt, Brandvlei and Niewoudtsville, something new to see are the glacial scars in the rocks near Niewoudstville, I am looking forward to this. It should be very interesting.