Day 3 – 23 July – Niewoudtsville to Augrabies Falls

oh my gosh… the farm dog from last night was on our mat this morning, i heard him in the night, so i think he must have slept at the door, poor thing. When we left this morning he went bounding off back to the farm house, job done!

We had a superb sleep, listening to barn owls shrieking off and on, its a scary sound, if you’ve never heard it before you’ll think Banshee 🙂 its was freezing this morning, no frost though, so it gets colder?

So our GPS… well the directions were interesting, turn left was mentioned a gazillion times, but each time a farm gate was in our way, turns out she was right we should have taken the many tracks offered which would have led us back to tar. Instead 100km on a not so nice dirt road led us eventually to the tarred R27.

Had we not taken this detour via Leoriesfontein, we would have missed a Spar in a converted house and a Windmill museum, ironically this TO DO, was on my list but was dismissed because the detour of 50km and back to Loeriesfontein was too much. I must have really wanted to check out those windmills…

The museum was closed, but we still walked around in a field full of windmills of different sizes, with a cold karoo wind making them chatter and screech it was eerie but beautiful, if one could understand wind, you would have heard a mechanic called for Q20.

100km later we trundled into Brandvlei feeling shattered and rattled. We found diesel, an atm and the Windmill Restaurant which serves the most amazing burgers. In summer this place must cook but this thatched restaurant should be cool.

Kenhardt is our next little town to get to, 140km to go, 8 stop and goes, nothing in between and Erica had had enough of the car already in Loeriesfontein. We managed to squeeze 4 movies on to my Galaxy tab, so Erica can watch movies during the most boring bits of this road trip. Along the way the telephone lines are used as trees by these little brown birds who next communally.

We found the coolest farm stall in Kenhardt, metal mugs, mixing bowls, baking tins, everything and anything you can think of all piled onto an old wagon. Tin plates screwed to the wall. Scarecrows on the fence all dressed up in 1900’s ladies clothing, Erica was enthralled by the big “dolls”. Wonderful coffee and a cute little kiddies corner as well. Just what we needed after all those km’s.

70km’s to Keimoes and three huge bridges allow as to cross the mighty Orange River, some more stop and goes and more huge bridges and we cross back over the orange river to get to Kakamas, there are vines everywhere and I mean everywhere as far as the eye can see on both sides of the road for km’s and km’s. In between acres of cemented ground. We finally put one and one together and realized this is raison country.

Augrabies National Park, wow, place of great noise indeed, all you can hear is the water. The gorge is really beautiful, stunning, but not the same as the 100m waterfall outside Niewoudtsville, but really not comparable either. They’re busy doing renovations to the board walk system, so we can’t access most of the walks, but this one loop had no tape and we ended up being able to walk out onto a viewing deck with no floor, just those big construction boards with gaps in between, anyhoo, out I go, of course, and finally can see the bottom of the waterfall, beautiful, rainbow and all. Erica loved running full speed, shrieking and laughing along the boardwalks, such a good release of energy. We finally got settled in to our challet, and one of my first discoveries is a warning about what to do in an earth quake, yes earthquake! Since 2010, things have been shaking here, with the biggest tremor 4.9. I don’t think I’ll be teetering out over the abyss tomorrow.