Published: May 4th 2012May 4th 2012
Day 2 of our overland tour began with 4 grumpy girls waking up at 5:30am getting ready for long day of driving from Stellenbosch to the Orange River which is on the Namibian border. Following our wine tour on Day 1 we returned to the hostel keen for some time to relax. This, however, did not happen! The staff of the hostel felt it was appropriate to sit outside our room and watch TV on full blast until 11pm, then as if in tag team a french group sat outside our window (which we were unable to close) and have a birthday party. By 2am we thought the noise was over and everyone was safely tucked up in bed, sadly though there was one more element of the relay we didn’t see coming -- obnoxious American males! We politely asked them to shut up at 2:30 and eventually we were graced with just under 3 hours sleep.
As we drove out of Stellenbosch the sun rose over the grapevines and we all slowly started to wake up as well. During the drive the landscape changed dramatically from grapevines, to lush citrus groves to barren granite scenery as far as the
eye can see. The hours of nothingness brought back fond memories of the drive from Ayers Rock to Alice, just with more rock than red dirt. During the long drive we attempted to cure the boredom by setting up a cinema in the back of the truck, this didn’t quite work though due to all of the rattling & the sun shining in through all the windows. Then we began our drawings we planned to send back to the Rock, however straight lines completely evaded us with the lack of suspension provided. So as these activities didn’t provide much distraction we slept some more!
Our scheduled stop at a town in the Northern Cape for shopping called Springbok provided us with the most amount of entertainment for the whole day. This town got its name from the large amount of springbok that once inhabited the area. The numbers have declined significantly as the town as grown and now they can only be found on the reserves on the outskirts. As we arrived outside the supermarket, the crowd seemed slightly excessive for a Monday afternoon, Robert (our guide) explained that the next day was a public holiday. As we made
Felix Unite Campsite
It was difficult staying here but we sucked it up!! NB: our tent was where the photo was taken - we weren't in the lodges!!!
our way up the street to the ATM is became obvious that this town was stocking up for the end of the world. The ATM’s either had no money or large queues stemming from them. This town spoke a collective two english words, Hey! and Sorry! so you can imagine we stood out like sore thumbs but at no time did we get any unwanted attention. We tackled our way into the supermarket passed families waiting out the front & the gamblers lining up patiently for their lottery ticket, but quickly realised we wouldn’t get out of this place for at least an hour as queues for the cashiers fed into every aisle. We gave up and set off with a plan to find a shop in Namibia the next day.
After Springbok, the landscape changed again, into ranges of granite mountains where copper, granite & crystals are mined up until the border for South Africa & Namibia. All our expectations of this border crossing were proved completely incorrect. I had pictured a small building by the side of the road with some men with guns checking passport (much like the border at the end of the Top Gear Botswana special), instead there were new buildings with booths & offices where you get your passport signed and get checked out by the police. We cross the bridge over the Orange River and go into another office to get our passport stamped, and we are in Namibia.
Just up the road from the border we pull into Felix Unite, a beautiful camp ground with huts with thatched roofs overlooking the Orange River, green grass & modern facilities. Here we set up camp & relaxed by the pool with our ice cold Coca Cola’s!