So the day finally rolls around. Several months of planning, bookings, more planning, packing, purchasing, more packing and we are ready to hit the road.
Turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax (in a good way) as absolutely nothing went wrong…
Even a stop on the side of the highway to investigate a mysterious noise turned out just to be the road surface (maybe a little bit of paranoia from one of the drivers?)
I had picked Dietwin up the previous day at the airport after his flight out from Belgium. After a brief refresh and a repack of his clothes we joined Owen, Bev and Mark (plus sundry family and friends) for dinner as well as dropping off the bulk of our luggage. The vehicles had been packed on Friday already so everything now was just final touches.
After a great meal and just a few drinks we set off for home and bed. Early the next morning we were both up, dressed, packed and – after a brief walk down to the main gate where we met Owen, Mark and JanPutte – we loaded up and headed off at 4am
[4am – A note all the lady readers from the Ponta Group – this is what time a road trip starts, not 9am!]
Soon we were passing through the spaghetti interchange in Durban and heading inland. I amused myself by taking long exposures from the back seat and through the windscreen. Not that I was bored or anything… Only another 11 hours to go…
Daaaaad, are we there yet?
Car rings with the sound of a snotklap !
After stopping to see if the tyres had fallen off (it was just the road surface) we climbed Van Reenans pass where it suddenly turned very misty (no alcohol involved). We had a stop for breakfast and were back on the road again in no time.
Despite a short detour for JanPutte in Joburg when he forgot where he was going and missed the Pretoria turnoff (not like it isn’t signposted or anything…) we made good time and finally hit the Great North Road (3 years since we were last here).
We pressed on through Bela Bela and Vaalwater until we found the turnoff to Visgat and the last stretch to Porky’s Camp and our first piece of dirt road.
We pulled over at the turnoff for a bladder break where we found a sign that we were entering the New Belgium Farm Guard Area which made Dietwin very happy. He spent the rest of the day looking for Belgians…
Heading off again we encountered our first serious corrugations so we travelled a kilometre apart with John’s vehicle in the front – plus, he had the GPS co-ordinates of where we were going. When we pulled up at the entrance gate, John and Mark were standing there looking at the ‘locked’ gate, checking cellphones which had no reception and wondering how we were going to get through. It was only when we arrived and pointed out that although there were locks, they weren’t actually locked… Cue embarrassed excuses…
Porky’s turned out to be a lovely camp where we quickly settled and had the first relaxed drinks. We were royally treated by Christo and his family and had a supurb dinner of impala steaks and kudu wors, pap, gravy – most excellent.
Finally fattened and sated we drifted off to bed after a long days drive, ready for a good night’s sleep.
Comment of the day:
“Did you see the family of warthog on the side of the road?”
“Ja, down on their knees, feeding”
“My warthog’s been known to go down on her hands and knees…”
Explosive laughter with a mouthful of beer can be dangerous to your health. Not to mention the beer dousing of your fellow travellers.
Tracks for the day: