Breaking Free From Lockdown – A Gecko Road in Day 3 Karoo N.P. to Riverside Country Lodge

This morning I woke to silence and chill.  The wind had died down to nothing but the temperature had plummeted to 2 degrees C!   It was insanely cold!  Donned in hat and gloves I emerged from my caravan to find Alec wearing shorts!  To be fair, he did have on a fleece and was boiling the kettle for good welcome cups of  hot  coffee for us all.

It did not take long to be packed up and ready and by 08h30 we were on the road.   The N12 to Kimberley is in excellent condition and the traffic was minimal. 

At Three Sisters we turned left into the Northern Cape and the vegetation soon changed from  scrubby bush to scattered trees.  

Leaving the Three Sisters behind us
Passing through Victoria West

It was 11:30 when we arrived at Britstown and after refuelling we dropped in at The Old Mill Coffee Shop for brunch.  We’d discovered this quaint little place on our way to Mountain Zebra National Park in March and were delighted that they were still there in spite of the effects that Covid has had on the restaurant and tourist industry.

Some wise words on the walls
It is full of memorabilia
The brunch was lovely the coffee excellent
The Garden
Plenty of space to park opposite

We were pleasantly surprised to have very few trucks on the road as we travelled the N12.   We arrived at Riverside Lodge in Ritchie, 40 km from Kimberley at 3 pm. By then the temperature had risen to 22 degrees C.  The Lodge is right on the Modder  River and has lovely facilities.  The showers are spacious and have enough hooks and a bench outside each one.

Adequate wash-up facilities
Pristine and spacious ablutions
Changing station for babies and even a baby bath

After setting up camp I took a walk  and to my great joy saw a fish eagle dive feet first onto the surface of the water and come up with a huge fish. He then took the poor creature up into a tree – not a great photo but wow – what a lovely thing to see.

Clever bird
Yes – feasting fish straight from the river is very good indeed, thank you.

My travelling companions missed the scene but came for a stroll a little later on.

Some lovely reflections
A tranquil scene
The fire is lit, the sun is setting
Could we wish for anything better?
Maybe not a meal fresh from the river like the fish eagle but our chops and wors were delicious

At this time of the year the mornings are really chilly but for a few hours it warms up to the early 20s. But once the sun goes down the chill returns. We are expecting another very cold morning tomorrow but right now we’re snug in our caravans.

Good night to you all and thanks for following.

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