Breaking Free from Lockdown – A Gecko Road Trip Day 4 Ritchie to Kroonstad

At seven o’clock this morning the mercury dropped to minus one degree Celsius. Now, I am a morning person, but today it was cold enough for hell to freeze over, so under the duvet I remained! But I couldn’t stay there forever and after the Earl go up I quickly dressed in my warmest jeans and jersey and emerged to greet the day.

It looked like it should be warm outdoors and the bright sun was trying desperately to send its warming rays down to Earth. By midday she succeeded in only slightly warming the air to 14 degrees C. Of course as soon as the sun went down so did the temperature.

At half past eight we bade farewell to our campsite and the beautiful Modder River, filled up with fuel at Engen and continued onto the N8 towards Bloemfontein. Then we took the N1 toward Kroonstad. It was 10:55 when we stopped at Caltex Fresh Stop only to find that the Fantini Restaurant had burned down and we could not have brunch there so we went back 5km to the Shell Ultra City and enjoyed a good meal there.

Up until now we have had little traffic on the roads we have travelled but today the number of trucks increased and caused angst to our drivers. The roads were in reasonable condition but how long is this going to last with heavy vehicles like these using them. Surely rail transportation of heavy goods makes more sense.

No suitable caravan park was available in Kroonstad where we are stopping over tonight. Instead Cathy booked us into Arcadia Guest Lodge. We love our cosy caravans but a little bit of a spoil in luxury accommodation is not to be sneezed at.

The distance from Bredasdorp to Pafuri Gate, where we intend entering The Kruger National Park is over 2000 km. Planning a safe route, and finding good caravan parks is a lot of work and Cathy is the one to have done it for this trip. She has also compiled a comprehensive list of caravan parks in Southern Africa for our Gecko Caravan owners. All the parks we are visiting on this trip are on this list. Members should please give feedback about the camps they visit and also let Cathy know about any others that could be added so that the list can be kept current.

There is a caravan park in Kroonstad that Cathy and Alec have visited and enjoyed in the past but unfortunately it now has a reputation for being unsafe. We passed it today and it was empty. We have heard that work is being done to upgrade it and to improve security.

Below are some photos of the lovely Arcadia Guest Lodge.

Grecian urns and statues abound
We were able to park our caravans outside our chalets

Cathy and Alec took the opportunity of being in Kroonstad to catch up with life-long friends of theirs who live here. We all met at Spur for dinner and then had coffee back at their home. It was an awesome evening.

Tomorrow we make our way to Mbizi Game Lodge and Spa – Bela Bela.

Stay warm and stay safe.

2 Comments

  1. Municipal camping and caravan areas – if that is what you are referring to in Kroonstad – are generally in need of upgrading in terms of both maintenance and security. Perhaps they will receive more attention once the ‘powers that be’ recognise their economic potential. It is decades ago that we camped at Kroonstad – it was a lovely site then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Anne it is a shame when a good place doesn’t keep up its standards. I think in these times, security is the biggest issue. Our Gecko memebers keep each other informed about the state of caravan sites they visit which helps a great deal when planning a trip.

      Like

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