Niewoudville to Kamieskroon

Thursday 22 September 2022 Travelling Day

This morning I was up extra early. It was not as cold as the previous few days so I took the opportunity to wash my hair.

“Don’t get up until I’m done,” I told my darling hubby. “There’s plenty of time to prepare for departure.” He likes to be the first ready and hates to keep people waiting. So what happens today? Our travelling companions beat us to it by at least five minutes!

“We’re late!” complained my beloved and of course, Cath and Alec thought this was very funny!

What a gorgeous day it turned out to be. The sun shone brightly and the temperature got up to 25 degrees C. The road was fairly free of traffic and once again the scenery too beautiful to describe.

Vanrhyn’s Pass
Gecko 109
Typical Karoo Koppie

We stopped at Vanrhynsdorp Caltex Express Stop for breakfast. The shop has a takeaway facility but they have tables inside and outside where you can sit and enjoy your meal. The coffee is excellent. The others ordered toasted egg and bacon but I decided on a chicken mayo croissant which was to die for. The shop sells all sorts of goodies too. We were tempted to overspend but ended up just getting what no South African can resist – biltong.

Parking at Caltex Express Stop
Shop and Take-away

As we neared Kamieskroon we saw more and more wildflowers growing in the veld and next to the road. Our campsite, Kroonlodge is lovely and outside each caravan site is a tiny wildflower garden. The sites are quite small so we were super grateful for our movers!

Arriving at Kroon Lodge
A very pretty, well-maintained caravan park and lodge
Each site has its own kitchen and braai
The Earl gets the caravan in with remote control movers

We were disappointed to be told that we would not be allowed to use the washing machines. Cathy had asked less than a week ago if laundry facilities were available and she was assured that there certainly were. But on arrival, we were told that water restrictions were in place and that we could only shower and because the supply relies on pumps this could only be when the electricity was on. At the moment the country is having Stage 5 load-shedding with the electricity off three times a day; twice for periods of 2.5 hours and one of 4.5 hours. We feel strongly that they should have informed us of the water restrictions before we confirmed our booking. Because of this, we have decided to leave here a day earlier than planned and move on to Richtersveld Wilderness Camp on the Orange River where we are assured there is no water shortage.

23 September 2022 An Exciting Drive to Hondeklipbaai

At about 9:30 this morning we set off from Kammieskroon and drove about 115km to Hondeklipbaai. Most of our route was on dirt roads over a rugged mountain pass and through the Namaqua National Park. The scenery was spectacular and we once again enjoyed the Spring flowers still growing in profusion.

Imagine living in the middle of nowhere

We drove on the rough roads for a while but after the corrugations made things a tad uncomfortable we stopped the vehicles and reduced the tyre pressure. This made all the difference.

The scenery was spectacular and we once again enjoyed the Spring flowers still growing in profusion.

How does a plant grow out of a rock!
More beauty

We also saw some wildlife

The vehicles spooked this klipspringer and he raced off over the rocks at top speed – too fast for a decent photograph
Cathy alerted us to a ‘unicorn’ Sorry, I mean a Gemsbok (Oryx) with one horn.
Quiver trees dotted the mountainside
This steenbok was full of the joys of spring
Stunning view
Spring flowers were delightful
The Ford handled the steep pass
Scary near the edge

We arrived at Hondeklipbaai just before 2 pm and stopped at “Dop en Kreef” for a pub lunch. Translation for my overseas readers – Dop – alcoholic beverage. Kreef – Crayfish or lobster. Fortunately, they served more than just Kreef at the unholy price of R400! Actually one of the Kreef dishes was R600. Instead, Alec and Cathy had fish and chips and Earl had a hake and calamari platter. I settled for smoked chicken and chickpea salad. The portions were huge and not expensive. You’ve got to love these hidden places for their passion to feed people. Yes, the service was slow but we enjoyed the view and the break from driving. It was just after 3 pm when we left and made our way home on a much shorter route. The dirt road was a good one and it wasn’t long before we hit the tar road.

Hondeklipbaai was once a busy port for transporting diamonds from the mines in the area. Now it is pretty derelict and deserted
Admiring the view and waiting for food
Dop and Kreef Restaurant
Life is a little slower here.

10 thoughts on “Niewoudville to Kamieskroon

  1. wetanddustyroads

    You’re absolutely right, that Caltex stop in Vanrhynsdorp is like a magnet … I never walk out of there empty handed 😄. I like that the sites in Kamieskroon each had their own kitchen and braai – we saw that in the Cederberg as well and it’s such a nice touch at camping sites. Your drive towards Hondeklipbaai is stunning – love that photo of the steenbok in full “flight”.



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