Drive West – Part 2

11 Jan 2016

Read Part 1 of this article

Day 5 and 6

Eagerly trying to escape the mist we traveled further south through Kleinsee towards Hondeklip Bay. Kleinsee is an isolated, nearly abandoned diamond mining town. The road from Kleinsee to Koingnaas is tarred, this is surprising due to the fact that you can only reach this tar road by driving on miles and miles of dirt roads. The ostrich, klipspringers, springbok, eland and other smaller animals appearing alongside the road never ceased to amaze us.

Ostriches running
Old tar road

Only accesible by dirt road and quite far off the beaten track, there is something magical about the seemingly forgotten Hondeklip Bay. Fortunately for us the sun  made its appearance, an enjoyable change from the recent mist. We found a small self-catering home overlooking the bay, owned by the famous cartoonist and artist – Mynderd Vosloo. Hondeklip Bay is a photographic paradise, with vast orange sunsets, wide array of birdlife and of course what’s left of the “stone dog”, after which the town was named.

Seaside Village
Seagull flying over beach at sunset - hondeklipbaai
Sun setting over ocean

The next morning we woke, yet again, to a blanket of mist but refused to let this dampen our excitement as we went out to explore the local shipwreck, the Aristea, which survived WWII but was run aground in 1945 by her tipsy Captain, while being used as a I&J fishing trawler.

The Aristea Shipwreck
Detail image of bolts on shipwreck

Day 7

It was time to start turning back towards Egoli but determined to make the most of it, we headed down towards Clan William where we attempted to take a “short cut” dirt road towards Tankwa National Park. The road got smaller and smaller, with more and more gates and dry riverbeds. A short cut this was not!

Dirtroad landscape image

Having traveled too far to justify turning around, we found ourselves on a slippery shale rock road wearily cresting the Cederburg mountain range.  Our trusty Discovery just kept going and with great relief we made it to the other side in one piece. Our journey had taken slightly longer than intended so we initially skipped Tankwa and spent the night in Calvinia where we were greeted by a spectacular orange sunset and an even more impressive sunrise.

Windmill at sunrise
Sunset in Calvinia

Day 8 – One last stop

We pressed on towards the isolated and desolate Tankwa National Park, where we spent the night in a very dilapidated SanParks house. The gorgeous night sky accompanied our final braai, while a richness filled our souls as we contemplated the journey and celebrated the joy of the past week together. This trip made us realise that one does not have to leave our borders to enjoy a world of sites, sounds and experiences.

quiver tree


Canon 5D MkII, Canon 16-35mm f2.8, Canon 24-70mm f2.8, Canon 100-400mm f4, Canon Macro 100mm f2.8, Canon Speedlite

About the Author:
Born in Harare Zimbabwe in February 1970, I have lived in South Africa since 1983. I live with my wife Lors (who is also my art director), and our two children in Johannesburg. I work for large multinational food services company and while my work is very rewarding, my real passion is photography. I first started in photography back when I was about 8, with a small instamatic that used 110 film cartridge. (Remember them?) As soon as I could I moved onto a SLR starting with a Ricoh, and eventuality graduating to a Pentax. I managed to wangle my way into the position of Regimental Photographer when I did my National Service. I took photos’ while the others marched! I continued to take photo’s after my army career but my interest was really reinvigorated when I bought my first digital SLR, a Canon 300d. Before moving back to Johannesburg I was a member of the Durban Camera Club. This was an incredible experience and the chance to share photographs with like minded people was an educational treat. The club provided inspiration and allowed for criticism which motivates you to move forward. I did not join a club in Johannesburg due to work and study pressures. I was completing my BCom part time through Unisa. (Thank goodness that’s now done.) I did however join Flickr, which has been a great experience. I am always excited when people approach me to use my images, and I have had images used in Calendars, on websites and in news print on occasion. Albeit for free, I have loved the exposure. I now have a handful of images on and have had a few sales. Not enough to live on though…..tut tut I currently use a Canon 5D II (my treat to myself after passing my degree.) I am passionate about industrial photography and enjoy portraiture, wild life and sports photography (what I would not do for a rugby or cricket sports pass), and I would love to expand into taking stock photography.

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