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