Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The trip of awesomeness part 2: Roadtrip!

The trip of awesomeness part 2a: Harrismith and the general Free State region. Also the Northern Cape.

-we loaded up our car with about a year's supply of food, including cascades of niknaks.

-we drove for 3 hours

-both of us failed to check the directions for the actual climbing campsite we were headed to, inaptly named Mount Everest resort. We used to go there when I was at school so I figured it would come to me. I also figured if you drove into the town of Harrismith and then headed for the mountain, all would be well.


-Luckily some kind locals gave us directions and we made it to the campsite just before it got dark.

-We were the only people there. The campsite is around the corner from the rest of the resort and up against a mountain.

-I must say I was a bit spooked at first. I have not been around such darkness, such quietude and so many animal noises for a long time. But soon the total awesomeness of our surroundings got to me. There were so many stars! I still got spooked when I had to walk to the toilets though.

Proof that we actually climbed.

-We got lost trying to find climbing that we both thought we would remember, but after 12 years I was blank. We found other stuff that we did recognise and climbed that. We were the only people in the mountains. That is a very special thing.

-Um. It was very hot. BFG got very burnt. I applied sunscreen like a mental person.

-We saw at least 4 different types of buck, some Wildebeest and a mom and baby Zebra. Also some Americans, who are now running the resort.

-That evening there was a spectacular Free State thunder storm that unleashed its fury upon us. We sat in the car and enjoyed. Our tent survived, hooray!

-I remembered this place as something really special from our school trips, and it really is. I definitely want to go back.

-Then we drove, with BFG getting reaccustomed to how you are meant to drive in SA, ie. pull over into the emergency lane for people to overtake, and try and overtake in single lane freeways with no central reservation. He managed.

-I became reacquainted with the joys of South African radio. I have one thing to say: ERK!

-While chilling at an Engen One stop in Bloem we realised one of the tyres on our Kia Picanto (poo car) was dubiously flaccid. We grew concerned. We phoned up Europcar and they told us we could just exchange cars if we came to the Bloem airport. Talk about lucky, getting a flat right in Bloem instead of somewhere in the bundus!

- Some people may argue that Bloem is the bundus. I beg to differ. They had a Pep.

Not our dream car

- BFG's dream car is a citi Golf. He has pined for citi Golf his whole life. We managed to persuade the Car lady to give us a Golf. Who was she to deny a sweet boy his dream? BFG was so happy. And the boot was twice as big. Sweet.

BFG's dream car.

-We managed to drive out of Bloem into a full on storm, Free State attack number 2. Scary.

-We made it to the metropolis of Colesberg in the Northern Cape and decided to go no further. It was swelteringly hot in Colesberg. I slept without a blanket!!!! You have no idea how exciting this was for me!!! And I was not wearing a jersey!!!! I felt completely naked!!!! Any more exclamation marks anyone?


trip scorecard:

Dassie score:


thunderstorms: 2
buck seen: very many
sun rays absorbed: lots and lots
car changes: one
Times we got lost: once


Tara said...

Welcome back!

Good god, you saw Americans?

Helen said...

I've driven past the signs before, but never actually gone to everest... We always used to point and giggle at the 'Mount everest' signs on our way to Debbin

p.s word verification 'spuliked' I think I will make up a defnition and use it in my day-to-day conversations...

Prixie said...

Hey, Awesome trip! (Had to use this word after reading about so much awesomeness)

po said...

Tara: loads of Americans, they were all over the place!

Helen: Well, it may not be even near the highest mountain in the world or even the Free State, but it is a great place.

Prixie: awesome, thanks!

P.S. Cam/ches I cannot access your comments any more, when I click on the comments nothing happens :(

Kirsty said...

Have always really wanted to visit the Free State. Dated a guy from Bloem but never made it up there... one day! Great photos!

Gillian said...

Where did they dig out that old golf? Oh Wait! you were in Bloem, right?

All's explained.

po said...

Kirsty: It has some niiiice mountains and sunflowers, which is always cool.

Gillian: whahaha well according to them it was a 2009 model, but I am not so sure...

6000 said...

But Citi-Golf has no aircon? Brave.

Awesome pictures - I almost want to go (but it's a bit of a walk)

Tamara said...

Totally with you on SA radio!

We too were amazed at the extreme miniscule-ness (yes, making up words again) of the Kia's boot when we hired one this holiday. But I would still pick Kia aircon over a Citi.

po said...

6000: yup. no aircon, just the wind in our hair... smearing the sweat around.

Tamara: our Kia had no aircon iehter. And the boot is ridiculous!

And yes, the radio is baaaaad. All the radio stations are playing exactly the same songs they were playing when I was about 15. It was like a time warp.