(Previous: (i) (ii): Boxing Day 1974 had Much Better Half and I setting off in our Combi Camper ‘Cambi’ with our daughters of 4 & 7. We overnighted behind a bogged-down Rolls Royce near Golden Gate.)
We were rudely awakened at 5 a.m. by a gang of local farmworkers removing the Rolls from the mud. They wanted to ensure that we were also safely over the boggy rise, so the stretcher over the front seat and the one in the roof were quickly folded, the roof was lowered, the double-bed reconverted into a seat, and we were ready. The whole process took about a minute!
Thus we had a rather earlier drive through the stunning Golden Gate scenery than we would have planned.
Breakfast was eaten at just past Paul Roux after vociferous complaints from the poor starved brats. When we travel, though, we travel, so we were soon back on the road. Our next stop was in Dealesville, where we had lunch at a café. Then MBH took over driving while I had forty winks on the double bed – ED and YD alternated between the front passenger seat and the one alongside the fridge while I occupied so much of their play territory …
I awoke to find we had stopped. ‘Wha… where are we?’ I asked.
‘Kimberley – we’re at the Big Hole’, MBH responded brightly.
I glanced at my watch. ‘Are you crazy?’ I stormed. ‘What about the speed limit? You simply must have flown!’ MBH shrugged and smiled sweetly. Slow driving on the long, straight and flat Orange Free State roads wasn’t something that appealed to her much.
The kids didn’t seem too impressed with the Hole thing. Unfortunately their disparaging remarks weren’t recorded at the time. It is an amazing monument, though, to the greed of human beings for shiny bits of rock.
Anyway, we toured the Museum before resuming our trip through fine rain, which finally cleared just past Cambell. We went through Griekwastad and drove on until we found a nice remote bit of country, comfortably clear of the road, where we could stop for the night. After we had cooked supper the kids and I took a walk through the veld (MBH didn’t have our good night eyesight and wasn’t as keen on such expeditions), and then I read them the first chapter of Wind in the Willows before bed.
The following day was to see our party of four growing to one of five …
(To be continued…)
© Colonialist September 2013 (WordPress) (Letterdash 2007)
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Those were the good ole days! I remember, when we used to go down to the coast, how much fun it was to picnic at those tables you sometimes got under the trees. Ans we were not the only family doing it by far!!
Indeed, and I remember that those areas were generally immaculate and litter-free.
Always. The whole country for the most part. Now it’s one big cesspit. That’s so not ayoba!
Hi Col ,good story. You’re kids fighting in the back seat of you’re Combi brought back good old memories of mine doing just that.
I love the sign.
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I must say, the big hole also never interested me. It started falling in so much that they had to close part of the road where the taxi rank was and of course, a few people also thought it newsworthy to commit suicide by jumping down into that green water. Yuck! I must say, I do love Kimberley. Must be because I grew up there. 😀
Well written as usual Col and thanks for the trip down memory lane. 😀 *big hugs*
I do that speeding thing too, Col. And then claim innocence when Phil wakes up.
Looking forward to seeing who you fifth member is!
He also has a watch and an ability to do simple arithmetic (maths, these days?) I assume, so the innocence bit probably doesn’t work.
Really enjoying this Col… I remember the days of 80 and I had a construction site that fell under me at Lime Acres… never stuck to the speed limit then, if they were going to hold a speed trap on those straight and level roads you could see it a week ahead..
Nice early morning catch-up reading. Look forward to more
Nice early morning catch-up reading. Look forward to more 🙂
You’re moving right along! Reminds me of the cross country trip we took ~ 4 kids, 2 adults, and a Great Dane.
Now, THAT must have been interesting! It must have been a roomy vehicle, indeed.