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)