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Wilderness Tour, Easter 2008

Before I begin, apologies to all family and friends who have been eagerly looking forward to this holiday update. Between laziness, Front Page giving issues with pushed updates from work, and the lack of knowledge with Dreamweaver, the page just was not happening. Lindsay however started uttering that friends were asking her when would the update happen. To all concerned and my ever conniving wife, here is the start. Enjoy.

This was a big holiday for us this time. Normally, we go away for 1 week at the most and normally no further then 500km's from home. This time we were away for over two weeks and traveled all the way down to Wilderness which is a good 1200km's one way.

Due to the length of the holiday, I have broken the web page into a number of pages to help with downloading and structure. Please have a look at them all. There is an opening photo on each page which will hopefully grab you and want to look further ;-)

Thursday the 20th March arrived amid much trepidation. Since the previous Saturday morning, it rained continuously in Johannesburg until the Wednesday and started slowly clearing up. We hitched up on Thursday afternoon and headed towards Bloemfontein for our first stop. The drive was actually quite wonderful as the traffic was no where near as bad as I thought it would be considering the school holidays were starting.

We arrived in Bloemfontein at about 20h30 and pulled into the Engen 1 Stop for a Wimpy dinner and then retired to the Caravan for the night which was parked under the shade netting near the bottom end of the Garage. We had an excellent nights sleep apart from the noise of the road. The best part was waking up in the morning and getting a Wimpy coffee less then 100 meters from our bed!

The scenery was absolutely beautiful. Fortunately there were some thunder storms around which cooled the morning down and accentuated the scenery.

At Aliwal North, Lindsay wanted to stop at the hot springs which we duly did. Entrance was R20 each. We headed to the main pool and stuck our foot in. Freezing!!! After asking one of the camp attendants, we were directed to a hall which judging by the smell (Sulphur) was where the hot pool was. John initially did not want to stop at the pools, but after 10 minutes in the pools, was asking if we could spend a night here on the way home. The hall is really run down but the gardens are immaculately kept.

  

 

 

06h30 we were again on the road and heading to Aliwal North. Looking at the map, we detoured onto Bloemfontein and could not find our way out. We soon arrived upon the Cheetahs rugby stadium and asked one of the guys there where to go. He started off with the left here and a right there, but closed of with a go straight, straight, keep straight… Something about going straight? Well, once we were on the N6, we saw what he was talking about. The road was a straight as a pin for nearly 100km’s apart from the slight bend here and there.

Top two photos were on the Thursday night heading to Bloemfontein.

The 4 photos thereafter show the straight road leaving out of Bloem.

 

 

  The photo on the left is a town "Smithfield" that we went through which was quite quaint. The bridge on the right is the entrance to Aliwal North
 

 

And here is the Aliwal North hot springs resort. The grounds outside are immaculately looked after. It took us a while though to find the hot pool. Eventually we found it tucked in what looked like a warehouse. This was obviously the very hot "therapeutic" pools once upon a time with hand rails and seats in the pool for all the old folk.

Well that is it now! The water was warm but not boiling hot. We all had a lovely time here and even John who did not initially want to stop and wanted to get to Hogsback asked if we could not spend a night here on our way back.

 

Till next time keep well, travel safe and enjoy.

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