The Journeys end
One approaches the journeys end. But the end is a goal, not a catastrophe. Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived. ~ Jean Luc Picard
My second leg of the journey to complete the marketing of the Cape to Namibia route was nearing the end. As I got into my car to do the last leg of the journey, the West Coast, the words of an old song by Willie Nelson “On the road again”, enters my mind (Oh darn it, now I have given my age away) and I share some lines with those of you who do not know the song.
“On the road again, going places that I’ve never been…Seeing things that I may never see again, I can’t wait to get on the road again……yes I do love my job, no matter how difficult it may be at times.
While on route I wondered what it is that make people always strive for new adventure, new places, and new experiences. We all seem to be very much like migrating birds and never satisfied, always searching and striving for new horizons on a daily basis. However, no matter how we try to rationalize it, it will always be exciting to go places, see new things and experience new people. It is in this spirit of adventure that I partook in the final leg of my journey and travel from Calvinia, through places such as Garies, Springbok, Steinkopf, to Vioolsdrift. It is in the unofficial start of the flower season and wherever I travel I am aware of the beauty and serenity of the country side. I note how the landscape changes and stand in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. Some places are barren and rocky, while other places are lush with flowers dotting the country side. I spoke to locals in Alexander bay, about the land reform and the involvement of the mine to re-establish the town of Alexander Bay, as it was sad to see the devastation of land that had been mined but not yet been rehabilitated. However, I was informed that the process to re-establish the vegetation and the rehabilitation of the dunes have begun in earnest. Alexkor remains focused on implementing the Richtersveld land restitution order imposed on it by the Land Claims Court. The court order obliges Alexkor to transfer land and mineral rights to the Richtersveld community; to establish Alexander Bay as a formal township; to undertake environmental rehabilitation. This is very good news as furthermore, there has been a redirection of Alexkor’s strategy to ensure that it operates on a commercially viable basis and contributes towards the socio-economic up-liftmen of the communities and regions in which it operates. So my mind for the moment is at rest regarding this issue. The drive further down the West Coast to Port Nolloth, and McDougall Bay were pleasant as the little flowers were to be seen among the most barren of rocks, in between crevices and it looks as it was just scattered all over. Here I stayed at a wonderful self catering literally on the beach and watched the sun set over the ocean, I realized what it was like to just be, and to be one with nature. After a long journey, it was very relaxing to walk along the beach and just unwind from the day, something I really appreciated. McDougall Bay, St Helena Bay, Yzerfontein, Strandfontein, Elandsbaai and Jacobsbaai were places that I had never previously visited and they totally captured my imagination as I could see how families would really enjoy the safe environment and tranquility and re-connect away from their usual daily schedules.
On my way to Vanrhynsdorp I passed the farm Ratelgat which is owned by the Griqua Ratelgat Development Trust and which consists of 85 Griqua beneficiaries who agreed to make the farm available for development for the benefit of the Griqua community of South Africa. The farm was obtained via the land restitution program of Government of RSA at no cost to the Griqua community and the aim is to assist families in becoming self sustainable. Twenty eight bed “matjieshuise” in traditional kraal with chief’s “matjieshuis” in center make this an unique holiday experience and fun for the kids, while also very cultural.
At Darling I enjoyed warm hospitality and saw the age old art of Leather whips made by a gentleman at the Trading Post. Something of a dying art? The restaurants and coffee shops were all a pleasure and there are various wineries to visit, which I regret I did not visit in a tourist capacity as I was working but will do so in future. Evita’s Perron was fun and the staff very hospitable, however I did not have the honour of meeting the great icon, Pieter Dirk Uys, as he was away at the time. “Piequetberg” now known as Piketberg was a pleasant surprise with interesting walking trails and wonderful views of the mountains, and warm hospitable people. On the road to Elandsbay, I met up with a gentleman who is the founder of Phytogreen a natural medication made from organic herbs and rooibostee, and who decided that he would build an awesome spa to assist people in de-toxing and healing in a natural environment. My journey ended in Melkbosstrand with beautiful beaches and lovely restaurants. I could not believe that it was so close to Cape Town as it had such a country feel.
Well my journey ends and with my project completed, I would like to leave you with a thought, “look at the world through the eyes of a child and you will never cease to be amazed “and savor the memories, they are what makes us all survive in a very stressed world. And please look out for our latest map “Discover the Cape to Namibia”.
Hantam Karoo, Accommodation
- Calvinia Hotel
- Calvinia Guesthouse
- Jo's Guesthouse
- Die Blou Nartjie Guest House and Restaurant
- Rolbos B&B and Self- Catering