Kimberley is another place with a lot of history and a lot to see. So much that I decided to spend my day heading to Warrenton and making distance. I will rather come back and spend a weekend here to do all the activities and see everything there is to see.
I did, inevitably, get lost cycling through Kimberley, but I managed to find my way out of town and onto the right road. And on the way out, I stopped at a filling station to buy myself a coffee…
I got my coffee, and was pushing the bike to a patch of grass with a picnic table under a cool and inviting thatch roof. But I had to lift the bike onto a pavement. With one hand. While holding a paper cup full of hot coffee and balancing a backpack on one shoulder. Needless to say, the moment I lifted the front wheel up, everything went topsy-turny.
The bike flipped and lay in the road halfway up the pavement, my backpack fell over my shoulder and onto the bike, my coffee spilled al over the pile consisting of my bike and bags and I was left standing, red faced and a bit flustered. I put my coffee (what was left of it) on the table under the thatch roof and went back to fetch my bike, bag and dignity and sat drinking my coffee avoiding eye contact with the crowd that had started forming.
Other that my fun coffee break, the road to Warrenton was pretty uneventful. Warrenton is a small place, so I passed quickly, only doing a small detour into town to see some of the buildings and Churches. The town does border on the Vaal River and the bottom part of town is quite pretty.
I got about 10km out of town and pulled into a farm to ask for a camping spot and was taken back to town to a guest house on the river. The owner of the farm also owns the guest house and blessed me with a place to sleep and a steak dinner. And to top it all off in sticky, sweet bliss – Malva pudding.
Off from Warrenton, No wait, back track a day, when I got to Warrenton I stopped at a petrol station and sat and watched some llama grazing on the front lawn of the filling station. They are one of my favourite animals. Such awkward and fluffy animals, and they spit. What more do you want in the search for a favourite animal?
I left Warrenton and cycled past the farm I pulled into the day before and was on the way to Christiana. At the folks I stayed with at the Botswana border post I was invited to visit some family of theirs’ that stay here. Christiana is a lot smaller than I remember, but then again the last time I was here was on a family camping holiday when I was in primary school.
One thing I remember is that the only fish we caught the entire holiday was as big as a gold fish and my cousin was told to throw it back, so throw it he did… I am sure when poor Nemo finally landed he had an identity crises because he thought he turned into a bird. I have never seen a fish fly that far.
The next few days I spent travelling through Bloemhof, Wolmaranstad and Ottosdal. I stayed at a diamond mine and got to scratch around in the pebbles for my own shiny rock… I later discovered I was prospecting in the sorted waste and had a 0.0001% of finding a diamond. I kept the stones I found, just in case. The whole process of diamond mining is an awesome one. I was taken on a guided tour of the mine by the owner, and he explained some of the challenges of the industry. I even got to hold a little tub that held the findings for the week. Imagine the adventures I could have with the money in this little tub…
In Wolmaranstad I found a photo and copy shop where I could get some of the pictures off my camera’s memory stick. I still cannot get the camera fixed, but at least I can share the photos.
In Ottosdal I camped on a chicken farm and got a tour of the entire setup. It is amazing how technology has improved the methods and practices on farms. The entire place is automated and controlled via computer software. It still smells funny though.
My next stop is Boschpoort, where my planned one night stay turned into a five day rest and some great memories.
My first night in Boschpoort, pronounced Bospoort by the locals. I was going to camp by folks I met along the road earlier in the day, instead I ended up in a flat on a farm up the road, where I met my guard animals for the night – there are Sable Antelope around the property, four massive dogs inside the property and in case that was not enough for you, there are six teenage lion cubs as well, and they can get out of their enclosure…
I was not eaten by the kittens, and I survived the Sable on my way out in the morning, I was heading to a lion camp on the other side of town to spend two nights there. The owner of the farms has invited me to spend a few days to rest and visit with everyone.
On the way to the lion camp I stopped at the little shop in town and was hijacked by someone…
I was told to leave my bike at the shop and we went to feed two cows to some hungry lions and for a drive around the place. Don’t stress, the assailant is a partner at the lion camp and friends of the people I am staying at for the few nights. This is not a ransom letter.
Once I was returned to the shop (my hijacker did not inflict any harm, and I got a coke) I headed down the road to the lion camp and we set up the fire and spent the afternoon listening to the 127 lions grumble and roar as the day came to an end. There is a group of teachers from a neighbouring town having a weekend team building at the camp and I have been invited to join for the night.
On the second night at the camp, I had the place to myself and decided to be all domesticated. I baked my own bread rolls on the fire and had a quiet braai by myself while I sat outside listening to the night. It was peaceful. In the morning I was planning to be on the road again.
After breakfast and coffee I was on the road back to the shop in town to pick up some supplies for road to Coligny and Lichtenburg. Yes, I am heading back to Pretoria along a similar route I left, but Lichtenburg is my best option to find a bicycle shop. I just broke another spoke on the back wheel. It is four now.
At the shop I bumped into another familiar face from my home town and got to chatting. Before I knew it, I left the bike at the shop (Again), and was off to the farm for another night in Bospoort. I think the shop owner is going to start charging me storage fees.
Filled with great food, and catching up from the old days and all the people from my home town, the evening passed quickly and soon we were listening to a thunderstorm that will hopefully bring much needed rain to the area. It is critically dry here, with practically no food for the livestock anywhere.
At breakfast it was decided that I should stay another day, we have dug out some history books and I am learning about the amazing history of our country and the families that played a critical role in sculpting our country. It is amazing to read these accounts of everything that happened during the Anglo-Boer War, the Ossewa Brandwag and the decades that followed the War. Time flew by as I was thrown into the archives of history.
After spending nearly a week in Bospoort, meeting amazing people and feeding lions both small and enormous, I am off to Coligny. As I leave town it felt like I knew everyone. I might have. It is a really small town. And I managed to get around quite a bit during my stay. But the fact of the matter is that I had an amazing stay here and had a lot of fun.
It was a short ride to Coligny, and I was planning to push through to Lichtenburg, but I got a very strange surprise in Coligny, and ended up spending the night…