Archive for the Fishing Category

The Springbok Caravan Park

There are 2 caravan parks in Springbok. The one I mentioned in my first post here is the Kokerboom Motel and Caravan Park and the other is The Springbok Caravan Park. Both are situated just outside of Springbok but that is where the similarities end.

The Springbok Caravan Park is by far the more popular of the two and the main reasons are position – not smack bang next to the national road – and the really nice clean, well functioning  ablution block. The manager is a young guy who seems to keep a beady eye on what is going on, not like many of the other park manager who don’t seem to give a damn, and they are upfront about what is and is not tolerated regarding noise after 10pm. The rules of the park are in bold typed notices stuck up in the ablution blocks for all to see and read.

The Entrance.

The Entrance.

As you can see there is a laundry which has 3 washing machines and a tumble dryer. I got the impression that some of the residents of Springbok also make use of these facilities. I did 2 loads of washing for R20.00 and had my ironing done by one of the friendly ladies who would only charge me R35.00 for the lot. The door on the right is to a small self-contained flat which is also for hire.

The Ablution Block.

The Ablution Block.

Everything was keep nice and clean, toilet paper was supplied – it took me about 2 days to get out of the habit of taking my own – and the showers not only had plenty of hot water,  hooks to hang your things on but also had sliding shower doors so that all your goods did not get sopping wet. What a difference compared to the other parks  I had been to previously.

Well maintained and clean swimming pool

Well maintained and clean swimming pool

Popular section of the park. Check out the back drop!

Popular section of the park. Check out the back drop!

The  set up closest to the camera on the right hand side had a rig worth over R800,00.00.

My set-up.

My set-up.

If I had to criticise one thing it would be that I thought the sites were a bit cramped and close to one another.

They also have chalets/rondawels most of which were occupied all the time I was there.

They also have chalets/rondawels most of which were occupied all the time I was there.

Old converted ox wagon.

Old converted ox wagon.

Spoke to a young couple who slept one night in it and they said it was fine but a bit cramped.

View of caravan park.

View of caravan park.

This shot was taken mid morning so many of the campers had already left.

I enjoyed my 5 day stay at the Springbok Caravan Park. A lot of people only come in for one night on their way to or from Namibia or the Richtersfelt but there were a few, like myself, who used it as a base for a few days to explore Springbok and it’s surrounds. If I had to rate it out of 5 stars I would give it 3½.

A look arournd McDougalls Bay.

I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning walking round and talking to some folk in McDougalls Bay. Again everyone was friendly and prepared to go out of their way to help me. One guy even offered to give me some 4×4 driving lessons when I told him there are certain places I don’t take the Pajero as I don’t know much about 4×4. Think I might just take him up on that!!

Plots in McDougalls Bay, belonging to mine managers in the area, date back to 1855 and it is believed to have been the holiday resort of the rich. In 1960 there was renewed interest in the bay and plots could be hired from the municipality but only removable structures could be erected. This changed in 1986 when the bay was resurveyed and tenants could get ownership of their plots.

A guy called Jack Carstens found the first local diamond at a place called Oubeep just south of McDougalls Bay 0n 25 August 1925 but it was only in the 1970’s that the mining of diamonds from the sea started.

McDougall Bay taken from the North side.
McDougall Bay taken from the North side.

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Apart from the rough beauty of the place 2 things really struck me – one was the number of houses and plots  on the market and two some of the unusual architecture. It seemed as if every third or fourth  house is on the market and when I popped in at the local Seeff Office and spoke to Beverly Jackson I was given a list of all the properties and sites that are for sale.  I count 44 plots and about 27 houses listed by Seeff alone. There are also quite lot of B&B’s and Guest Houses in the area.

The price of houses range from about R450,000 to just over R2,500,000. One that caught my eye was this one below.

House for sale.
House for sale.

It is listed as being newly built but here is also a sign above the front door that reads 1894.

The Koi pool area.

The Koi pool area.

This house is on the market for R1,800,000 and consists of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 garages, a Koi pool, is also fully furnished  and  has a bachelor flat attached. Wonder what that would go for in say Yzerfontein?

Yesterday evening on my walk I met one of the real local characters, George who is/was a diamond diver, and I want to do a full post on him. Even his house is fascinating so thought I would start here with some of the unusual architectural  aspects of McDougall Bay.

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The house that George built.
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Ben’s Den

I have seen something similar near Hangklip.

Bigger is better?
Bigger is better?

This one is on the market for R1,530,000 and has 4 bedrooms and 31/2 bathrooms.

Colourful hey?
Colourful hey?

No ja well fine!
No ja well fine!

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On the market for R1,200,000

Netting harders.
Netting harders.

Spotted these 2 bobbing around in the bay netting harders. They were out the whole morning and I saw them pull in quite a few. I have been told that the fishing in the bay is very poor but I aim to try and disprove that in the near future. If there are harders around there must be other fish in the water.

Catch up.

Right I have now spent the last 3 days and this morning (Sunday 12th) playing catch up for this blog and also sorting out the photographs I have taken so far into some kind of order.

Thursday and Friday were really hot and also quite windy. Saturday I woke up to the sound of rain falling on the caravan roof and not a breath of wind. When I stepped outside the air was clean (no dust) and everything just looked so fresh. It was truly beautiful. This morning is clear again but there is quite a nip in the air.

The camp has been empty, apart from me, for the past 3 days so it has been really peaceful and to be honest I have enjoyed the solitude as it has given me the space to do some introspective thinking about the past 12 days since I left Cape Town and also where I am going to go to from here and when. I have decided to stick around here for the next week and then go back to Port Nolloth and see what I can find there. There are still two possible story opportunities round here that I want to work on and a few more photographs I want to do in Alexander Bay.

Is it not amazing how a small group of inconsiderate and noisy people can stuff it all up. The peace and quiet I had been enjoying was shattered an hour or two ago with the arrival of a bakkie and trailer. I am still not sure how many people fell out when the doors were opened but at least 11 adults  and 3 children. The next thing fires were lit and loud music and much shouting and screaming was going on about 20 meters from where I am camped. All I can say is thank heavens they are only here to have a braai and will push off later this afternoon

Speaking of this afternoon I am going to go for a walk and also try my luck with some fishing. I have managed to get some dried mieles and am going to try them as bait. Will let you know if I had any luck in my next post.

5pm Update:

Breaking News, News Flash……..

Could not wait to tell you – There ARE fish in the Orange River.

Catch of the day

Catch of the day

Shame he wasn’t very big, about 12″ in the old measurement (not sure what that is in cm?) and no idea what kind of fish, so of course had to throw him back. Did get one very nice bite but lost it!!!! Next time hey…

By the way got the bites and caught this one on dropshot. The mieles did not even get a nibble.

Brandkaros

The next morning (Sunday 5th) Koos and Lieta decide to stay on an extra day as they had been on the move for a month and needed a bit of catch up time. I was pleased as they are such a nice couple and have some really interesting stories from all their travels over the years.

They wanted to see the river and I wanted to try a spot of fishing so off we trekked. I found what I thought was a nice spot to thrown in a line and they went off to explore further downstream.

Fishing in the Orange River

Fishing in the Orange River

Not even half a bite (foto: Koos Prince)

The day was very pleasant, hot with no wind and by the time I got back to camp later and at last starting to relax into it all when the next shock arrived in the form of a troop of monkeys. It was chaos for about the next hour and a half as they emptied every bin they could find and jumped all over the caravans. Not very nice at all. They did not give me such a hard time but went for Koos and Lieta and nothing we did would scare them off.

I have discovered that Brandkaros is no longer a working citrus farm, has not been for the past couple of years, and is basically just going to rack and ruin. There is still a huge amount of fruit on the trees but they have not been trimmed or harvested in ages. What a shame! From what I have heard it used to be an oasis in a desert landscape.

Brandkaros Farm

Brandkaros Farm

Brandkaros Farm

Brandkaros Farm

The farm is just falling apart. Even the irrigation piping is all broken and useless.

From what I can gather there is a reason why this farm and many other businesses in the area are either finished or on there way out. There has been a massive land redistribution in the area to the Richtersveld people and also a lot of money poured in by the government and it is all going to waste. People who have been in the area since the early 18oo’s have been kicked off their land without much, if any, recompense. I am not going to say much more as I am no expert in the field but by the look of it things can only get worse.

Had a great evening with Koos and Lieta. They are or were both teachers and have some wonderful stories to tell while sitting round drinking coffee and Rooibos. Also found out that Koos was at one stage Lietas school principal before they got married. Stunning couple!

About 10pm, after a glorious day we said our good nights and off I went to lala land. After all the walking and day fishing in the sun I slept like the dead.

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