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Posts Tagged ‘Port Nolloth’

From Brandkaros to Port Nolloth.

Yesterday was the day of my move to Port Nolloth or should I say to McDougall Bay 4 kilometres south of Port Nolloth . I was dreading the first 27 k’s as it was over the dirt road that had nearly shaken my poor old caravan to pieces 16 days earlier. I was told that it would be best to drive as fast as I could as it would smooth out the corrugations so, after saying my goodbyes to Apie and Analine du Toit, off I went.

It might be easy to drive at 80/90 kpm on a dirt road when not towing anything but with an old caravan behind you it ain’t so. The road did feel a bit smoother but I think more as a result of the rain a few days earlier than anything else. The only thing of interest that I saw on the first part of my trip was a jackal as it crossed the road just in front of me and ran off into the veld. To quick for me to try and get a photograph I’m afraid.

After what seemed hours I finally came to the end of the dirt road and onto the tar. I pulled over at the first opportunity to have a quick inspection inside and out. Horror of horrors the fridge door had come off again and there was a huge mess inside. I cleaned it all up, as best I could at the side of the road, got the fridge door back on, the goodies packed away and off I set.

On the road again!
On the road again!

The drive from Alexander Bay to Port Nolloth is about 80 k’s on a really good road. It was, however, difficult to pull over to stop and take photographs as the shoulder of the road is very narrow. I mostly took photographs out the window so they are not too great.

The straight and narrow
The straight and narrow
The contrasts are unbelievable
The contrasts are unbelievable

As you can see by those land dumps there is mining all along the coast line.

I wonder who on earth thinks up these names?
I wonder who on earth thinks up these names?
After the recent rains there are already patches of brightly coloured flowers.
After the recent rains there are already patches of brightly coloured flowers.
Ariva ariva!!
Welcome!

As you will see it was only about 15 minutes after the welcome sign that I thought I had made a big mistake.

If you have read one of my earlier posts you will know that I stopped overnight at McDougall Bay just over 2 weeks earlier. Wonderful setting, position wise, but basically the sites are just sea sand. Anyway I was told that it was in season and the price was a flat R123.00 per site per night. If I came back after the season it would be R99.00 less 30% discount for over 60′s so just under R70.00 per night.

When I arrived I was told the price I had been given was a mistake and it was in fact 30% off the high rate which works out to about R86.oo. I started jumping up and down and the manager phoned her boss to try and clarify what the correct price should be. (Just as an aside there were only 2 other campers  and there are 93 sites.  Go figure!!) After an hour I was eventually told that I could pay R70.00. I later met up with a couple from Cape Town who had stayed there during the HIGH season and the most campers on any night had been 4 and all stayed over for only 1 night. Wonder why??

My new base for a while.
My new base for a while.
The view and sounds are superb.
The view and sounds are superb.

I have been warned not to leave anything outside as people walk off the beach and steal.

As you can see it is going to be a batle to keep the sand at bay.
It is going to be a battle to keep the sand at bay.

Cool and misty.

Cool and misty. Compare to yesterdays shot.

I woke up this morning to find it cool with quite a heavy mist that will probably stick around the whole day as there is no wind. Have been into town to the Spar Shop which is very well stocked. They even have some vegetarian foods.

Once I have posted this I am going to take a long walk along the beach and then just relax for a while.

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.

The start of my journey (Part 2)

The next morning (Thursday 2nd) I took a drive, without the caravan, into Springbok to get petrol (Gulp!! it was worse) and to have a look around. Again it was a trip down memory lane as I used to travel to Springbok as a rep for then Reckkit and Coleman (not sure if the spelling is correct) and stayed there many times. I found the hotel I always stayed at, The Masonic, and it looks exactly the same as it did as it did then.

Back to the park, hitch up and on my way to Port Nolloth via Steinkopf, Alexander Bay and then onto Brandkaros about 30 k’s from Alexander Bay where, after all the stories from my 4×4 man, I planned to spend a few weeks.

The drive was great as there was very little wind and it was pretty flat, apart from one section, so I made good time and knew my petrol consumption was much improved.

Pajero and Sprite on the road

Pajero and Sprite on the road

My set-up on the road between Springbok and Port Nolloth.

The road from Springbok

The road from Springbok

As you can see the road is in good condition, it was a dirt road the last time I was on it, and pretty flat.

Arrived at Port Nolloth about 11.30am had a quick look round and then onto Alexander Bay and Brandkaros. The road to Alex B. was also good and flat so made good time and was there by 2pm and that is where all my troubles started.

My 4×4 man had told me that Brandkaros was fantastic and that the road was tar all the way. Ha-ha on both counts. From 3 k’s outside Alex the tar road became a dirt road and a bad one for towing a little old caravan like mine. I went about 20 k’s down the road and thought ” this is crap”!!  I really thought the caravan was going to fall apart. The guy did not know what he was talking about. I even stopped and asked someone where the camp site was and they had no idea. So around I turned and drove all the way back to Port Nolloth as there was no where else to stay in Alex Bay.

Arrived back in Port Nolloth and found a place called McDougalls Bay  also on the recommendation of 4×4 guy as being wonderful etc. (ha-ha)

The site is huge, about 180 stands, and is situated right on the beach front. So far so good!

Went to check in to be told the price was R123-00. I am used to half that for 1 person at an over 60′s discount, and there was no discount. The reason – it was in season (read school holidays) and that was the price per site for up to 4 people. Reluctantly paid and went to find a site. I could choose from 178 as there were only 2 other caravans there. So much for in season. Had a chat to the lady about Brandkaros and she new exactly where it was – I must have stopped about 8 k’s from the camp site – so I have determined to give it another try tomorrow and just hope my caravan does not fall apart .

The sites themselves are just hardened sea sand and you track the sand everywhere. Also the ablutions left a lot to be desired. Actually I could write a whole post on the ablutions at all the parks I have been to so far. They are all bad but some are really terrible. Anyway what can one do. Sorted out some food and had an early night.

Sunset at McDougalls Bay

Sunset at McDougalls Bay

Pic taken from just in front of my caravan.

To be continued…