04 Apr Robertson-Oudtshoorn
Our second day on the road starts among vineyards and Mediterranean looking countryside, apparently familiar to us except for the signs warning to beware of baboons (we actually saw a couple) and the fact that kudu hamburgers and ostrich steak are menu favourites – quite tasty we must say. We are climbing up from the lowlands to a line of rocky mountains traversed by easy though scenic passes. It’s a very beautiful drive through gradually drier farmland. We are lucky that traffic is light and we even have the small satisfaction of meeting a vehicle actually slower than us – Heavenly justice, for once it’s our turn to queue behind it waiting for a chance to pass. It’s an ancient harvester (a cousin of our tractor’s) that the owner is taking home to renovate and resell. They have been travelling for two days. He is yet another victim of the drought. He used to be a farmer, but has had to recycle himself as a mechanic in order to make ends meet, like many others. Agricolture is central to South Africa’s economy and society. A steep descent takes us to the hilly plains of the Little Karoo, where cactus plants alternate with fields and ostrich farns. We have reached Oudtshoorn, a town that provided most of the plumes adorning 19th century ladie’s hats and fans. Wildbeest fillet for dinner anyone?