This weekend we finally took the plunge and went camping.
On Saturday morning I did my Parkrun as normal, but this wasn’t a normal Saturday. This Saturday I was excited for a particular reason. We had planned to leave at around 10:00, so that Dave, Dev, and I could all fit in our respective fitness things. When ten o’clock rolled around we were still sitting around chatting. Nadine’s cousin, Amy, and her husband Jay, were in town for a wedding. We see them infrequently, mainly for weddings coincidentally. So the catch-up time was great. The camping party was travelling in two cars. Dave’s Chevy half tonner, and Dev’s brand new Mazda BT-50. Since neither of the cars was ours, everyone was to meet at our house, and we’d leave from there. By 11:00 we had the cars about half packed. No biggie, it’s a holiday, right!?! Well. Except that the first stop of the day was a farmers market where we planned to get some breakfast. Eventually, we managed to coax Nadine from her cousins and I managed to finish packing the vehicles, and we hit the road.
Stop one was the farmers market at the NG Kerk near St Albans. The sign board said that the market was from 9 to 12. We noticed the sign at 12:03. Thankfully, there were still some stalls open. We browsed a bit and each bought a little something to snack on. Stop two was the Out of Africa pub for lunch so we didn’t want to overdo the super late breakfast. Nadine and I shared a bacon and egg jaffle. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a compressed sandwich, toasted in a jaffle iron over an open flame. They’re awesome.
We were a little let down by stop two. Out of Africa. Mainly because it was closed and we couldn’t eat anything, but also because it wasn’t as fantastic as I was expecting. It was a tiny little building with peeling paint and a stencilled sign. After a short discussion, we decided to just move on and dig into the road snacks. There should be a padstal somewhere on the road, there always is.
There wasn’t. At least not until we were basically at the camp site.
We did stop a few times along the way, though. We first stopped at the dam over the Bulk River. The actual dam was a little bit off the road, and there was a locked gate, so we didn’t push it. We just took a few photos and moved on.
Then we stopped at the dam over the Sand River. Again we couldn’t access the actual wall, so we just took a few photos and moved on from there too.
After driving for long enough to think we’d gotten lost, we eventually arrived at Mount Ingwe. This was stop three, an Anglo-Boer war museum. The problem was that it was now quite late on Saturday afternoon. Understandably, the place was closed. Locked up tight. Not a single thing stirred. Anywhere. It was a little creepy.
Soon after that, though, we came upon The Moooo. Yes, that’s a real thing. It’s a tiny padstal on the Melkhoutboom Farm.
There we bought some fresh milk, delivered in a Coke bottle, some gooseberry jam, and some homemade ice cream. We sat under what I hope is a Melkhout tree, but I have no idea if it was. Actually, I’m claiming it. We sat under a melkhout tree, ate our ice cream, and played with a very friendly collie.
From there we drove straight to the camp site.
Bruintjieskraal. It’s amazing. If you approach from the Patensie side then you don’t need a 4×4. A sedan will get you there.
The campsite was clean and well maintained. When we arrived there was a flock of sheep hanging out in the grass next to the site. There’s a bush kitchen, that’s really just a 5 metre counter with a double sink on the side. The floor is tiled, and it has a corrugated steel roof. The bathroom is rudimentary, but it’s exactly what you need. The toilet is clean, and there’s a gas geyser. So you can have a hot shower in the bush. They have a dual fireplace. There’s a raised section where you cook, and a round pit where you make your campfire. The area is quiet and picturesque.
I absolutely loved it. We had a great time relaxing with some close friends. I’m 100% sure that we’ll go camping again.
Now to plan our next adventure…