Well more than a month here and we get happier with George all the time. Except – believe it or not with the traffic. George was always such a nice quiet laidback little town. Now – it is seriously overpopulated with ex-Vaalies, and the traffic is awful in the town area, particularly on a Friday afternoon. Anyway, we are getting used to the roads and learning to use the back streets. At the moment George still doesn’t have a shopping centre – YES! (this will however change by September when a new monster centre “Garden Route Centre opens). The little town is rather delightful and has some really lovely arcades with interesting vendors. We are also, slowly mind (cost wise), discovering some good eating places too.
We took ourselves off on our first camping adventure, the whole purpose of buying the station wagon was to be able to take off and explore the Cape. We have made a tent, all be it rather amateur looking, that closes round the back of the wagon, it is 2m x 3m in size and allows us to sleep on a mattress in the back. We went over the Outeniqua Pass to Outshoorn, visited a Wine Farm, did a very little tasting, bought some light stein and sherry that was on special. We then headed for a little town (dorp) called Calitzdorp. We stayed over at a Spa, and slept in a Caravan park with our tent surrounded by springbok. Had a really lovely stay and spent some time in both the hot and cold pools. Calitzdorp was a very interesting little place, lots of home industries, arts and crafts and entrepreneurs with all sorts of things, i.e. the one and only SA maker of wooden pipes (mens’ smoking pipes that is). Lovely dried fruits and lots and lots of beautiful mountains. Just by chance we took a dirt road and past though the lovely red hills of Calitzdorp – not even signposted as a tourist spot – the hills are quite magnificent, unlike anything we had seen anywhere before.
We travelled further down route 62 through Ladismith, Riversdale, Albertinia, the home of the aloe plant products, and back on the freeway through Mosselbay to George. Being our first trip, we seemed to break our intention to do things very slowly and actually went much too fast through these little towns. However, we had experienced “some” difficulty getting our tent up (once up it stood up to the weather), as it was extremely windy – gale type wind on our very first trip. Neither of us were actually brave enough to try to put it up a second night in the same conditions. We will no doubt get better at this as we go along. Laughter and wind do not seem to be a good combination for quick and efficient tent erection. But big bonus, the night’s accommodation cost R50.
We are making friends slowly, at the moment mostly at Carmel, people are very friendly and we are constantly invited out. We have had several people around to our little house and really seem to be enjoying ourselves. Calan came down again for a few days before leaving for London. He arrived back yesterday (24th Feb) wearing just a cardigan, in deep snow. Still waiting to hear if he made it to his digs without freezing! We also had a friend from Benoni, Liz, stay with us for 2 nights while she was in this part of the world presenting a Youth Alpha Course. It was lovely to have them with us, and to really brag about our new surroundings.
Spiders, oh boy – spiders ! they are as big as your hand, and stand up and chase you if annoyed. We are getting used to checking our clothing and shoes as well as bath towels before touching them. It is no fun putting on a T-shirt and finding these creatures sitting proudly in place under your chin.