We leave Lambert’s Bay and hit the road North towards Namaqua National Park and a town called Garies. This part of the Northern Cape province seems to have lots and lots of space between barely populated small towns. We fill the drive time with more episodes of My Dad Wrote a Porno. We’re well into Season 2 at this point.
Farmland gives way to more vacant, rougher terrain and rocky plateaus.
At one point Mark passes a dude on the highway and nearly takes out a family of meerkat. “Shiiiiit! That was close”, “It’s basically us or them, unfortunately”, “Yeah, swerving out of the way with 80 litres of water up top and two gas tanks of diesel.. tipping for sure.”
We get to Garies and figure it’s a good spot to gas up if we’re going off the grid West and up the coast trying to find some magic camping place we’ve only heard tell of from the owner of The Backpack.
Mark pulls into Express Mark
These gas pumps have no catch on them, so once it fills up the pressure between the tank and the nozzle just explodes diesel out into the air, all over the side of the truck and the ground. Well. Fuck. Diesel is dirty. But it does kinda remind me of that scene in Zoolander
We leave the gas station and go back to the turn off towards Hondeklipbaii. Looks like it’s dirt roads from here on out. As soon as we get going we spot a turtle on the road (I suppose this would actually be a tortoise). He’s kinda freaked out. We get out and go over to help move him safely off the road. No problem there, he’s scampering away like mad. Way faster than I expected. Tough lil duffer.
Guess we’re headed over those mountains and to the coast
The road is rough and rocky but Belinda doesn’t even blink. She takes the washerboard like nothing and we’re blasting down this dirt road like a liquid metal lube tank. This makes The Admiral’s struggle to cross the Mongolian Steppe look like a joke
We pass the Namaqua National Park sign where there is a little rest stop and a couple of cars stopped in. We’re getting waves from a group of people in the parking lot as we pass by. This includes an enthusiastic wave from one of their friends who is on the shitter that’s completely visible to the road in a crumbling shell of a building. Haha, gotta wave back at that good spirit. Atta boy.
Over a crest and we spot the water of the.. what is this.. the Atlantic Ocean? Hadn’t thought about that in Cape Town. Yeah, South Atlantic. Crazy to think how big it is considering I’m from one of the Atlantic Provinces in Canada that’s also connected to this giant water body 10k+ clicks away from here.
We pull into Hondeklip Bay just as the sun is setting over the water and casting the scene in this wonderful golden glaze
Hondeklipbaii (which translates from Afrikaans to Dog Stone Bay) is a tiny place with a random array of roads and white houses strewn hodgepodge until you get to the beach.
There are a handful of dudes that have just pulled up to a local corner market. Looks like they’re having a little roadside break, drinking straight out of a mickey and having some beers. “Join em for a beer and see what’s up?”, “Yep, definitely beer o’clock.”
With stops in Lambert’s Bay and Garies, we’ve been on the road about 7 hours now from Cederburg.
We hop out and mosey over. They are all smiles and greet us instantly, “You boys need a beer?”, “Got one here, thanks.” They offer us some biltong and a swig of their booze. It’s a coffee/whiskey liquor. Really good stuff, we’ll have to get some. Would be deadly in a hungover morning coffee.
These guys seem like a rowdy bunch, it’s all laughs and gettin on. Easy peasy. They’re local to the area and are on their way into Namibia to hike Fish River Canyon. Mark perks up, “Oh damn, how long you going for?”, “Just three days”, “What is it, five to do the whole thing?”, “Thereabouts ya, but we’ve got a spot we know and like. Just get there and chill. Biltong’s fucking good, innit?”
We ask them what they’re up to tonight and they say they’ll find a place to crash in town. “Probably just go to the bar. It’s over by that palm tree”, “Alrighty, we may just see you there.”
We reconvene by the truck and decide this might not be a bad idea. Sun’s going down and we have no idea where that magic camping spot is anyways. Could just kick it here tonight and enjoy the rest of the evening. Everyone is in agreement. Done deal, we crack some more beers.
Had to get a shot of this sign outside the shop. Whoever wrote this has got to be a character
Here’s some more truck porn
Back in Belinda we drive around the little town looking for a place to ‘camp’. There are a bunch of closed off roads. They must be building this place up a bit.
Looks like the local boys are doing the same thing. Haha they’re up on the ‘sidewalk’ and over the center hump of the road, ping ponging around, no-rules-driving, looking for a place to stay.
We find a spot with two elephant skulls out front by a sign that says Honnehokke Resort. Let’s investigate.