Left George at 6am yesterday, taking the N9 which met up with the N1 at Colesberg. Packed the car Saturday night and set the alarm for 5am.
The trip down to Cape Town went surprisingly quickly so I was hopeful for the up run. Still, it was a bit scary when I programmed ‘home’ into the car’s GPS.
A LONG WAY FROM HOME: Panic stations!
The N9 was really quiet at that time of the morning. This route must not be underestimated – well-maintained and sooooo scenic. When we finally hooked up with the N1 in Colesberg, the traffic started to build up.
FILL ‘ER UP! Colesberg amaglugging ……
Generally, everybody behaved on the road but there were a few adults with young children bouncing on the back seat, unbuckled. You must be soft in the head to do that.
VIEW FROM MY WINDOW: Somewhere in the Free State.
Took us just over 10 hours from George but we got home in time for me to cook dhal, rice and chutney – exactly what my taste buds wanted!
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?
Absolutely. I admit I was wrong – such a worthwhile trip to make with your family.
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF THE TRIP?
Being with my family away from the usual work and domestic dramas.
Without a doubt, Paarl – so much to do within a few kilometres. The Paarl leg of this trip felt like a real holiday.
Accommodation in Paarl was really great – 110 on Main. We had a self-catering cottage. Kitchen was a bit small (but that’s such an Indian thing to worry about) but was well kitted out. Neat, clean, beautiful stoep with a view I will never forget. Reasonably priced and highly recommended (even with the neighbour’s dog biting my daughter issue – see chapter 4).
I wasn’t too impressed with the accommodation in George. We stayed at 17 on Wellington. The geyser couldn’t cater for four people (more like 1.5 at a time) and the promised view was obscured by a large tree. I sent them an email detailing the issues. If they sort it all out it will make for very pleasant accommodation.
BEST TOURIST ATTRACTION?
Spice Route in Paarl
Cango Caves in Outshoorn
Reuben’s in Franschhoek!
WHAT KEPT EVERYBODY BUSY ON THE TRIP?
Travelling with children means you have to have entertainment at the ready. I took along a few audio-books (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Spud, Wind in the Willows and Sherlock Holmes) which kept everybody entertained. We alternated with local radio stations and good old chats. The rest of the time, the children slept – neck pillows made it more comfy and I didn’t have to listen to stories about sore necks.
WHERE WOULD I HAVE SPENT MORE TIME?
I am definitely going back to Paarl – there were so many attractions I didn’t get around to seeing in the 4 days we were there. I’ve fallen in love with the area.
I would have also liked more time in George/Wilderness/Knysna – we didn’t get to do a lot there either!
WHAT COULD I HAVE PLANNED BETTER?
While the accommodation was booked in advance, I should have spent more time researching the various sightseeing opportunities. I ran out of time in the preparation process and left much of it up to chance and by asking locals. In a way, I do like the “on the fly” way of doing things and thankfully it did work out well in the end.
NEXT ROAD TRIP?
We’re booked to do the East Coast of America in July. Fly to New York connecting to Orlando – Disney for a week then drive to Pinehurst (a week here for golf) then drive to New York via Washington. Yip, it’s the Big One!
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