Alexander Bay in my opinion is the litle known gem (no pun intended) of tourism in SA. It must be one of the most tourist friendly places I have ever come across – from the gateguard to the head of Security to the guesthouse manager EVERYONE is just so, well, SOUTH AFRICAN. This is about the highest compliment I can pay a town. There are no airs and graces about anything in the town and you get the feeling that everyone is honestly pleased to see you.
By the way the Dude we pulled out of the sand yesterday was a national road inspector – shouldnt a national road inspector know not to drive too deeply into sandy roads.
This morning we were fetched by a member of the security team for a mine tour. This is an absolutely unique SA experience and it was not your average “this is a diamond out of the earth and this is a diamond cut” tour, this was ACTUALLY seeing how people mine, dive and scrape the resource out of the earth, what Alexcor does for the environment and we got to speak to the people working with the company – I could write for ever about the experience. Mariuis our guide I am forever indebted to you for the gift that you gave our family today – Thank you. I wish you would share your tourism experience with the rest of South Africa.
Other than diamonds here is an interesting one – Knysna Oysters come from ………………. Alexander Bay – I KID YOU NOT – Picture above of the Knysna Oyster farm – nogal.
There is also this one area FULL of seals. The area is apparantly super rich in diamonds but no-one dares to venture into seal waters because the seals bite them stukkend. Clever seals protecting our resources.
Very late we left Alexander Bay and skimmed past the border post. Off again to Port Nolloth – this little town is beautiful and whilst we were sitting at the waterfront having lunch we saw a coffee shop named Vespas which reminded me of the article I saw long ago in some magazine about the owner of Vespas who went to the compass points of SA on a Vespa – unfortunately he was not in. Again there is a lot more to Port Nolloth than what we saw yesterday – maybe we were tired from the trip.
Apparantly there is a saying in the area that Port Nolloth has the most Millionairs but the highest unemployment in the area.
PORT NOLLOTH AND ALEXANDER BAY JOIN FORCES AND JACK UP YOUR TOURISM.
We have now achieved two of our goals Agullus and Alexander Bay.
Off w e go again to POFFADDER via Springbok and nothing else. It is amazing how when we left AB this morning the landscape is barren, sandy and brown. When you leave Port Nolloth the landscape is red and barren, nearing Springbok things become a little greener with some blasts of colour from the scrub. On the way to Poffadder suddenly you see these rock formations that look like warts on the landscape – the grass is short and silver, then over the next rise there are rounded mountains and the long grass is golden to the eye – MAN we live in a beautiful country.
From a family perspective the trip has been an interesting exercise. Spending time with each other and just with each other especially for long periods of time in the car is a test of our tolerance of each other. The first day was rater chaotic with loud fighting being the order of the day. Jamie and Rosie trying to establish their piece of back seat with us trying to keep the peace. For day two we decided to let the kids kill each other and we would not interfere. The fighting was less but still there. By day three the battle lines were drawn and the fighting almost non existent, day four mostly quiet. The kids have learnt that it is more interesting looking at what is happening outside the car rather than sticking their noses into a playstation or celphone. We are really enjoying just talking to the kids, plaing board games or pool in the evenings. A hit game in the car is asking questions from the 30 seconds game cards without the board – it is fun. We are more often than not asleep by 10 and TV watching has become non existant.
We are all really enjoying seeing our Country, without the frills and non-stop spending we are enjoying SA as a country and not as a shopping experience. The budget has not dampened our fun factor at all. We are meeting and talking to facinating people and seeing amazing sights.
However what we need at the moment is a place where we spend two nights and one full day without travelling too far in the car. We need time to regroup and just be. We will try to get into the Augrabies National Park tomorrow and see some our national wonders. It is only 140 km to the destination. All our booked accomodation has been honored and from now on we are as free as birds and will be winging it from town to town.