Left cape Town and drove North to the mountains - about a 4 hour drive for us because we got off the beaten path and took gravel roads that were very scenic.
This is a land where once every ten years they get good rains. This is one of those years, which is why we went here instead of doing the traditional 'garden route' along the Southern coast East of Cape Town.
During one of these years, the mountain wild flowers bloom in the thousands - quite a magnificent site. As we drove along the Oliphant River, we could see hillsides covered with carpets of wild flowers. It was a beautiful sight which no picture can trully capture.
We had a few very interesting experiences on our travels in this lovely area. Our original plan was altered by some advice from a tourist information person in a place called Citrusdal (pronouncel citrusdoll). So, instead of stopping there, we kept going North to a place called Traveler's Rest. We thought it was a town, but it turned out to be an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere that lets out rooms for the night. The area is beautiful surounded by low mountains full of hiking trails and Bushmen rock paintings. Unfortunately, we were not expected at the Traveler's Rest and they had no room for us. In fact, as it turned out, they had no guests but because they did not expect anyone, the rooms were not ready. It quickly turned out that the rooms had not been cleaned after the last guests. The Afrikaaner hostess explained to us that her "girls" have gone home now and it is impossible to get the rooms ready. She did offer us a bit of advice as to where else we could stay.
We were then forced to drive to the next town, a non-descript town, a little over a hundred and fifty more kilometeres over gravel roads with no guarantee that accommodation was going to be available. In the end we made it to town just before sunset and, more importantly, before the tourist information closed. We were able to locate a farmhouse with a B&B which was willing to take us in for the night on such a short notice. Things were looking up!
After quickly settling into our room, we headed back to town for diner. Again, however, we were to meet with disappointment as neither of the two restaurants in town was willing to let us in without reservations. It appears that they have somehow figured out how to prepare just enough food for the guests with reservations and no more. It was, apparently, impossible to accommodate two extra people! Hungry and disappointed we drove back to our B&B only to be introduced to the true Afrikaaner hospitality. Upon learning that we were unsuccessful in town, an Afrikaaner family that was also staying in the B&B invited us to join them for a braai - a traditional South African BBQ. We thus spent a wonderful evening with them getting to know a little bit more about the true (white) South Africa and enjoying excellent boerwurst, lamb and chicken cooked over hot coals.