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 Post subject: Reinette & Jacov's Augrabies & R/veld trip : Aug '06
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:37 am 
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Reinette and Jacov are on their way to Augrabies today. They are enjoying their trip there and have seen two secretary birds en route.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:31 pm 
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Sms just received from Reinette:

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We are at Augrabies. Booked into a chalet. Can hear the waterfall. It is stunning. Going to off load and have a quick meet with Bigmouth.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:57 am 
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Reinette has just sms'd the following:

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Watching the falls. It is stunning. Met Bigmouth and SO this morning.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:33 pm 
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Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa
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R&J are in Alexander Bay this afternoon. They are going to the see the Orange River mouth. Tomorrow they will be entering the R/veld.


Thats so nice, the day we were there it was raining and misty and the sea very rough which was a pity, couldn't see any birdlife in the estuary either.
Oh she is so lucky to be going into RV to-morrow, loved to go again, am green with envy.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:15 pm 
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Sms just received from Reinette:

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Hi! Out of RV. It was great.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:30 am 
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G'day all. We arrived back home safe and sound last night. We had an awesome trip.

Between R and me we will put a trip report over the weekend.

R/veld was STUNNING!!!! Can't wait to go back there. With all the rain lately one can not imagine that the R/veld is actually a Mountain desert. It is green with lots of flowers.

Augrabies is such a magnificent place to visit. Well done to SANParks for the new walk ways and view platforms (OK, to me they are new! Was there last 21 years ago)
We stayed 3 nights at this park, and even with 2 nights consecutively, we could not do it justice in seeing all it has to offer.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:08 pm 
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Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we only left Sunday 6 August. With this, we lost one overnight point on the way too Augrabies NP. Monday the 7th we traveled from Delareyville to Augrabies NP, a mere 608km trip. Departing from Upington we realized we’re not going to make Augrabies in daylight and I phoned for a chalet, wasn’t in the mood to pitch a tent in the dark after a day of driving. The friendly and helpful ladies at reception said they had one available for us. We arrived just after dark at the park, must have been around 19:30. Unpacked our stuff and let bigmouth know we won’t be able to meet them the evening, can we please make it the following morning.
It was my first time ever at the park, and I didn’t have a clue to where what are. I just assumed that we were very close too the fall and thought I’m seeing the river shining in the moonlight to the right. We could hear the water very softly.
All was a bit clearer the next morning. We were right next to the restaurant (that I actually new). With the pathways going to the main falls right next to us.
The view from our chalet:
Image
We were greeted by a few birds and the ever present squirrels.
Image
It was time for a quick breakfast, a visit at reception to arrive and depart, meeting with bigmouth and family and a view at the falls. There was no way I was going to miss the falls, but I was disappointed to not be able to see more of the park. A late arrival and departure the following morning doesn’t do the park justice.
We spend quite a while at reception with them being busy, the system a bit slow and me, who booked 2 camp sites, only paid one because some of the travel companions couldn’t make it and slept in a chalet. The ladies at reception ware really friendly and helpful again, even after I gave them such a ‘hard’ time with the admin.
From reception we met bigmouth and his family on the restaurant deck. We had a nice chat before all departed to do their own things.
I helped to pack the last stuff in the bakkies and we could go to the waterfall. It was great. The new pathways are stunning and very safe. We saw a few dassies and rainbow colored lizards.
Image Image


Last edited by reinette on Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:19 pm 
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reinette wrote:
Is there maybe some favour or anything you want Loams? :wink:
:whistle:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:20 pm 
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I was amazed by the force of the water falling down and the noise it makes. I do know waterfalls, but this was again so special. We spent a while at a few different lookout points. If you look at the pictures taken in March with the flood you can hardly imagine that there was such a mass of water tumbling down.
Image Image
A rock agama I just couldn't resist to shoot (Thanks for the help francoisd)
Image
It was time to go to the next stop on the route.
Image
On our way out, we saw a klipspringer, unfortunately, no pictures of this little one. I left with a, I need to return to see the rest of the park.


Last edited by reinette on Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:28 pm 
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A few more pics of the falls
The main fall:
Image Image

Image Image


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:45 pm 
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They have the rainfall figures at reception and it was just mind blowing to see that in 2001 they only had about 60mm rainfall and in both March and I think May this year they had more than 60mm. From Jan - Jul they stand on about 210mm. It is the highest in the last 6 years.
Can't remember all the detail and didn't thought of taking a picture of it.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:22 pm 
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Saturday 12 August
We’re going into the Richtersveld National Park today. The scenery on the way to the park is awesome and we are almost anxious to get into the park to see what it looks like. Just before you get to the park we stopped at the Wonderhole. It is a natural hole in the ground, about 75m deep. We don’t know much more about this hole. Still, very interesting to see.
First view of the park:
Image Image
We entered the park at about 13:00. I saw a lady with a SANParks uniform walking in the opposite direction we are going, but didn’t make anything of it. Then another parks person stopped us and asked if we are arriving today. On the yes answer, he said: ‘Ek dink die tannie het met ete gegaan, sy sal 14:00 terug wees. Julle kan haar gaan haal.’ [I think the lady went on lunch, she will be back at 14:00. You can fetch her if you want too]. We decided to let her be, we will hang around till she is back. We got something to drink at the shop (not a parks shop). Walked to the ‘castle’ and looked over the river and where they are going to put the Pont for the border crosing. There is some construction work going on at the castle. We found later they are busy renovating it.
There are nice cottages at Sendelingsdrift to overnight in and they are busy building a campsite as well. It will look very nice once they are finished.
Camp site at Sendelingsdrift:
Image
Finally it was 14:00 and we could arrive officially. We found out about the opening of the border and the lady said hopefully next year. The question is still, when next year…
So, there we went again, to our camp site, Pokkiespram (or is it Potjiespram?). The signboards aren’t too great into the park and after 2 wrong turns we got the correct way further into the park. One can see many mining activities on the first part of the road. Into a river bed again, over one or two other river beds and we arrived at the camp site. Site A and B was rather inhabited, at site C there was still a nice spot and we decided to camp there. We were amazed by all the visitors to the park. Good for the park though.
The camp sites are next to the river, but you can’t see it due too the thick bushes. You can only hear how the water flows over the rocks. The flowers, mainly yellow, were something to see. Each camp site (this is now A, B, C) has an ablution block with a toilet and cold water shower for both male and female. It is built out of wood and reeds with canvas windows, very nicely done. We had our own bush shower with warm water; none was brave enough for the cold showers. Bernei did try it, but only once.
Image


Last edited by reinette on Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:45 pm 
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You won’t be disappointed doing a trip to the Richtersveld. Especially if you love nature and its silence. The mountains and views are indescribable, something one need to see for yourself. No picture can really do justice to it.

You just need to keep in mind, they had exceptionally good rains this year. Therefore all the green and abundant flowers. It is actually a mountain desert, during dry years this is an almost barren waste land. But still something to experience.


Last edited by reinette on Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:50 pm 
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Sunday 13 August
We’re staying at Potjiespram for a second day. Nice too be relaxed. There is no need to break the camp down to go further. After some washing is done (always necessary if there are small kids around) it is time to relax and enjoy the bush. A cape robin-chat came, did a round around our camp and then came in to look for some food. A second one joined a bit later. The men and kids went of in search for some place to fish. With the map and GPS in hand, busy programming I saw some movement. It was a mongoose that came to investigate. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera near me. It was about 1,5m from me, what an experience. A while later we had a visit from the local vervet monkeys. Luckily everything, including the rubbish bag (thanks Bush Baptist) was packed away. Mom-in-law and I had our hands full getting rid of them. It took about half to three quarter hour. But it was the last time we saw them. When the rest of the party return they said there was a window open in the bakkie. When they got to the vehicle there was some paw prints inside. Luckily no damage was done. I did a bit of a stroll and took a picture or two of the yellow flower carpet. The first of many blommetjies to be captured.
Image Image
Image Image

By this time I discovered I forgot the cable, to download the pictures on the notebook, at home. :redface: I’m now using the video camera more. The rest of the report will take a bit longer. There are some areas in the park I would really love to share, but I need to get some still shots from the video.


Last edited by reinette on Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:07 am 
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Monday 14 August
It is time to leave Potjiespram and move to De Hoop. First, it is back to the riverbed to go a bit more ‘in-land’. Once on the road again we passed the Halfmens pass, known for all the halfmense growing in the area. Next we had to go through akkedis pass (Browns pass). This is a beautiful road. Rather bumpy as there are a lot af rocks to climb over and a riverbed or two too cross. We passed a herd of boerbok on the pass. (The only buck like animal one sees). Next we stopped at the hand of God. This is a huge rock with a marking on it that looks like a hand print. It is just amazing to see. The veld is still green with patches of flowers every where. A great contrast to the mountains with its black and brown boulders. There are different types of rock and you wait in anticipation to see what is around the next mountain or the view when you go over the hill.
This is some 'Botterbome' near halfmens pass and just a pritty llittle plant, also in the pass.
Image Image

Where ever you get two road crossings there is a smallish sign to give you the road numbers and direction you need to go in to. Without a map, this park could be rather challenging.
The last part of the drive was once again a long drive down a riverbed. (I’ve never been in so many riverbeds in my live like on this trip.) There is a small stream of clear water running down towards the Orange River.

Some more pics will follow later. I still need to get it from the video camera.

We arrived at De Hoop between 14:00 and 15:00. While we were pitching the tents a light breeze was starting to pick up. There were some clouds in a south eastern direction on the other side of the river, which later on looked like rain and it seems to be coming closer. We managed to get al 3 tents up and most of the bedding ready, before it started to rain. By this time the wind was blowing stronger. After a while we realized that this rain isn’t going to be over in a few minutes and we started to make alternative plans, for braai isn’t going to work in this rain. We had an early night in, think it was about 20:30. Not much else to do it you are in tents, and it is cold and raining. The kids didn’t mind, they barely ever made it past 20:00.
Somewhere during the evening I realized it stopped raining…


Last edited by reinette on Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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