August 2009

The last night of our trip we stayed in the Karoo town of Prince Albert. The Karoo is one of my favourite parts of South Africa, it is a pretty dry part of the country, with whole lots of nothing between each little town. Here and there you see trees around a farmhouse in the distance, giving the impression of an oasis in the desert, but otherwise it’s just hills and shrubs, road and dust. I fondly remember childhood visits to my paternal grandmother in one of these old Karoo towns, and Prince Albert refreshed the atmosphere of my memories.

The town is basically one main road, with a couple more running off to the sides. Most of the homes are in the old Victorian or Karoo Victorian style, with a few more modern ones from the fifties. On both sides of the road old irrigation canals run alongside the pavement, still supplying water to the gardens of resident gardens and fruit orchards.

Prince Albert PM1

Despite the fact that we saw very few travellers, most places in town were fully booked, luckily we got rooms at this old house that is almost two-hundred years old, with many of the original fixtures still in place.

Prince Albert GH

Prince Albert has become quite a popular destination over recent years, with many of the homes neatly restored and now housing guest houses, restaurants and stores selling locally produced food and wines. Despite the town’s popularity it still seems like a sleepy hamlet, with the residents some of the friendliest people I have encountered in South Africa.

We picked up a lot of the preserves for our wedding here, as well as the leg of lamb we served, at the small and pleasant butchery below, bottom right corner.

Prince Albert Scenes

We spent a very short amount of time here, arriving late in the afternoon and leaving the next morning, but we did get to take in the local scenery, like the historic Moederkerk or Mother Church.

Prince Albert Moederkerk

Some very Karoo details.

Prince Albert Details

Pretty gates.

Prince Alber Gates

And local cats enjoying the warming morning sun.

Karoo Sunny Cats

coastal alloes

After our two nights in Addo we headed west on the N2 in the direction of Knysna where we were to spend our the third night of our trip. The N2 runs through some beautiful country with the ocean to one side for much of the road and spectacular mountains on the other.

We made a stop along the way at this bridge crossing the Storms River. Looking down the lush canyon it was almost disappointing to see this small river at the bottom called Storms River, but the clouds overhead and the steep cliffs overgrown with greenery added to an eerily stormy atmosphere.

storms river bridge

storms river

We also pulled into the Tsitisikama National Park, set along the coast. We wandered around, gazing at the the incredible waves crashing onto the rocks…

3 waves crashing

…and taking in a stroll through some dense foliage to a rickety suspension bridge over the mouth of the Storms River into the ocean.

storms river mouth

It was an incredibly beautiful stretch of coastline and I hope to revisit it for longer some other time, spending a couple of nights in the wooden bungalows with views of forest and ocean.

waves and rocks

birthday slut brownies

It’s Alexander’s first birthday as a married man. I baked him brownies for breakfast dessert.  I used Lindt 85% Cocoa chocolate, of course. And the reason for my being so crass is reading too much Dlisted. Here are some other birthday sluts.