20th July – Road to Van Zylsrus
Dawn brings a sunny cold day in Johannesburg and we continue reorganizing our car after some delicious breakfast. I stop to wonder a bit about the situation – the car is huge, we are only 2 people, yet there seems not to be enough space for all our stuff. We have to carry all the water that we need so that takes up a lot of space, as well as all the equipment for cooking, camping etc. We decide to freeze all our meat, bread and pizzas (yes pizzas, they taste great on a braai with beer) in the freezer and then freeze ice blocks for the cooler filled with anything that needs to be kept chilled. I was a bit worried about this plan, but being winter and very cold in the Kalahari it works like a charm. The 40L fridge freezer at the back of the car does wonders to freeze the lower part solid and kind of freezes the breads at the top – just enough. Eventually everything fits nicely and is organized and we are ready to go, a couple of hours behind schedule. But we still need firewood and there is nowhere to put it. We drive to the petrol station nearby to fill up the car and get firewood from there too. A lot of it – and the only place we can stick it is at the top of the car. We have to rush to a nearby store to get some rope and after some huffing and puffing we have secured the wood. Finally we can set off, 3 hours behind schedule.
The destination is Van Zylsrus via the N14. The road is long, and constructions are taking place on it. Which means 9 stop and gos between us and our destination. You would assume, based on the well known probability theories, you would find half closed and half open right? No. 8 closed and 1 open. We make a quick stop for a KFC late lunch in Vryburg. Along the way we notice that one of our jerry cans containing diesel which is strapped to the top of the car was leaking and the car is covered in it. We probably sprinkled quite a few cars along the way too … oops.
We enjoy a typical spectacular Kalahari sunset the only problem is we are still quite a way away from our destination. Once again we have to break our self imposed rule not to drive in Africa at night and we finally make it to the Van Zylsrus Hotel 1 hour after sunset.
The Van Zylsrus Hotel is a lovely place, especially considering it’s location – it is obvious a lot of thought has been put into the lovely decor, and their rooms are very comfortable. They also have a secure parking at the back. We are starving and proceed towards the restaurant which is mercifully very warm – it is already quite cold outside. I have a pizza while the mister indulges in some springbok stew. After that we are ready to hit the sack after another exhausting day.