We made it to the West Coast! All the way from East to West with a caravan and two dogs! There were definitely times when I didn’t think we would get here (nothing like a bit of melodrama to make changing a tyre easier, hey?)
After spending the night on the side of the road, at the top of a mountain pass and in an empty truck lay-by, we carried on with the last stretch to Port Nolloth.
Our first sighting of the Atlantic was coming into Port Nolloth past all the white chalky earth heading towards the ferocious looking waves with wind howling past us. Our first point of call was of course the beach where the four of us stood for a few moments and took in the salty smell, wind and waves. It was instantly obvious the West Coast is very different to the East and the water is SO cold!
Driving through town we got more of the looks we’ve become accustomed to (look at those crazy white people with their very full caravan!). We came across the Port Nolloth museum, a small cottage full to bursting with facts and artifacts showcasing the town and area’s mining and diamond history. Here we met George, a fountain of all local knowledge and upon his recommendation we headed to McDougall bay and it’s caravan park for our first sunset over the sea.
Our days in Port Nolloth were filled with several hours at the museum (we didn’t even make it through the second room), walks on the beach (our front garden), chats with the locals, almost burning the caravan down (from turning an electric grill on, on a plastic surface) and exploring the salt pan with incredible hues of blue and purple amidst the white sand.
Port Nolloth wasn’t what we expected, it’s quiet and small which we weren’t surprised by but it feels like it’s jaded. The focus seems to be on the past and it’s history rather than on the present and where the town is headed now the mining and diamond industries are changing.
Instead of hanging around for a while like we thought we might do we decided to move on, sticking to the west coast and heading south. The next port of call (not necessarily down to choice but due to location of gas stations) was Kleinsee.
Following a pretty crappy drive in which the second water hose in the Landy blew, the fridge door fell off covering the inside of the caravan with lemon curd and coffee and the sunroof came unscrewed, we got to town and headed straight to the pub (honestly not through choice but due to it being the only place with any sign of life early Saturday evening!) We spent the evening drowning our sorrows and not thinking about the inside of the caravans. We then nursed our hangovers by unpacking, cleaning, fixing and repacking before hitting the road again in search of pastures not associated with mining and diamonds.
Thank you Kleinsee, the wine was lovely and much needed.