Clarens Drive, voted the most scenic of coastal drives in 2014

Where am I? What am I doing?

To start from the beginning and find out what this adventure is all about, click here.

I can’t believe I haven’t written a diary style post since last year (crikey that sounds bad). I left you all hanging with the impression we would be in Pringle Bay for a few weeks and I am sure you’ve been wondering where in the world (well, South Africa at least) we are now. So before I get started with an update, let me get the excuses out of the way; there have been some very exciting developments, including a new website coming soon that have been keeping me busy with Global Handprints (follow out the GH blog to find out more!) I have been approached by an education consultancy asking me to start working for them (which would not only be great experience but also solve the never-ending visa issue however it does require commitment and a temporary end to ‘life on the road…’ so involves lots of thinking) Also to be honest, I have been embracing the Pringle way of life which is to not really do a lot and to not do it in any hurry!

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2015: A Musical Reflection

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”

There are a lot of posts reminiscing on what has been learned through travel in 2015, the top photos from social media and how travel has changed people over the year. As for many people, 2015 was an interesting year, little did I know on 1st January that I would end the year living in a caravan on the opposite side of South Africa having traveled across and down it. Little did I know I would have become what is now known as a ‘Digital Nomad.’ There have been plenty of challenges and I am sure I am not the same person I was at the start of the year; fundamentally yes but I definitely don’t wash my hair as often (it’s the little things right?) Instead of dwelling on what changes have happened, I have decided to ponder music.

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West Side Story: Chapter 2

Since Port Nolloth we have been heading south and stopping at places we like the look of (or that have gas stations). Having been disappointed so far in our search for a friendly, small, quanit fishing town with a welcoming atmosphere and opportunities to fish for our own supper, we pinned our hopes on Honderklipbaai (Stone of the Dog). Our journey here was hassle free through expanses of land covered in different types of flowers, past rocks with seals sunbathing and round a number of tortoises crossing the road.

First seal sighting

First seal sighting

We got used to keeping our eyes peeled for tortoises in the road

We got used to keeping our eyes peeled for tortoises in the road…

Even though some were missed right at the last minute!

Even though some had a narrow escape!

Two weeks later, we are still here and haven’t been disappointed.
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Namaqualand Flowers

Part of the reason we left the Midlands when we did was so that we would make it to Namaqualand during the infamous flower season.

The Cape Wild Flowers are one of the natural wonders of the world. The arid areas of the Cape West Coast and the semi desert of Namaqualand, transform into a floral wonderland.

Heading straight west we drove through areas known for their flowers but it wasn’t until we started to go south along the coast that we really saw variety and flowers in abundance. The flowers pop in in single bursts or clumps of contrasting colours amongst the green, dry foliage. The region is know for being sparse and arid outside of Flower Season but in the two months the flowers are out, people head here in droves and tourism picks up. For many of the B&Bs and other accommodation offerings, Flower Season is their busiest time of year and it keeps them going.
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West Side Story: Chapter 1

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.

Morning view from the side of the road

Morning view from the side of the road

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!
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Go West; It’s What We’re Gonna Do

So, we’ve hit the road and are officially ‘caravaners’ on a road trip! We left Howick heading for Kimberley thinking we would get there that day including a stop off in Clarens for me to see a town I have heard a lot about. However, hadn’t really taken into account the difference in driving speed when towing a VERY full caravan as well as the fact we would need to stop at the top of a mountain to change a water hose in the engine. Needless to say that wasn’t as straightforward as it could have been; surrounded by howling winds with the caravan roof lifting and the back window blowing out led to a few ‘choice’ words and us questioning what we are actually doing.

Changing a hose on the top of the mountain pass

Changing a hose on the top of the mountain pass

After a cross country detour our first night was spent in the Golden Gate National Park, at the foot of some incredible mountains having driven through landscapes that, at times, felt like they were more suited to a Lord of the Rings set than here. We arrived in the dark and on opening the caravan were met by the contents of the cupboards being in a heap in the middle of the floor and the electricity not working; all of which made for a quiet and thoughtful early night!
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