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Orange RIver. January 2019.

1. Across The Karoo to Oranjemund.

Rather than taking the shortest route to Oranjemund from Richmond we decided to drive drive through the Central Karoo mostly on gravel roads.

The Karoo is a vast area of semi-arid land covering about 40% of South Africa, with long stretches of straight road, some mountain passes, a few small towns dotted here and there and occasional farms between the towns. It was very dry after several years of little or no rain - the inhabitants are dependent on underground water so wind-pumps are a common sight. There's interesting information about The Karoo this website: Karoo Space

Britstown to Carnarvon

The 150km tar road between Britstown and Carnarvon only passes by 1 other town.

A farm with several wind-pumps to supply water.

Approaching the small town of Carnarvon.

Carnarvon to Brandvlei.

From Carnarvon we took to the gravel roads and in the 220km to Brandvlei only saw 2 vehicles! A group of trees is usually a sigh of a farmhouse.

From time to time we passed working wind-pumps which often had a group of sheep nearby - don't know what they manage to eat.

With the dry sandy conditions we often saw dust devils moving across the landscape.

Sociable weaver birds making use of disused telegraph wires. Sometimes the nests get so large the poles fall over.

Brandvlei to Loeriesfontein.

Occasionally we saw dry river beds - the line of green trees shows the course of the river.

Any vleis (shallow seasonal lakes) that we passed were dry.

Sheep being brought towards a farm truck.

The nearby farm had several fields with sheep and lambs, mostly they were keeping in the shade.

Sheep being loaded onto a lorry - there's a sheepdog next to the fence helping load them.

The first pool of water we'd seen in 2 days.

Crossing a dry river bed.

I noticed on our map that there was a Windmill Museum in Loeriesfontein so we stopped to have a look. There was a list of people and phone numbers to contact to go into the museum building but we just looked at the outside exhibits - lots of wind-pumps on show as well as some farm implements.

Wind-pumps of all shapes and sizes.

A couple of bread/pizza ovens.

Loeriesfontein to Springbok

Once again we took the gravel roads on our way to Springbok and, as before, saw very little traffic.

We crossed this railway, quite a surprise in the middle of nowhere.

Old and new wind-pumps

Springbok to Oranjemund

From Springbok we headed North and then West on tar roads.

As we headed West we dropped down towards the coast. If anything it was even drier here and we only saw a couple of farms and no animals.

Approaching Port Nolloth on the Atlantic Coast.

The jetty at Port Nolloth.

A quick paddle in the cold Atlantic Ocean.

As we headed north from Port Nolloth we passed mines along the coastline - most seem to have been abandoned.

 

1. Across The Karoo to Oranjemund.

2. Following The Orange RIver upstream.

 

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Crossing the Orange River from South Africa to Namibia.