Khosa township, 4 museums and Desolation Valley
Desolation valley Travel Blog› entry 17 of 24 › view all entries
In spite of the terrible warmth in our room last night, I must have gotten cold somewhere during the night, because when I wake up I am under my blanket. It’s 7.03 am when I hear someone sweeping the pavement in front of our room. Today breakfast is brought to our room at 8 am, so I’ve got a little time left to doze off again.
At nine mini-vans take us to the township of the Khosa, just outside Graaff-Reinet. The drive is so short, we could have easily walked the distance.
Our guide is a very nice guide who tells us a lot about the history and the way of life in the township.
One rule to which visiting tourists must comply is that they can never give money to the people in the streets.
Around 11 am the sky starts to go dark and we see lightning in the distance, all of us hope that it will remain dry for a little while longer. The downpour in Moholoholo lies fresh in everyone’s memory. Ten minutes later we are safe, we are having coffee in the little living room of a local. The coffee is watery, but the story of the woman makes up for it. She lost one of her three children in a car crash and some people in our party who have lost a son of their own weep silently. According to the woman’s story Nelson Mandela (who was Khosa himself) did a lot of good for the people here. When the coffee and the stories are finished we are invited to have a quick look in the home of the next door neighbour and then the mini-vans take us back to the Obesa Lodge.
Trudy and I are going to have lunch at Number 8 Pub and Grill.
The Groot Kerk opens at 2 pm and we go in for a look around. The church is more beautiful on the outside than on the inside, and we are in sun again after approximately 15 minutes.
Next up is the Reinet House, which nowadays houses a museum dedicated to the South Africa of centuries past. There are all kinds of tools and utensils, from a flat-iron to a hearse and from a ladder to a streetlanternlighter from before the “electric days”. In the garden stands, and still grows, the thickest grape-vine in South Africa, which still grows grapes every year.
The second museum has a room dedicated to music (phonographs and instruments) and a collection of old firearms.
Museum number three is a house that has been brought back exactly to the way it was in the colonial days.
The best part of the fourth museum is a beautiful, but not very large, collection of fossils that have been excavated in the region.
At 5.30 pm we leave by mini-van for sundowners at Desolation Valley. On the way we make a stop at the Nqweba dam, which has been foolishly built on a water well. Part of the road to Desolation Valley goes through a nature reserve, so we can do some game spotting on the way. We see some ostriches, kudus, springboks and klipdassies (very small and living on the cliffs, yet related to the elephant). The most exceptional animal we see today however, is the blauwaapje, a monkey that has bright blue testicles.
We arrive at a view point were can see Graaff-Reinet on one side and the Great Karoo on the other.
The park closes at 8.30 pm and we make it with only minutes to spare. The mini-vans drop us at the Cold Stream restaurant. Yesterday we have made reservations for six persons, but now everyone is coming along. The prices aren’t too high, but the meat is a lot less tasty than at Number 8 yesterday. This is more nouvelle cuisine, the dishes are nicely decorated and all that. To me, taste is the important factor.
Around ten, everyone’s getting tired and we are calling it a day, and what a day it was...