We were so torn for this part of the adventure. The plan was to klap it in a day from Oudtshoorn to Jeffrey’s Bay on the 13th. Why the rush? Well it was Kyla’s birthday on the 14th and we were really hoping to be in JBay in time to spend the day with one of her dear friends that had moved out that way. And no one wants to be driving for hours on their birthday. But after our trip to Stillbaai taking us twice as long as anticipated, we were worried about overestimating how far we’d actually get in the daylight. And driving at night is not my kinda fun adventure.
So after many recommendations from my Twitter peeps, we headed to Keurbooms Lagoon. There were a few options to choose from but we chose this one because it was the most affordable. We live on a budget yo. But this being the most affordable didn’t make it any less awesome. In fact it was pretty amazing, even in the rain.
The campsite has a playground, massive ablutions and even a laundry room equipped with actual washing machines! Obviously we were like the only people there so we had the pick of any site that we wanted to use. We chose one closest to the lagoon and set up camp. Setting up camp included setting up our wind walls to make an outside toilet. One that I refuse to use because it is literally just a bucket with 9 month old poop and sawdust in it. Grim to say the least. The rest of my family don’t seem to think so though – I’m living with a bunch of weirdos!
Anyway, we stopped at the local mall to stock up on presents for the birthday girl and groceries for the next couple of days. Then we came back to have a lekker braai on our new mini braai. This thing is just too cute. We picked it up at a camping store in George. It’s a converted gas bottle and it works like a charm! While we were braaing and roasting marshies we even had a seal splashing around in the lagoon giving us a big fright. The kids were convinced it was a shark, but after much logic talking they realised it probably wasn’t and could sleep that night haha.
This is also where we introduced audio books again. They were fighting like a pack of crazy people and I just couldn’t take it again. So on went the audio book and wow, the chill. Man. It totally changed the whole vibe and we’ve been hooked on them ever since.
The next morning saw us celebrating with Woolies chocolate cake fingers in lieu of a big birthday cake and opening presents. It was a gloomy as heck morning so we packed up in the rain. And by we, I mean Seth. He likes to pack up and unpack on his own. He knows where everything goes and we just get in the way. So we sat in the nice warm, dry car while he got drenched packing up.
We’d been told about a cool tour that they do at the Mungo Mill which is just opposite where we stayed. Kyla was keen to do it as part of her birthday so we went for the free tour. It really was so interesting seeing the old machines in action and see how they were able to make the patterns without a computer. Mind blowing! I really enjoyed it.
A quick lunch stop and then we were on the road to Jeffrey’s Bay. Kyla was just so excited to be reunited with Montana. They were good friends at school until they moved over to JBay. The drive there was a bit precarious in the rain, but the rainbows made it worth it.
It’s amazing how the landscape totally changes as you pass through. We really do live in an incredible country.
We made it to Jeffrey’s Bay and the amazing hospitality of the Watson family! Obviously it was time to celebrate our baby girl turning a whole NINE years old, so we went out for pizzas. Then Montana had made an awesome cake for dessert. It was nice to have a bed and a reliable hot shower of our own to use. Oh the things that we have given up…
Jeffrey’s Bay has definitely been one of the highlights of the places that we have seen so far – find out why next time.
Day 13 – Oudtshoorn to Plettenberg Bay 1. The aim of today was to make the big trek to Jeffrey’s Bay. But it would involve 4 hours of driving according to Google maps which equates to 8 hours in Optimus 😭. Not my idea of a fun day. So after a chilled morning sorting out sides for the awning, saying goodbye to my cousin and packing up the van we decided to just stop in Plett for the night. I’m glad we did. It can be so easy to get wrapped in hitting the next stop that it becomes stressful. Which is totally the opposite of what it should be. Yay for chill. 2. We are staying at such a great camp site that overlooks a Lagoon that has seals playing in it! I mean come on. Seals on our doorstep! 😍 3. The kids have been all over the place today, fighting at every opportunity (or maybe it’s just that I’m in the mood that I only notice the fights?!). I needed to work and I’d had enough. So I put on our audible app on to Harry Potter and they chilled out for a whole hour. Winning!! (that dark pic is them chilling out. They look Hella miserable but they really were enjoying it, I promise) 4. Roasting marshmallows and playing with firesticks is what camping is made of. And tonight was just great. One of the few nights we’ve had to be alone together as a family and it was very special. 5. Kyla turns NINE tomorrow. How even? 6. I know the wildlife place was yesterday, but the pic of the croc getting something stuck in its teeth and touching a cheetah with my best friend is something that needs to live on via the internet. 7. In a lot of the camping sites the best spots are far away from the ablutions. Which is cool because being close to the ablutions is probs not where you actually want to be. Except when you have to walk there alone in the dark. But I’m proud of myself for actually doing it and not peeing in my pants along the way in fear. 8. The Garden Route and greater Karoo area is a gem. So worth making an effort to spend more time here.
Day 14 – Plettenberg Bay to Jeffrey’s Bay 1. Today was a big day. Not because it marked two weeks on the road or even because we finally left the Western Cape. It’s because my baby girl is nine years old today!! My precious Kyla Bell is such an amazing blessing to us and constantly surprises me with her thoughtful, gentle nature. We love you Kyla. 2. After morning singing and the road version of a birthday cake (chocolate cake fingers from Woolies) we packed up the van in the rain. And by we, I mean Seth! It’s such a small space to be packing that we were all banished to the car while he got soaked packing up. I don’t mind though, I don’t like being cold and wet 😂 3. A tip from Twitter lead us to the Mungo Mill to do the tour. It was amazing and we learned so much. We got to see all the varieties of looms doing their job, so complicated but amazing how they did that without any computers at all. They’re making really great textiles there. I wish I could have explored the rest of the stores but we stopped for lunch and it took so long we just called it to have enough time to hit the road. 4. I forgot how much I hate driving in the rain. But rainbows make it a bit more bearable. 5. We made it to Jeffrey’s Bay and although it’s a bit cold and rainy, we are blessed with the company of friends and a roof over our heads. Such a joy for Kyla to meet up with her bestie who moved here. A birthday present in and of itself! 6. We went out for pizza for supper and the Montana made a lovely cake for Kyla for dessert. Lekker! 7. It’s another late night, with Knox lying awake next to me while I type this at 10.30. But one day we’ll get into a proper routine. One day 8. We’re here for a couple days so hit me with your best tips and places to visit.