The only tragic part of our Orange River trip was that we actually – for a short but significant time – considered not even going.  Yup, I hate to admit it but it’s true. A 24-hour road trip scared us to smithereens. The fact that we would pass through Pofadder, (arse-end-of-the-earth-town that’s the butt of many a joke..) on our way to Onseepkans, scared us even more.

But then we got terribly philosophical and decided to bite the bullet. I LOVE getting philosophical. The plan was to embrace Pofadder in all its roughness, load up the Kurt Darren CD’s (not!), consume a chocolate bar of at least 100g at every pit stop and take lots of photos….

And that’s what we did.

feet

At first, the scenery was very N3-ish – long straights, toll gates and more long straights.  The only thing of remote interest was that of my amoebic looking feet. What a cute little family of amoeba, I thought – daddy, mommy, granny, gramps, aunty, uncle and the four squirts.

cyclist

But then, thank goodness, the landscape changed and we spotted this friendly guy who had been cycling around South Africa for the past year, stopping at schools to give talks about crime awareness. You just gotta love people like this..

quiver-tree

Just past Pofadder (I spared you the photos of that town,  it’s my pleasure) we stopped for this shot. That’s a quiver tree on the right. Quiver trees are sexy. Don’t ask me what makes it a sexy tree,  it just is.

floating

We finally arrived at Wild Paradise – home to Gravity River Adventures in Onseepkans. We slept under the stars that night and just knew that we were in for a fun-filled 4 days.

river-sunrise

A lot of the time we just spent floating on the river, admiring the rock formations, flora and fauna.


beach-landscape

Our camp for the night.

J-j-j-j-ealous? Not that I would ever want to make you feel j-j-j-ealous. ;)

loo-jem

Afternoons were spent walking up the koppie….

hot

or sitting in the water…..

loo-river

or lying in the water…..

lilo

or playing in the water…..

bath

or washing in the water….Timotei anyone?

stir-fry

We also spent a lot of time eating….

watermelon

…And eating some more. At least it was healthy food.

Except for the 2 packets of Bar One’s we brought along with us. And the Liquorice Allsorts, Cheesenacks………and…Uhm I’ll just stop there.

moonlight-boats

The evenings were never short of magical moonlight..

river-in-moonlight

This pic was actually taken at night with a long exposure which gives it that surreal look. Don’t ya just love it?

rock-silhouette

Mornings were just as beautiful as the evenings..

abseilling-boats

The third day brought lots of action. We had to abseil the boats down into the gorge. The word gorge always makes my heart beat a little faster for some reason.

big-bunny

Everyone negotiated Big Bunny rapid successfully. He was fluffy and friendly just like a big bunny ought to be!

jem

Well hello there sex-ayyyh! Clipping up?

jess

And then we floated some more. This is Jess, our hippy, flower child guide who lives in a teepee, sleeps on a yoga mat and wait for it, drives a Beetle with daisies on it. She shaves and doesn’t offer free love though, which makes her a clean, wise hippy chic. On New Years eve we had a full Q&A session called “101 Questions you’d love to ask a hippie”. The answers were interesting but you’ll have to go on the trip yourself to get all the real sugar and pulp!

fire-dancer

Our other flower child guide, Caitlin, is a fire dancer – an incredibly talented one I might add. My goodness, we were mesmerized like moths to a flame. We all had a bash at waving these firy weapons but landed up singeing chest, facial or leg hair in the process and came to the conclusion that things like this are best  left to trained fire dancers.

2010

We decided it was far safer to do a light painting instead  – with a torch. This photo was the result of about 250 000 takes. That means I had to write 2010 about 250 000 times. But don’t you just loooove it??

Happy new year everybody. I hope it’s  full of adventure and intrigue!

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