South Africa - Spring 2006 travel blog

picking RV's up

line up at gas station

still driving

happy campers

our spacious digs



Because our fellow travelers are an experienced group, our departure from the Capetown hotel and RV pick up went very smoothly. Everyone is punctual and many of us have had some experience driving on the left. Getting the RV's was a lot like renting a car, but they were all wedged into a tiny parking lot and we had technicians giving us lessons on how to turn on the fridge, plug in the power cable, crank the stabilizers, as well as how to adjust the driver's seat and mirrors.

Our first journey was about two blocks to the grocery store. We could catch a few whiffs of burning clutches as drivers adjusted to the extra responsibility of shifting. The grocery store was as impressive as any we have at home. We stocked up on wine, as many of our fellow travelers already had back at the hotel, and found enough that was familiar and enough that was interesting to try that we ended up spending much too much money there. Tonight dinner is prepared for us at the campground so we won't have a chance to sample any of our purchases until tomorrow.

Then we hit the highway and were off to our first campground. We drove through mile after mile of vineyards on rolling hills. You couldn't ask for nicer scenery, but Ken didn't get to see much as he adjusted to how far left he could go in our lane without driving off the road. On two lane highways, the etiquette requires that you drive on the shoulder, so cars behind you can pass. The RV in front of us spit up giant dust clouds as it kept veering off the pavement. But the roads are well maintained, drivers courteous, and signs clear and in English as well as Afrikaans, so our first impression is that navigating on our own won't be beyond our skills. The RV is so small that its wheel base is about the same as our truck's.

Our RV is meant for five people and is just about big enough for us and all the treasures we brought fom home. It has a two burner stove, microwave, bathroom that turns into a shower, and couch that turns into a bed. It has no TV, oven, satellite dish, and little storage capacity. At home we have large tanks to hold gray water (from shower or washing dishes) and black water (from toilet). Most campgrounds have sewer holes and we run a large hose to them and the water is out of sight our of mind. Here the gray water runs right on the ground. Wash too many dishes and you could be sitting in the mud. The black water goes into a little container that you have to haul to the bathroom and empty. I suspect our toilet won't get much use and I've told you much more about it that you really want to know!

Our first campground is serene and spacious under huge piney trees and smells wonderful. The sites are large enough for a US style RV, but we are the biggest RV's in the place. It has a swimming pool, unfortunately unheated. This is closer to camping than we've been in a long time.

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