After we had climbed the pass and slithered through the mud on our way out of the beautiful Tankwa Karoo Park, we made our way to Calvinia, where we spent a night before heading to the van Wyk’s farm, De Lande for the last night of our trip. Calvinia was cold. There was a brochure for the Akerendam Reserve in our cottage, so we headed there and drove as far as we could into the valley above the dam. It is a spectacular place with high dolerite topped mountains and apparently has a good number of walks, which we hope to return to one day. A pleasant, if delayed, meal at Die Blou Naartjie ended off our day.
Next morning we set off for Nieuwoudtville, going via Loeriesfontein in the hope of seeing birds and flowers, but were disappointed on both counts, so, after a stop off at the waterfall, we headed straight to Papkuilsfontein for an early lunch. Alri was on hand and greeted us warmly. The flowers on the farm were as good as we have ever seen them, although the bulbs were not yet in full bloom. The daisies, however, made up for this and we were blown away by the spectacle as we drove out as far as the waterfall. This farm really is one of our favourite destinations and we have never been disappointed during our five or six visits.
We returned to DeLande where we spent the night in the Jan Voorman Sinkhuisie, a beautifully appointed cottage made of corrugated iron. We had dinner at the guesthouse and set off for home the next day, well satisfied with our trip. Our route home took us via the back road to Clanwilliam, then through the Koue Bokkeveld to Ceres. It was a journey to remember. We had travelled a total of 6300 kms in 23 days, recorded 244 bird species, and had enjoyed every moment of it!