We woke before dawn to a crisp and dry Karoo morning. Out here the word “crisp” is not far from meaning “freezing”, so we donned our beanies, woollen gloves and snow jackets, and stepped out into the still-dark outside world.
I find that there is nothing as rewarding as watching the blackness of a starry, starry night give way to the crack of dawn – when the sky starts to lighten in the east, and the sun casts its ever increasing glow over a landscape that, in this instance, appears to be from somewhere Mother Nature has simply forgotten about.
With steaming cups of coffee clenched in our hands, we watched in awe as the area known as “The Tankwa” slowly began to reveal its hidden secrets. Tufts of dry bush here and there, weathered earth with distant pointy hills, and dark valleys. Slowly the light spread across the heavens and the sun soon peered over the top of the Ouberg Pass, one of the most fantastic mountain passes the Tankwa Karoo has to offer. Gannaga Pass is another, but we will save that for another time.
Out here in the remote Tankwa, other vehicles are rare, but don’t be surprised to see a lone lunatic riding a mountain bike… in fact, expect the unexpected.
We were being bad… where else in South Africa can you pull off the roadside and climb into bed? You see, our caravan offered everything – a larger-than-normal, comfortable bed, a hot water outside shower (the tent cubicle is an optional extra) and an inside flush toilet.
The Tourer SP has all of the offerings that give you a million-buck experience; and I’m talking memories that will forever generate great conversation around the glowing embers of a campfire. Gazing through the steam rising from my cup of coffee, I reminisced about a trip to Namibia in 2011, in the first of the gravel-roaders.