Back in the early seventies, I fell in love with Namaqualand. It was during the first varsity vacation that I went there, after a friend had said: “There’s plenty of work in Tsumeb… hike up?”
With probably two bucks in my back pocket, I stuck out my thumb and headed for what was then South West Africa. Petrol was 8 cents a litre! And I was so naïve… I thought Springbok was just past Malmesbury.
This somewhat-chastened langhaar rooinek ended up being the barman at the Masonic Hotel in Springbok. Later, after I’d worked just over the Orange River in Oranjemund for six years, my Namaqualand addiction was complete.
So, when Johan de Waal from Richtersveld Tours phoned earlier this year and said that he had space for me on a trip, I knew I couldn’t say no. But even before I could tell him I was in for the ride, it got even better, as Johan continued: “Remember that I told you about the possibility of the Parks Board opening up a new section near Vyftienmyl-se-berg? It’s happening. And you okes from Caravan & Outdoor Life can be the first to get a look at it… just get your backside up here!”
Before I had even put the phone down, I was packing my bags. There was only one problem: How was I going to get there? My vehicle was in the shop, and all the “company cars” had been booked out.
Luckily, I remembered that a great friend of mine from my home town of Greyton, Caroline Lawrence, had told me that the Richtersveld had been on her bucket list for years.
I gave Caroline a heartfelt sales pitch about joining Richtersveld Tours, with the added bonus of a visit to the new section of the park. It was an easy sell, especially since I didn’t know that Caroline had already booked a spot on their next trip.
And then we were on our way.
— Full article only in Caravan & Outdoor Life magazine —