Today, our first day of travel, was a really long one that started at 3.30am this morning when we woke up. We left home just after 4am and arrived about twelve hours later at our overnight destination, Nata Lodge.
While we were still in South Africa we came across a quaint little place, called Proe-i-Biekie outside Baltimore. I didn't know we had a town by that name!
We decided to stop and have a belated breakfast/brunch. The owner, Ina, was very friendly and the food and coffee very nice too. Imagine our surprise when we saw espresso on the tiny menu. This type of coffee is seldom available in the remote rural areas of the country. And I had a chocolate muffin with my espresso! Francois rolled his eyes at me, but you have to have chocolate for breakfast at least once in your life, right?
Ina also offers overnight accommodation, if you are travelling in the Northwest province. She offered advice on alternative roads to travel to avoid the frustrating road works we had to deal with that resulted in our trip taking an additional 45 minutes.
Travel tip #1: Coming from Johannesburg/Pretoria - if you want to avoid the roadworks on the N11, take the N4 route via Nylstroom, and Melkrivier over Marken to Baltimore. It is 15km longer (about 20 minutes driving time) , but there are no delays on route. Thank you, Ina!
Travel tip #2: Bring a spare roll of toilet paper with you. Yeah, I know you are laughing, but trust me. The restrooms on the way are clean, and there is running water to wash your hands, but alas, the necessary is a bit lacking at most place we stopped. Nad yes, we had spare :)
Travel tip #3: Hand sanitising wipes, or waterless hand cleaner will be helpful, in case there is no soap in the restrooms. Happened at two of the places.