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Day 26

Monday 29 August 2005
Canyon Hotel, Keetmanshoop - Vredendal Hotel, Vredendal

Today started with us all crossing our fingers to hope for a full desert flower display in the Namaqua National Park, as this is the time of year when the flowers are in full bloom for only a very short period.

First, however, we travelled 300km to the Namibian border post at Noordoewer, in the fertile valley of the Orange River, reluctantly to leave Namibia, which had been the most stunning of countries visited.

A quick visit to Okiep Hotel followed, to have a look at the old 19th century Cornish beam engine which pumped water from mines, before travelling to Springbok and then on to the Goegap Nature Reserve to the first of the floral displays.

Here some flowers were seen but the highlight came after entering the northern section of the Namaqua National Park at Soebatsfontein. Crossing our fingers had obviously worked, as we were lucky enough to see blankets of deep burnt orange, yellow and purple flowers. It was as if the Gatsonides had laid out a field of Dutch national football shirts.

Finally, we all headed towards Vredendal to the Vredendal Hotel, where we enjoyed the local wines with our oxtail casserole and roast lamb dinner.