I’m sure that there are moments in your life where you want to throw caution to the wind and just pack a bag and see where the road takes you?
We certainly had that very moment. We were both very tired, tired of work, tired of the everyday routine. We desperately needed to reconnect with our inner selves and to get away from the rat race.
Enter the tent. We very quickly decided that we would buy a tent, a few camping essentials, pack the car and just go for it. Decide on a general direction and find places to stay as we went along.
Miraculously sanity prevailed. Traversing over 4000km and hoping that it all goes well is a slightly wild idea that belongs in the land of rainbows and unicorns.
A solid plan is essential. Understanding where you are going and what you will find there will make things a little easier, for instance knowing that you can refuel your car is no small thing. Or, even more importantly so, knowing that you can find clean drinking water and food can either make or break your road trip, unless you into the whole Bear Grylls thing.
For us it was simple, it had to be a circular route, allowing us to see as much as possible, discover new places and to head off onto roads less traveled.
A few things to consider when planning your trip into remote places or towns:
- Clean water and access to food is not a guarantee, research this and call in advance to find out what is available. Do not go on what you see online alone, you could be in for a nasty surprise. We were, but more about that later.
- Smaller towns don’t usually trade on Sundays.
- Cash is still king in some parts of the country. True story.
- During peak season accommodation can be difficult to come by, even when camping. Booking in advance is highly recommended.
- Service your vehicle before leaving home. Make sure that you will not be left stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with ZERO cell phone signal.
- Cell phone signal, ok, that you can not do much about, unless you have a satellite phone. Understand your service provider’s coverage areas and inform someone when you are about to enter a dead zone. Especially when you are traveling alone.
So with most of this in mind, this is our Ultimate Road Trip. As we picked our destinations we booked our accommodation, planned our meals based on where we would be and how we would restock our supplies.
Planning on when we would refuel our car needed to be taken into consideration. In the more remote areas fuel stations can be hard to come by. Keep this in mind when planning your route.
We also created a spreadsheet outlining our various stops, distance between towns, points of interest, duration of stay and estimated arrival and departure times. We were not religious about sticking to this schedule, at times we would make impromptu stops, some of the views were just too irresistible to just drive by.
When planning your arrival and departure times include adequate time for meal, fuel and photographic stops.
We got to see a little bit of everything, from the grasslands of the Free State, the sparse beauty of the Karoo, the magical forests and rivers of the Garden Route and the magnificence of the Mother City before heading back home.
There is really nothing like our beautiful South Africa. We have fallen in love with her all over again and our hunger to see more of what she has to offer has grown even stronger.