We had one day to show my parents the Eastern Free State. It was one jam-packed day but I think we did a pretty good job. Thanks to Lionel for being the tour guide.
We left Ladybrand early that morning (after Jeff finished his coffee) and headed towards Clarens. We drove passed The Cabin which is a must see but luckily everyone had already seen it. The scenery along the way is very beautiful and calming. You see big open fields with windmills, cows and sheep, the Lesotho mountains are visible all the way and the bright blue sky makes a stunning backdrop.
Our first stop was in Ficksburg at “die Blik Plek.” The quote, One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, is certainly applicable there. Most people would throw all that stuff away but the lady at Blik Plek turns that junk into art. We couldn’t get my mom off that olden-day toilet!
The younger “under 50 crowd” drove together in Mr.PE’s car with Marc as the driver. Everyone seemed confused as to why Mr.PE had such a long beard. (Or so it seemed from their faces.) Golden gate area is absolutely stunning! The rocks seem alive and you can almost hear them breathing. I still want to do one of the hikes you can do there. My sister has hiked there – she says it’s real nice. The camping at Golden Gate I’m going to skip because I’m not a fan of volunteeringly freezing to death. It can get very cold there.
There are many cute, arty-farty padstalletjies (farm stalls) on the road from Clarens to Golden Gate. Some are more farty than arty…ha, ha, no, they are all interesting and worth a stop. Just make sure you have people with muscles to push your car out of the parking if it gets stuck.
Next we went to the Lesotho Water Project Ash River Outlet. This is a big engineering project between South Africa and Lesotho to optimally utilize the water from the summer rainfall for the mutual benefit of both countries. “The dream is now a reality.”
We almost didn’t even have time to see Clarens. A good few minutes were spent in the cheap jacket store near the entrance of Clarence. We then headed straight to the brewery, had some tasters and a glass of our favourite brew. After showing my mom around Clarens we had a meal at the german restaurant, the Roter Hahn.
The “under 50- Mr.PE vehicle” headed back to Ladybrand while Lionel finished the tour in the other car. All and all a most enjoyable day!