Yes, gorgeous blue skies, vast open spaces and distant mountain views is what you can expect in the Tankwa.
I am baaaack! Wow, so many tales so little time. I say so because to try and cram 4 weeks of exploring into one blog might just not do the Tankwa any justice. In fact it will be sacrilege, and because of that, I am yet to decide whether this will be a special extra long edition or split into two parts.
What we did not expect in the least is that this beautiful landscape is harsh, and can literally, from one cloudy day turn into a scorching blistering desert the next with temperatures reaching near 50 degrees Celsius. Read again!!!!! That people is not a finger error or typing blunder...a true 50 degrees. Needless to say I very quickly made work on convincing my better half that a small splash pool is a necessity and not a luxury. In this scorching desert, the mere fact that you have water stored even if it is in a baby plastic pool which is meant to just cool you down, can also mean the difference between life and death. Literally so and it was not long when that fact came well into play. After doing your (our client's) Moonshine offroad motorcycle tour, which I will tell you all about shortly, the Guys just made it home and their saving grace..... the tiny little splash pool. 40 cm high and 1.8m in circumference. Because your Royal highness was driving the back up vehicle they felt no need to carry a camel pack, nor any other form of hydration items. As the desert and the roads started playing tricks on this backup driver and her equipment on hand, the boys were left high and dry. No keys to get into the house, no water on their person and at 4'o clock in the afternoon with near 40 degrees temperatures, they had no choice but rehydrate themselves with and in the little splash pool. Upon my arrival, and hearing the whole "lifesaving pool saga" I did my victory dance, because this little plastic pool which I am sure is actually meant for 3 year olds, did not receive the initial respect at inception of our relationship, however as time has it in the desert, it became a much loved new addition in our household.
One thing about this Arid land, is that it is full of amazing surprises. There is just never a dull moment. Upon our trip in October we woke in the morning to find leopard footprints of not just one, but of a mother and her cup about 20 meters from our front door. Nothing however could prepare me for what happened on this trip though. We had noticed a Bowsprit tortoise hanging around the house and I was in awe from day one. Within a few days from our arrival, this little man must have plucked up the courage from a desert giant or something, as I ultimately found him lazing about in my kitchen. He looked so at home, as if he has been living inside my house for years and seemed quite comfortable with the movement around him. Needless to say, the afternoon crept in and he headed for the scorching dry desert without even looking at the little bit of carrot peels and water I so lovingly left for him. The very next day in this desolate land and would you know, he returned and keep doing so everyday after that. Routinely leaving late afternoon and returning the following morning.
Now, I am all for cute little wild animals and ecology and nature, but let's face it, the main reason for our December trip was our clients. The need for us to ensure the utmost best. The best in terms of overnight accommodation, the best service, the best food, the most diverse routes and to create the best South Africa motorcycle tour ever. The verdict is out and we are in agreement. We have been, we have seen, we have experienced and we have conquered!