14-Dec-2002 -- While on repat holiday to Cape Town, we (my wife and I) decided to visit at least two confluence points (33S 20E & 33S 21E). Since our daughters were not interested in joining us, I had invited my nephew and his wife to join the confluence experience. This trip was only confirmed at the last hour, I hastily put a plan together with key road and area names and the route to be taken.
We left at 5:30 am on a bright sunny morning from our homes in Cape Town and headed northeast on the N1 highway for Worcester, which is along the Berg River part of the way. It’s been a while since we had travelled this route and it was a real pleasure driving thru these scenic mountain ranges. A kilometre before the first garage on the outskirts of Worcester, we saw flashing lights and motorists ahead of us had come to a standstill. At first I thought that it was a checkpoint but soon realized that an accident had occurred. This set us back for about 40 minutes before we got moving again.
Had a brief stop at the garage to relieve us from nature’s calls. We continued our journey and turned off from N1 into the R46 road and headed for the Ceres Karoo (The name Ceres was named after the Roman goddess of agriculture. This area has warm summers but cold frosty winters). At the end of this road we turned right. After driving for a few hundred meters we found ourselves on a gravel road. We were very surprised, as the map had not indicated as being a gravel road. But then we were equally surprised as well, because it was such a good road with very few potholes and gave a fairly smooth drive. One could not tell from inside the vehicle whether we were on the gravel road or not, except by looking at our dust trail.
After keeping to the right at the fork points, we neared (10 km) our first confluence point. As we slowed down we saw the turnoff point was thru a farm and the gate was closed. We pulled off to verify whether it was the correct heading on the map. We then saw a farmer from the opposite side heading in the direction we wanted to go. Quickly we made a u-turn and conferred with him. Luckily for us, he was a very friendly farmer by the name of Isaak Theunesson. He agreed to take us thru the farms of Doringhoek until we reached another farm called Witwal. But unfortunately, this gate was locked unlike the other three we had passed, where it was closed but unlocked. We were told that the gatekeeper was staying near tall trees, which did not seem too far. We tried opening the gate at first, but the big padlock won’t have it our way. Next, my nephew and I jumped the fence and headed for the tall trees. To our amazement, the tall trees were a kilometre from the gate. After obtaining the key, we rushed back and drove the final 4 kilometres.
By following the GPS we had found ourselves on the wrong side of yet another fence. We decided to walk the 450 meters and jumped the fence. We found the confluence point to be on a track, which we had seen earlier, but had no idea that it would have taken us directly to the point. By now it was 9:47 am, we took some photos and were in hurry to get out, as we did not have anything to eat since leaving home. After reaching the main gravel road again we carried on for a short while and pulled off where we had some treats after accomplishing mission one successfully.
I wish to thank my brother-in-law, Irshaad Moosa for the use of his Jeep Cherokee. Narrative continued at 33S 21E.