Posts tagged with “Pienk padstal”

Northern Cape tour – Part 3

Monday, 20 July, 2015

Third leg:  A Touch of Karoo


Or rather, the Pienk Padstal just outside Kakamas.

Returning from Riemvasmaak we attended the Pienk Padstal.

Pienk PadstalA rather interesting place, but why the call it the Pienk Padstal beats me, nuh.

Voor die Pienk padstal

Even the ablution turned out to be something to observe.  Or at least, the men’s side.  I did not attend the ladies’.  In the men’s there is a picture of a scantily clad beautiful lady sitting ugly.  With a notice next to it reading that management had been advised that this picture promotes pornography that may lead to nasty things.  So they implore the visitors to behave themselves.  And for gents not to flatter themselves and to rather stand closer to the urinal than they think is advisable.



Niks het gebeur

Stylish wind chimes.Kakamas chimes

Kakamas itself looks like a biggish town.  With a population of some 9500 it is about as big as Calvinia.  How green is my valley would be an apt name.

Kakamas[Imagery © 2015 TerraMetrics, Map data © 2015 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Google]

Here the Mas of Kakamas got the green light.

Mas van Kakamas

Passing the local high school I did not spot the not well marked speed bump until I took off in the direction of Jupiter.  The lift-off was hampered by gravity, though, which caused a swift and bumpy return to mother earth.

A touch of Karoo

The last leg of our tour entailed a visit to a Karoo farm.  Now picture this.  You live on a farm.  Your closest town is 75km’s away (population 3400).  Second closest town 80km’s away (population 2800), and your actual town (population 9700) is 135km’s away.  Imagine the school run.  Or the run to the shopping mall.  Or rather, don’t bother.  It does not exist.

Ok, so how to get there?

“You go past the Granaatboskolk turnoff.”

“There’s a place called Granaatboskolk?”

“Ja, but ignore the turnoff.  You look out for where you get the crossing to Breekbeenkolk and Tontelbos.”

“You’re making this up, right?”

“What, haven’t you heard of these places before?”

“Is that a trick question?”





“OK, do you know where Calvinia is?”

“Yes, yes, yes!  I know where Calvinia is!”

“Ok, good.  It’s not near Calvinia.”


I’m telling you, the people who make a living here not only have hair on their teeth.  They shave the hair on their teeth.Ooie uitvang

Eskom?   Who’s that?  But please meet Mr. Lister.Lister The Lister is started as it had been done for the past sixty plus years.  By hand.  You (well, the farmer actually) cranks the handle, and then you get this chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-katak-katak-katakatakataka and off goes the one cylinder engine leaving you under a cloud of smoke which clears after a while.  And then there is light.

OK, in this instance the farmer went somewhat further with solar power and a battery pack.  So the Lister is just the back-up.

Electricity is self supplied.  Water is self supplied.  You make your own roads.  If you want a dam, you have to build it yourself.  All you need to do is to afterwards pay the government tax for the privilege of collecting water in your dam (no seriously, I kid you not).  If something goes seriously wrong here, it’s a 20 km drive just to get to the tar road.  Then you still need to get to town.  That the government can levy tax on farms such as this just beats me.  But sorry, I digress.

Meanwhile back in the kitchen, the sixty year old Fairy anthracite driven oven (next to the gas stove) serves as a donkey for the sink hot water, and to bake bread in.Stoof

The Americans call biltong beef jerky.  And that is defined as dead dried meat, to be eaten “in times of hardship”.  Of course, in South Africa it is a delicatessen.  Go figure.  But on this farm it’s part of the staple food.  You begin your …