Umkomaas (South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal) to Bloemfontein (Free State Province) → 673km (418 miles)
Welcome to our road trip of December 2021. We are travelling by car across South Africa (from the west coast → north coast → KZN south coast → back to the west coast). The distance we will cover, will be around 5,000km (3,106 miles).
Our main purpose for this trip, besides seeing places we have not seen before, is for Berto to scuba dive in Sodwana Bay and then to be a little more adventurous … diving with sharks in the ocean in Umkomaas on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. We hope to share lots of pictures to show you our beautiful country.
Accommodation – Day 19:
And so, a very enjoyable time came to an end at the north- and south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. We could easily have stayed another week, but it was time to take the long road back home.
Today’s post will cover more beautiful roads on our way to Bloemfontein, the main city of the Free State Province. It was a cloudy and rainy day on the road … but we managed to get a few pictures of the stunning landscape on the route.
We have decided to take the main route today – we have a long distance to cover and don’t want to take unnecessary detours to our destination. But despite riding on the busy N3, we still found the scenery amazing and enjoyed our drive on this busy road.
About 180km into our trip, we decided it was time to take a break. We stopped at the Midway Truck Stop to re-fuel our car. It was also a good time to enjoy brunch outside on the wooden benches. I was really impressed with this truck stop – a fully stocked café, lots of eatery options, coffee station and clean bathroom facility. It’s great to have these places next to the road!
It was not long after we continued with our journey, that the rain started coming down. There were many trucks on this stretch of road, but fortunately we had a dual carriageway which made it easy to overtake the slower trucks in the rain.
We came to the stunning Van Reenen’s Pass which winds its way through the well-known Drakensberg mountains. The long pass provides beautiful scenery and is on the main route from Durban to Johannesburg.
As we entered the Free State Province, it was also time to be on the lookout for potholes in the road again. In the rainy conditions, it was difficult to see the potholes in the road and we had to drive very carefully to avoid these. The only indications of potholes was a sign (“beware potholes”) and a maintenance vehicle that patrolled the road … I think the Free State Province should seriously invest in upgrading their roads!
This stretch of road was quite stressful and we stopped a few times to take a break from all the potholes in the road. At least we could then enjoy the beautiful scenery next to the road without trying to dodge the potholes.
As we approached Bloemfontein, our overnight stop, the rain started coming down again.
We were thinking of doing a bit of sightseeing when arriving in Bloemfontein, but decided to just enjoy the late afternoon at the hotel … tomorrow is another day.
City Lodge Hotel – Bloemfontein:
The City Lodge Hotel in Bloemfontein was the perfect overnight place. It is clean, the staff is super friendly, the room spacious … and it’s surrounded by a beautiful garden with colourful flowers.
After we took some of our luggage to the room, it stopped raining. This was the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful garden while sitting next to the swimming pool and having some cake.
It was great to end a long day on the road with a superb dinner at the City Lodge Hotel.
Tomorrow we will travel to Vosburg in the Northern Cape Province – our last stop over before arriving home.
But before that, we would love to share some of our Afrikaner heritage with you … we will take you on a tour through the War Museum of the Boer Republics.