We woke with a start as the sound of raindrops on canvas got louder and louder. It started to rain in the middle of the night and we didn’t even have our tent’s little skullcap on. At least we could zip the mesh vent at the top closed from the inside but with the wind still gusting it would drive the rain in at the zip. This caused another session of furious wiping as the water trickled down the canvas wall of our house. By morning we’d accumulated quite a puddle at the foot of each bed. And that, of course, meant that the mattresses were wet as well.
The sky still looked ominous even though it had stopped raining. Yet, we’d not make it to drop and roll the tent before the next shower set in. We bounced around the tent like crazy frogs unclipping the canvas from the poles. Just when the only other campers in the park came over to offer help, the rain stopped. They however, needed our help more. Their vehicle wouldn’t start and they needed a ‘jump’.
Drawing our Hilux in nose to nose with their bakkie, the ‘oomie’ was ready with the clips of the jumper cables but their vehicle just wouldn’t start. We tried revving ours as the owner of the other vehicle instructed but it was to no avail. They had had a dual battery system installed recently and obviously something had gone awry and the auxiliary battery had drained the primary one. Concerned about us getting on our way for the day, the folks with the ‘pap’ battery encouraged us to leave them to try and arrange with reception for a battery place to come out and have a look. So we said our goodbyes and headed out as the drops began to fall again.
It rained until we reached Bredasdorp so we decided that we might as well drive to the gravel road that turns off just outside of town in the direction of Malgas. There we saw the temporary board that said Malgas pontoon was closed. This meant that we could cycle to Malgas but we wouldn’t be able to cross the Breede River there. We had to detour back to the N2 and Swellendam for the night. But we cycled what we could of the gravel road since much was being worked on by graders and other such large earth moving machines that would eat a cyclist up in one mouthful and spit out the bike. That meant that we’d arrive at Bontebok National Park outside Swellendam relatively early.
We nearly chased passed the covid-19 checkpoint at the gate but soon realized (when we returned after a shop) that if we’d arrived after four in the afternoon the checkpoint was closed … knock-off time.
That night we’d braai the most delicious chicken and sit around the fire for a bit before bed.