Distance: 310km (Cumulative: 758km)
Moving time: 4:36
Average speed: 68km/h
Road surface: 70% Gravel, 30% Tar
Verneukpan - R120 p.p
Basic campsite, but mind-boggling view over the pans
It did rain in the night and was still drizzling when we started packing up.
We set off further north towards Loeriesfontein and then Brandvlei. It was mostly gravel road, but in decent condition. At the right speed we barely felt the corrugation.
At Brandvlei we decided to finally check out Verneukpan. Something that we missed on other trips in the North Cape. We drove through Brandvlei and then followed countless turn-offs and farm roads with gates that had to be opened and closed to reach the Verneukpan reception. There we paid R120 per person for camping and bought firewood for R30.
The pan is another 10km on through more farm gates. Getting closer to the pan and even knowing about the mirage effect we were still 100% sure there were water in the pan. That’s how real it looks, but it isn’t called Verneukpan (deception pan) for nothing. There was no water at all.
The campsite on the edge of the pan has a nice wind resistant braai area and proper flushing toilets and showers. Everything was covered in a fine layer of red dust, a sign of things to come…
Immediately after stopping we hung the tents out to dry after the rain of the previous night. We then drove to the “racing track” a kilometer or so to the north, which is simply an open area in the pan with a pole and a bell. Here we had some fun with all our photography gear, making a man vs machine drag race video, and recording some shots with the drone.
By the time we were done the sun was setting so we erected the tents and got a fire going. We had wors and pap and chakalaka from a can, which is much nicer than it sounds. As soon as it was dark the wind started howling and red dustclouds came whipping past. Even though Jaco pitched his tent between two caravans, underneath a tin roof, he found his tent upside down when he went to fetch something from the Bakkie – the worst of it being that he left the flap open to help the tent dry and everything inside was now covered in the red dust.
A loose piece of the roof that clapped furiously along with the never-ending stream of dust that kept blowing past in the beam of the spotlight prompted us to quickly pack up after dinner and go to bed. Despite the ominous conditions we slept well.