The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en’s Trans-South Africa Road Trip…

October 13th, 2011 · 29 Comments

I know I said I would write all about Lesotho, but seriously we had to get there first!!! So we began to pack a heap of toys donated at the last minute… watch this weeks Saturday Spot for more!!!



And some last minute packages…

And a heap of shopping with the the donated Dollars…

I can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful donations all our lovely readers sent us and wow… they were well received – but that is a whole ‘nother post!!! So much stuff that we had to get a trailer… A seriously full trailer. Thank heavens for the invention of the wheel!!!

And a squish and a squash in the car…

And we were off… to learn first hand about our country… Hitting the road with enthusiasm…

And you know the minimalist me… no activity bags for my kids, no games, nothing to do really but look out the window… seriously with a heap of kids in a very small space there just isn’t room enough for all of them and a goody bag. We didn’t miss them, we were so enjoying the view and quite honestly we were all so excited that the miles just flew by. I did take one item for entertainment:

The entire Roald Dahl collection on CD… we got it years ago but we never sit still long enough to listen to it… Now was the time: The Twits; Georges Marvelous Medicine; Matilda; James and the Giant Peach; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The BFG and The Witches. The saddest thing about our trip is that we didn’t get to hear them all, we ran out of road and we still had so many stories to go!!!

And we were on the road… past pylons


And dams…


And ridges…


And townships…

The open road…

And trains…

And the wide open road…

Rocky outcrops packed with fossils…



And Blockhouses…

And beautiful wild flowers…

Of every color…as far as the eye could see…

And sunset…

And sleeping in a school dormitory for the first time ever…

And someone who was bouncing from bed to bed in the dead of night, singing the national anthem full blast after midnight… had a little trouble hitting the road the next morning!!!

And a ride through town…

That was Beaufort West…

Even after an hour on the road, one of us still couldn’t face breakfast…

But after a 45 minute wait he perked up… tell me why do they call it fast food?

I guess because by the time you get it you are so starving you just wolf it down… really fast…

And after that the kids declared a boycott on fast food… that was it. The window of instant food was closed, they just won’t eat it and would rather starve.

And on into the world of Boer War Battlefields…

We passed hundreds of auto transporters… I think there must be business in driving cars up and down the countryside…

And the most cheerful passenger… shouting out every single – cow, truck and each roadwork was saluted with a “Bob the Builder” and a royal wave…

And over the Orange River…

Which surprised some passengers because it wasn’t actually orange…

And more of the open road…

And one of a million very typical South African Scenes…

And into a wild storm…

With Torrential rain, thunder and lightening. Did I mention the rain – never ever seen anything like it!!!

And into Bloemfontein… where the guide book said the streets were lined with roses…

These aren’t quite the roses we were expecting!!! And out the other side of Bloemfontein…

And just a bit more open road…

And a beautiful tree where we stopped for ages at some roadworks and my family all ducked down in their seats while their wild mother person went on an anti-littering campaign with motorists in the queue… no you can not have a sticker on your car saying “Proudly South African” if you are tossing your garbage along the roadside. My family were mortified, the offenders more so…

And then through immigration and into Lesotho for a wild and wonderful week…
And since we are road tripping… let’s show you the whizz popping trip home at the same time… A week later and back over the border into South Africa. Watching running races beside the endless roadworks… not that our shortest passenger minded roadworks in the least!!!

The infamous litter tree… from the other side!!!

And a pitstop in a real resort… where an angel quite literally delivered our dinner to our resort as we arrived, and my kids were spared fast food!!!

And our first shower in a week and fresh clean sheets – oh the heady luxury..

And a crack of dawn start…

More transporters…

Trucks and trucks…

And the open road…

And back over the Orange River…

The halfway mark…

And still of good cheer… Can you tell we have been to Lesotho.

A cactus farm…


Working on the lines…

Back through the “Valley of Desolation…” It really is called that and you can see why!!!

More pylons…

More windmills…

Endless windmills…

Roadworks all the way…

Pretty little towns…

Chris Barnards Birthplace…

Speeding trains…

Endless flowers…

A reminder of the Laignsburg floods…

Endless beautiful flowers…


Open Road…

And tunnels…

And home to a pile of laundry. All safe and sound!!!

And precious memories…

Hope you enjoyed the ride!!!

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Tags: Family Travel · Home Truths

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Natasha // Oct 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

    What a wonderful road trip!! Thank you for sharing 😀

  • 2 Cheryl // Oct 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I love that you documented your journey. Tantalizing glimpses of your country. I can tell that you have been listening to Dahl – whizz popping!
    Cheryl´s last blog post ..Yarn Along – Yarnover

  • 3 Taryn // Oct 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Beautiful photos! We went on a mission trip to Lesotho in 2008. It was just beautiful. 🙂 did you notice all the different ‘phone’ booths around made out of old shacks / containers / bins etc? That fascinated me the last time we went so I took hundreds of photos of them! Would love to see if you captured some too!
    Taryn´s last blog post ..Nature Walk

  • 4 Christine // Oct 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Wow, it’s similar to our American southwest! Can’t wait to see more.
    Christine´s last blog post ..Peek-a-boo

  • 5 se7en // Oct 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Hay Natasha… So glad you liked it!!! I can’t believe my we are taking our kids places we have never been!!! Have a great day!!!

  • 6 se7en // Oct 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Oh Cheryl… Whizz popping all the way from one end of the country to the other… Even the father person had a good time, listening to stories that he had never read as a child.Great chance to get him up to speed!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 7 auntymuffin // Oct 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Wonderful pictures and memories!

  • 8 se7en // Oct 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Hay Taryn… I have a post up my sleeve – full of phone booths… watch this spot!!! so glad you have been there… somehow I am finding few and far between have crossed the border into Lesotho!!! Hope you have a great week…

  • 9 se7en // Oct 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Christine… You are right!!! Long stretches of almost desert… scrubby plains!!! That’s most of South Africa for you!!! We are spoilt in our lush little corner of the country with green almost every where we look!!! Lots of love!!!

  • 10 se7en // Oct 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Aunty Muffin, Thank you – nothing like a tour of the country without having to leave your seat!!! You won’t believe how many million windmills we saw… Hope you are having a fabulous week!!!

  • 11 Sam // Oct 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    South Africa really is such a beautiful place! I miss it, sniff:-(
    Thanks for the lovely pictures. Looking forward to seeing more.

  • 12 April O. // Oct 14, 2011 at 2:24 am

    I looked through your post with awe. Amazing sites!

    Now I am looking forward to reading each caption. 🙂


  • 13 se7en // Oct 14, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Hi Sam… So glad you liked the photographs and are enjoying the virtual trip!!! Hope you have a great day!!!

  • 14 se7en // Oct 14, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Hay April O., You must be one of our most positive commenters ever!!! So glad you are enjoying the ride from half a world away!!! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!! Lots of love…

  • 15 Kerry // Oct 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Africa!!!!!!! Oh my heart – Be Still….. STUNNING STUNNING STUNNING pics!! Homesick much..

    So glad you had a fab time – what a cool thing to do, I’m sure all the goodies were SO appreciated xx
    Kerry´s last blog post’s… video’s… stuffs

  • 16 bongani // Oct 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    this trip makes me feel so dejavu, i wonder why? nice to see the all the images, it took me to Lesotho and back in a matter of minutes.

  • 17 Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot // Oct 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Gosh Se7en,

    I feel like I was with you on the trip. It was a long one! Though one more person in the car might have been too much. The flowers are gorgeous. The listening choices inspired (Dahl is my fave author ever). You must have been pretty popular with all those goodies to share.
    Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot´s last blog post ..Why Reverse Culture Shock is Squat On

  • 18 jacki // Oct 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Loved the road trip through my land of sunshine and open skies!! You guys are amazing – I feel inspired! Loved the photos of your short people – you have captured much!
    Take care loved family!
    jacki´s last blog post ..of mountains and men | 15

  • 19 se7en // Oct 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Kerry, So glad to make you homesick!!! So glad that your heart is stuck right here!!! Hope you have a brilliant weekend with your kiddos… Lots of love…

  • 20 se7en // Oct 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Bongani!!! I am sure this is your first visit here – fabulous to hear from you!!! So glad you enjoyed the trip – real and virtual… dejavu indeed. Hope you have a great weekend and stay away from the sharks!!!

  • 21 se7en // Oct 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Annabel Candy!!! Thanks for stopping and commenting and tweeting and all – you are so fun!!! I can’t imagine being away from Africa for an extended time – I guess once it is in your blood… It was a bit of a squash and a squeeze and an extra passenger may have had to be strapped to the roof – the trailer was packed to the brim!!! Hope you have a brilliant weekend… lots of Lesotho is coming!!! Loved your reverse culture shock post!!! Loved it!!!

  • 22 se7en // Oct 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Jacki, So happy to remind you and show you a little South Africa!!! So inspired over here as well!!! We can do this really… Wouldn’t I love to travel far and wide giving little rural schools a step in the right direction… It was simply the most amazing week. Intense, hard work… but so much fun!!!

  • 23 Se7en Spot the Difference Between Home and Lesotho… » se7en // Oct 15, 2011 at 3:24 am

    […] We headed for Lesotho with enthusiasm and we stayed in a village just north of Maseru. The best way to visit a different country is to live in it… we only had a week and we lived well. Somehow when you go somewhere, even if it is only a two day drive away, it can feel like a visit on the far side of the moon. The differences between home and life in a Lesotho village very quickly became apparent. It was a wonderful experience for all of us, made so much better by the incredibly friendly and loving people that live in the village we stayed in. […]

  • 24 Kathryn (Becoming you) // Oct 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    what a lovely photographic tour of our beautiful country!! looks like you all had a great trip!

  • 25 se7en // Oct 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks Kathryn, So many folks got me terrified of the looong road trip… and we had so much fun – It was a great ride and we loved driving all the way across the country… snacks and roald dahl lightened the load – but really it was so exciting and interesting… armed with a guide book and snippets from town to town – we had a lot of fun!!! Hope your had a great week!!!

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