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Reader review: Quick stopover at Elsa@27, a Northern Cape gem

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The road to the Free State was a long and arduous journey, from Durbanville to Bloemfontein, off the beaten track of the N7, and the 795 km Jan-Hendrik and his family traversed were exhausting. His graduation was at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, and his family was along for the ride. Their reliable Toyota Hilux 2.4 GD-6 4×4 was the vehicle for the job, and made their journey a smooth-sailing one, with its light diesel consumption and cruise control.

To avoid the N1 road that was fraught with traffic, road works, and transportation trucks that had to be overtaken, they decided on taking a road trip through the Northern Cape. They weren’t strangers to the neighbouring province, as they have travelled through the Northern Cape many times before. Vanrhynsdorp, Calvinia, Williston were familiar territory to them, which was why they made stops at these towns. New towns on their itinerary included Hopetown, Vosburg, Carnarvon, and ultimately, Britstown, the intended destination for an overnight stop. The scenery along the way was awe-inspiring and made the journey less boring, and more memorable.

After nearly 8 hours on the long road, Jan-Hendrik and his family finally reached their accommodation in Britstown, at a Bed & Breakfast, known as Elsa’s@27. The owner, Elsa Human, greeted them personally with a hearty and warm welcome.

Mrs. Human was a mine of information and entertained them with the talk of town, ranging from the ongoing drought, to promoting the local produce of the district to support the community. During the drought, many of the local farmers’ wives came up with ingenious ideas to generate and supplement income, and she supports them by selling their produce at her guest house to travelling guests. There is a demand for local produce, as it is evident by a constant demand for their products.

She would also explain the reason why farm gates along the way to Britstown were decorated with colourful bows: it was to express gratitude for donations and support during the recent drought and locust infestations.

The B&B had reasonable rates, namely R700 for a room for two adults for one night, and safe enclosed parking with two garages, with safe parking. There is also an electric port, for when a person wants to plug in their camping fridge (the family’s camping fridge housed their meat, which they bought from the local Karoo Butcher’s Shop in Calvinia.) Calvinia also boasts many Karoo eco 4×4 trails. Each unit had a stable Wi-Fi connection, a TV with an assortment of DSTV channels, an air conditioner, warm beds, a private outdoor area for a braai, and a functioning bathroom with running water. Mrs. Human saw to their every need, as she does with all of her customers.

An option for dining was her traditional Karoo cooking, and, in case of loadshedding, she could supply hot water in a thermos, for coffee. If you don’t fancy a meal at her guesthouse, the nearby Karoo Country Lodge provides a fantastic dining experience, with candles during loadshedding that adds to the welcoming atmosphere.

The best example of her versatility as a host, is her ability to supply the necessary equipment for a braai in the private braai area of your accommodation. The grill tongs, BBQ casserole, and firewood were all provided by Mrs. Human without delay.

“It seemed like the perfect place to stop and stay over for the night, and I wholeheartedly agreed with its rating on Google Maps, which currently holds a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars (from 96 reviews). It was a pleasant experience, beginning to end. I would 100% recommend her Bed and Breakfast to any weary travellers that’s passing through Britstown”, says Jan-Hendrik.

After a night of relaxation, they continued their odyssey to Bloemfontein, via Hopetown and Kimberley. Their original route was through Jacobsdal, but the public consensus dictated that the road surface was awful, and in need of repair.

Heeding the advice of locals, Jan-Hendrik and his family adjusted their new route to be via Kimberley. Sunflower crops filled the fields on their journey to the Free State border, while also being an insight into the local produce.

Before long, they finally reached Bloemfontein, enriched with experiences along the way, and memories that will never fade.

If you would like to experience this Northern Cape gem with your family, and for any pricing or booking enquiries, kindly fill in the enquiry form below and Elsa will get back to you! 

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