Thursday, 28 April 2016

Groot Marico Bijbel

Searching for the spirit of Oom Schalk Lourens, we decided to tick off my bucket list a visit to the mampoer district of Groot Marico. But sadly we really struggled to find this spice of life and not even the pre Google Index could help us in amongst the withaak boome.

All excited we arrived in the bosveldt only to find that our accommodation at the Botshabelo Guesthouse and Farmyard was not exactly what we expected because on the local tourism website it is stated that Botshabelo is "the ultimate experience in luxury accommodation" and no it did not meet the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa’s 4 stars that had being awarded to this guest house. Overall it seems to be starting to get this run downed feeling about it sort of like the Groot Marico itself. (Sorry I felt too down to take photos of our accommodation.)

Arriving, I had to go searching for the hostess Rosy and found her in her room after a 15min search. Rosey then showed us to our room. We asked her if we could order breakfast tomorrow morning and was told no, they are not catering breakfast for us, that we must go to the local pub Wag ‘n Biekie. Okay maybe we should have pre-ordered yesterday. Anyway after fleshing up we found no courtesy soap in the bathroom so we made a list of things we needed and headed into town only to find ourselves eventually heading to Zeerust to do some shopping.

On the way back, about halfway between Groot Marico and Zeerust we eventually found the spirit of Oom Schalk Lourens that I was longing for, a old school house which was now turned into a hoarders paradise, the Vaalkop Private Museum run by Jan and Elizabeth. Jan was in his element just wanting to show us his huge collection of memorabilia from a time long forgotten. (This is where most of my photos of today were taken.)

I could have stayed here for yonks going through priceless (to some) artefacts but the ancient smells and dust was unsettling for Lynda and we headed back to the Groot Marico for supper, as you guessed it, at the pub Wag ‘n Biekie. Well I must say the food was good and it went down well. Okay we did give the mampoer milkshake a miss.

We arrived back at the darkened Botshabelo Guesthouse and Farmyard under an awesome canopy of stars. Luckily we found our room through the dark garden from the parking lot to the guest house. Settling down, I decided to see what was happening in the rest of the country by putting on the TV but it did not work and no instructions on how to get it to work nor information on who to call to help, so I felt my way across the dark garden to the hostess’ room but she was not home or maybe fast asleep. So no TV and all we could do was to settle down for the night on a rather uncomfortable creaky bed. Soon after 10 pm the power of the whole place was cut and we were left in pitch black.

Although I am not a grading inspector on mampoer, using the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa own grading criteria and minimum requirements for a guest house, I could not rate Botshabelo Guesthouse and Farmyard, a 4 star establishment, I even tried to give them a 3 star but sadly only a 2 star in my opinion.

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