I am with the KLR on my way to Groot Brakrivier to meet two interesting people. I will tell you more about them later.
I passed through Phillipolis. The website http://www.starrynights.co.za/philippolis.htm says the following:
Philippolis is a quintessential town if ever there was one. It has a rich history not only is it the oldest settlement in the Free state, having been established as a mission in 1823, it was also the centre of the old Griqua captaincies and was caught up in the cataclysmic events of the Boer War.
Philippolis is in the centre of South Africa, making it an ideal stop over for tourists travelling to and from Cape Town to Johannesburg. The deviation off the N1 highway is in fact shorter than the actual N1, making this not a detour at all.
ATTRACTIONS IN THE TOWN OF PHILIPPOLIS
1. Laurence van der Post Memorial Centre – closed at the moment…
This memorial centre is the first tourist attraction as tourists enter the town of Philippolis. It consists of a memorial garden called the journey through life, a reproduction of Van der Post’s study and memorial photographs. The centre was erected by his daughter and the Van der Post Trust. It commemorates this very famous son of Philippolis.
2. The Old Jail
The date of erection is unknown. Today it is no longer used as a jail but is a privately owned guesthouse, utilising the cells as rooms for guests. Viewing of the jail by appointment.
There are much more to see in this beautiful old town. Read the above-mentioned website for more info.
Aberdeen, Eastern Cape:
I spent last night in Aberdeen. I planned to camp wild on the plains of the Karoo to get stunning photographs of the full moon with my tent and bike in the foreground. No such luck! It rained and the heaven was covered with thick layers of clouds.
Situated in the delightful Camdeboo Plains of the Eastern Karoo on the N9 between Graaff Reinet and the Garden Route, Aberdeen offers history for the mind and peace for the soul. The district is renowned for its wool and mohair, being the largest mohair producing area in South Africa. The town has an extremely healthy climate, a restful and rural atmosphere, unpolluted air and unequalled starry night skies. Aberdeen was founded in 1856. Named after the birthplace of Rev. Andrew Murray in Scotland, it was originally a farm called “Brakfontein”. The deeds to the land were signed by Lord Charles Somerset in 1817. Aberdeen is a declared architectural conservation town and a veritable repository of styles including Victorian, Georgian, Karoo, German, Gothic Revival, Russian, Art Nouveau and Flemish Revival. Excellent examples of the ostrich baron dwellings can be seen. Strolling through this historic town one is able to discover its rich heritage. Today Aberdeen is a town attracting many newcomers, some of them refugees from the big cities! With the healthy climate and the slow pace of life, the town presents a relaxing panacea for the stresses and strains of modern life. (Source http://www.aberdeen-sa.co.za/)