Golden Gate National Park to Bloemfontein

It was to be a long day’s drive, 321 kms from Kiara Lodge in the Golden Gate National Park to the City Lodge Hotel, Bloemfontein, and we started early.

Early morning at Kiara Lodge, Golden Gate National Park
Early morning at Kiara Lodge, Golden Gate National Park

The first stop was the Courtyard Bakery in Clarens for delicious eggs and bacon with wonderful, authentic croissants, and of course coffee.

Suitably fortified, we set off.

The road between Clarens & Fouriesburg
The road between Clarens & Fouriesburg
The road between Clarens & Fouriesburg
The road between Clarens & Fouriesburg

Surrender Hill,  in the Brandwater Basin, is the site of a battle during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. The Free State Commandos fighting here were surrounded by the British Forces and 4,314 men surrendered on 31 July 1900, losing six million rounds of ammunition, three field guns, and 2,800 head of cattle. General Christiaan de Wetthe legendary Boer leader, was involved in the battle but escaped, as he always did.

Surrender Hill, overlooking the Brandwater Basin, Eastern Free State
Surrender Hill, overlooking the Brandwater Basin, Eastern Free State
Surrender Hill, overlooking the Brandwater Basin, Eastern Free State
Surrender Hill, overlooking the Brandwater Basin, Eastern Free State

Fouriesburg is in the centre of the Brandwater Basin and was founded in 1892 on Christoffel Fourie‘s farm, Groenfontein. We did not linger in this quiet town.

All along the road to Ficksburg were purple Verbenas – beautiful – and wonderful views.

Between Fouriesburg and Ficksburg
Between Fouriesburg and Ficksburg
Between Fouriesburg and Ficksburg
Between Fouriesburg and Ficksburg
Between Fouriesburg & Fcksburg
Between Fouriesburg & Fcksburg

In Ficksburg it was very hot indeed – well into the 30sC – and we needed the tea break at the Imperani Guest HouseIt was so hot that local people were walking round town with umbrellas! We had a short walk in what seems to be a bustly but somewhat remote town, and then hit the road again!

Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg
Ficksburg

It was a long, hot road between Ficksburg and Ladybrand.

The road between Ficksburg & Ladybrand
The road between Ficksburg & Ladybrand
The road between Ficksburg & Ladybrand
The road between Ficksburg & Ladybrand

Ladybrand was boiling hot but we needed to stretch our legs so we walked around the main street. The town dates back to 1867 and was involved in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902

Ladybrand Town Hall
Ladybrand Town Hall
Ladybrand main street
Ladybrand main street
Ladybrand main street
Ladybrand main street
Ladybrand
Ladybrand

After Ladybrand the veld became distressly drier and browner, with no sign of the crops for which the Free State is famous. The signs of the drought were all too obvious here. We stopped at Sannaspos (next post) and then made our way into Bloemfontein at the end of a long and increasingly hot day.

16-2-8 Golden Gate to Bloem LR-9900

Bloemfontein was finally sighted in the distance.

Bloemfontein

You may be interested in
General Christiaan de Wet’s book on the War
A detailed account of Surrender HillA story from Surrender Hill, An Analysis of the Battle
Fouriesburg
Ficksburg & Eastern Free State – lovely photographs!
Sandstone buildings in Ficksburg
Ladybrand

5 comments

    • It is incredibly beautiful in the Eastern Free State. The houses are pretty, with stoeps (verandahs) and decorative iron tracery, and the public buildings are sandstone. It is also incredibly empty, and lonely – the towns I mention were the only towns on the road… Thank you for visiting.

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      • I think that is what reminded me of Australia, the house I saw in a pic with a verandah, and also iron work. Especially here in Adelaide iron lace work was very popular in the 1800’s and there are also a lot of sandstone buildings. Looks very beautiful out there.

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