Monday, 12 March 2012

Karoo - Day3 Leg2 - Deserted De Aar station

Most South Africans aged in their 40's & 50's would remember having probably been through the De Aar station in their army days. It was the then very busy central hub of Southern African train travel if you were going up towards Namibia or Upington, from either Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, East London or from Cape town.

We decided to actually go to De Aar on this trip simply because we had never been there on any other means of transport other than a train in our past. We reminisced about how the train would pull into De Aar at about 9pm and be there till 2 or 3am while it waited to be transferred onto another line and hooked up to some other loco (all steam back in the mid to late 70's, early 80's). Some of the guys would use the quiet time to sleep, others would sneak off the train and head down to the De Aar Hotel for one too many drinks, sometimes to completely miss the train when it left!

This is the daily blog from A short series on the Karoo Motorbike tour we took on during September 2011. See the plans for the trip blog here: Planning a 6 day 2500km route through the Karoo maximising dirt
More South and Southern African motor cycle tours on our list of tour route summaries are available, where we explore these sorts of motorcycle tour routes. Just choose one of our events and reserve yourself a place on one of the future motorcycle adventure safari events.

We parked up and got the camera out

This is the infamous hotel where mates would risk getting off the train illegally to go for a few pints

Some official looking government style 1950's to 1970's building

The very dirty and deserted De Aar station which used to a major hub of activity

It just seems so quiet and lonely now

A relic from another "apartheid" era

We thought - OK so that was a bit of an anti-climax lets move on

Litter and dirt ... embarrassing as a SA citizen

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