5th and 6th of August.
Vistiting the city of kimberley was initially not on my list of places to visit but as we got closer I found myself not being able to resist it even though I sensed that Pauline and Veronica were not as enthusiastic! It meant a 400 kilometre drive there and then the same road to return but I was sure it would be worth it. To add salt to the wound, when we did get to Kimberley we found out that there was no camp ground that was either still open or was safe to stay in so we ended up having to stay at a caravan park 30 kilometres south of Kimberley. The city of Kimberley is renowned for having the biggest hole excavated by hand in the World and of course it was dug in search of a girls best friend…..diamonds!
We first went on a tour of the Big Hole as well as going underground to get a sense of what it would have been like to work underground back in the day. It would eventually become the De Beers Consolidated mine and is 214 metres deep with a surface area of 17 hectares, a perimeter of 1.6 kilometres and has a water depth of 41 metres.
Next to the Big Hole they have a reconstruction of Kimberley’s 1880’s mining settlement which is very similar to Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill. It has been done incredibly well and was so interesting to spend a few hours wandering around all the different traders shops and entertainment houses.
My favourite was an old railway carriage especially built and used by the De Beers to travel around South Africa in and it had a kitchen, dining room, lounge, bedrooms, bathroom, toilet and what looked like a games room for the gentlemen!
After leaving the Big Hole I did a Google search for a butcher shop because you really have to buy your meat there or suffer very ordinary fare from the supermarket. We bought some beautiful T-Bones, Pork chops, Lamp Loin chops and a Leg of Lamb to cook in the Webber (they better start sponsoring us!). Next we will travel towards the Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park renowned for their big cats!