Bethleham/Ermelo, Day 51-My angel at Times Square Guesthouse has fixed me up with African tea and Jungle Oatmeal with cinnamon and honey. Big hugs and profuse thanks to Zandra for all her care. What a wonderful, warm woman…she’s in her office in the left photo.

Driving to Ermelo, in Free State Provence, was through rolling green hills with increasingly large farms and cattle ranches. This is big agriculture country, with grain silos and processing plants.


Ermelo is an overnight stop in the road on our way north to Kruger. I found the Jarramandie Guesthouse on, and paid the room fee with taxes. When we arrived they had never heard of us, which wasn’t unusual with last minute online reservations. However, this time we were met with suspicion and an inquiry as to whether we spoke Afrikaans. Nope, not a speck of Afrikaans in either of us. I explained that we had booked and paid online and showed them the confirmation email. After multiple phone calls we were informed that they don’t take internet bookings and we could have the room of our choice for $600 Rand cash.Which is about $34 and much less than, so I cancelled the online booking and we took the cash deal. The room was well appointed, clean and comfortable.


Ermelo is a town of about 83,000. The neighborhoods we drove through had very nice middle and upper middle class homes. We were once again feeling very much in the minority, when Pete did a little research and found that the town population is only 14% white. As it was Good Friday, we saw quite a lot of the neighborhoods driving around trying to find a place open for dinner. We ended up at a locally owned grilled chicken shop. KFC was right across the street with cars lined up for their take away window. McDonalds was right next door to KFC (there is no escape). Anyway our dinner was fine. I was just thrilled to be able to eat and not too fussy.

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