The ole man’s first visit to South West Africa was by train in 1939. The trip cost six pounds return. His father being a railway man, he probably got a good family-rate deal. He would have ‘entrained’ here. where Oupa worked:
. . crossed all of South Africa to Upington, then passed through Keetmanshoop, Rehoboth and Windhoek:
.. and arrived at his destination station: Okahandja. The last stretch on a narrow gauge line.
He remembers a lovely wooden dining car, wooden tables, wooden carriage walls. Maybe like this?
His destination was his uncle and aunt’s farms. His aunt Isabel and her husband Theunis van Solms farmed on Engadien or Engadine. They did a lot of hunting.
The farms were clustered east of Okahandja – about fifty miles east, he says.
One farm called Nooi Bremen – Was originally owned by a German Count someone – a scion of the Staedtler pencil family and fortune. Or was it the Faber-Castell pencil family? They had more counts.
Daantjie’s farm Uitkyk – original name Onjombojarapati (meant ‘giraffe fell in a hole’)
Sarel’s farm Hartbeesteich – he left his father (or got kicked off the farm?) when he couldn’t stand the abuse any longer. Was sent away with nothing, but rounded up 600 cattle and drove them off to a widow’s farm near the village of Hochveld, 70 miles ENE of Okahandja, where he farmed for her and with her. When she died he bought the farm. Hartbeesteich. ‘teich’ = German for pan.
Japie’s farm was a dry farm; he drilled eighteen holes but never struck water. Dad can’t remember ithe name of the farm.