Grahamstown, S Africa – the Old Gaol backpackers

The Old Gaol backpackers is definitely original.  The owner heard about the “vacant building” that happened to be the old prison (it closed in 1976) and thought – why not?  The council let him go ahead – but slapped a strict preservation order on the place.  As a result, the prison is practically as it was when it closed – graffiti and all!  Our room (or cell) opened out onto the old exercise yard.  It was a bit spooky, but we braced ourselved with a few drinks to face going into our “cell” and thankfully slept well. 

Cathal at cell door of Grahamstown Old gaol Exercise and Ablutions Yard, Old Gaol  Our room!

Mdumbi, Transkei, S Africa – Rondeval in old village

Mdumbi may be way off the beaten track (try 75 K down a potholed road in the dark, followed by 20K on pitiful dirt road!), but we arrived to a Xhosa village styled backpackers and a hot meal.  The menu offered all sorts of beers, wine and cocktails, but all that was in the fridge was Sprite.  Cathal was also very surprised to be given a single potato with his meal! 

We stayed in our own Rondavel for a night – the real thing!  The next morning, we awoke to the sounds of the sea, and with horses and sheep roaming about outside.  Nice! 

Mdumbi

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1 Response to “Interesting places we’ve stayed”


  1. 1 Jean Whyte December 5, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    HI Folks,

    pressure slightly off at the moment so am enjoying the luxury of re-reading your journal. Dead jealous of your eventful visit to Kruger – am dying to do a safari; and for the record I was in a jail too – in Capetown just beside the Victoria and Albert Docks area; The place used to be for odcs as against polical prisoners (who went to Robbin island); Present bedrooms are made from two previous cells – fitting in a bathroom and a small study; I remember the seagulls swooping to the outside breakfast table and stealing sausages off the plates!
    Keep up the diary please! The photos are fantastic,

    Jean


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