Note to self:
Visit the country more often.
Get in the car.
Saturday morning and we spontaneously throw a few bits and bobs in the boot, buckle in all the children and hit the road.
To the north lie snow-covered mountains. East, the worlds longest wine route and South, the beach. We’re still undecided.
We stumble upon an open-air ‘living’ museum, which proves to be a big hit. All we need for a perfect morning is a big blue tractor, a couple of ducklings, and the shade of a lovely big karee tree.
We can’t resist pulling over to click the Nikon a few times along the Route 62, before we meander into an art deco style country hotel. The country air smells sweet. The deserted streets are safe for toddlers to run amuck, and the locals have smiles on their faces. Ah, The Serenity… except for the over-excited city kids vocally indulging in their new found freedom.
Sipping wine under a starry sky was a moment I sucked in deeply and now still recall fondly. And waking to birdsong was glorious.
The monotony of the home routine had been broken. The coziness was comforting. And so, I am reminded that less is more. Hit the road and be spontaneous. Leave all the paraphernalia. Just be together, laugh and breathe in the sweet air.
All the planning, packing, and preconceived expectations are for the birds!
With the holiday season looming, i thought i’d share this gem for those planning a road-trip through the Karoo, or for those who find themselves trapped somewhere along the coast between Mosselbay and Knysna in rainy weather.
After three days of solid rain, we packed the kids in the car and hit the road. The plan was to keep going until we found the sun. What we found enroute was a colonial-revamped cafe in the Queen’s Hotel, Oudtshoorn, called Cafe Brule. The Queen’s Hotel is the third oldest in South Africa and was built in 1880. Cafe Brule, with its checkered floor, serves freshly baked bread and a healthy buffet lunch, and possibly the best coffee in town (lets call it ‘good’ as opposed to ‘great’). But this is not what i’m writing about today. Lets continue.
From here, we followed the road to De Rust, a village of art and old-style quirk. And the sun was shining! De Rust is along the R29 from Oudtshoorn, or the N12 from Beaufort West and a slight detour from Route 62. You can park the car anywhere and pop your head into any one of many little eclectic shops or cafes, since there are only about 6 streets, you wont have far to walk.
We chose the Village Trading Post, admired the collectables on the walls, the art shop in the back and the child-friendly service. A safe place to tick the off-the-beaten-track box and inhale some fresh Karoo air.
If you’re still feeling perky, head for the scenic Meiringspoort as it cuts its way through the Swartberg along the path of the Groot Rivier and crosses over twelve streams (or drifts). Find a secret picnic spot and soak up the serenity.