As part of the #WeOpenAfrica campaign, I recently got to road trip around Limpopo with a few of South Africa’s top travel bloggers. Here’s a little glimpse into one of my absolute favourite experiences of the entire journey.
This has been a pretty good year for road tripping – first, exploring the West Coast with Guillaume in June, then going to Addo with Mom in August and now, in just 3 sleeps’ time, I’ll be heading off on an epic adventure up north with Open Africa.
Forming part of the #WeOpenAfrica campaign, this 5-day trip will take us from Johannesburg to Limpopo and back again, with some magical stops along the way.
While the whole itinerary has me doing little happy dances, there are five things I’m especially excited about:
For the longest time now, I’ve wanted to visit Chart Farm in Wynberg to wander among the roses and – best of all – pick a selection of my own to take back home.
But, on one condition: that my mom could come along, as her love for these fragrant blooms runs deep and connects with a tender nostalgia for the birthdays of her childhood in Piet Retief. Born on the 16th of November, my mom’s celebration of life falls slap-bang in the middle of peak rose season, which also happens to be most spectacular in the highveld areas of our country.
At the beginning of August, my mom and I took a little trip up the coast just to get away for a bit and spend some time together. She had recently wrapped up five intense years of political work as a ward councillor in the Overstrand municipality and I was on the brink of starting a brand new job after a few months of trying to make ends meet as a freelancer (more about all of this another time).
In short, we both needed a little breather before stepping into something new.
After stocking up on a few groceries, visiting Strassbergers leather shoe shop and popping in at the Rooibos Tea Factory in Clanwilliam, we headed on into the mountains.
Even though it was a couple of degrees colder here, the skies above were clear. So, we agreed to do the camping thing once again.
It’s a strange compulsion we Capetonians have – this need to conquer Lion’s Head. Not once. Not twice. But as many times as we possibly can.
At the crack of dawn. As dusk settles over the city. By the light of the full moon.
There’s a mountain in the middle of the city and we shall climb it. We shall climb it till our feet would follow the path even if our eyes were blindfolded. And we shall Instagram every attempt and share our pics on Facebook too.
I guess it says a lot about our need to reconnect with nature, but when you’re battling crowds just to get a view… it kind of defeats the purpose.
So, how about taking a route less travelled next time?
Here are two I can highly recommend:
On the short (and possibly illegal) drive from Elands to Lamberts Bay, we encountered several cars heavy-laden with surfboards and saw a few stoked-looking bodyboarders changing into and out of wetsuits at Doringbaai.
This spelled only good things for Lamberts, which made Guillaume step a little more firmly on the accelerator.
True as bob, popular surf spot Yo Yos was pumping: 3 – 4ft lines marched into the bay, with a stiff, yet gentle offshore wind combing the perfect a-frame peaks. Surfers whooped as they carved up the playful walls, the sun slowly setting behind them, leaving streaks of incandescent pink, orange, purple and blue in its wake. (This beautiful description courtesy of Guillaume).
We witnessed all of this from the neighbouring municipal camspite, where we were pitching our tent for the next two or three (we hadn’t quite decided yet) nights. Guillaume had gallantly sacrificed his surf to help set up the camp in the last bit of light.
At the beginning of June, Guillaume and I set out on a little road trip up the West Coast.
We’d been looking forward to it for a while, as it marked an important milestone for us: the end of our long distance relationship.
After living and working in Riversdale for almost two years, Guillaume was back in Cape Town for good and we wanted to celebrate with a bit of adventure.
If you’ve been in contact with me at all over the past year or so, you would probably know about a little passion project I’ve been intimately involved with called Slow Drive.
The name may have popped up in conversation or you might have spotted me posting about it on social media. But, if we haven’t sat down and had a good chat in a while you could be a little confused about what exactly it is.
Firstly, Slow Drive is an actual print publication, something we have come to call a coffee table magazine and it’s filled with tales about travel. Some take the form of photo essays, while others delve into the deeper realms of emotion associated with journeying. Some of the stories are quirky and amusing, while others tug at your heartstrings inexplicably.
And since the tagline is Travel | Photography | Stories | Life, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my Slow Drive journey.
Unlike all the other years of my adult life thus far, this one started sans resolutions.
It wasn’t a conscious decision. It just sort of happened. Maybe because December was a bit of a crazy month and I didn’t have much time to think, you know REALLY THINK, about what I liked about my life and what I didn’t. Or maybe, subconsciously I just wanted to give myself a break.