One of the lovely things about friends and family moving away, is that it gives you the task of visiting places that you may possibly give a miss on an another day. A friend of ours recently moved to Port Elizabeth (PE) – the friendly city – and it’s the reason we drove those extra kilometres through the garden route for a brief 48 hours.Continue reading
Packing a nice lunch with all your favourite tasty goodies for a long road trip is always a great idea. You know what is also a good idea? Stopping at local food stalls along the way. The food is fresh and locally sourced, it feels like part of your destination and you are helping small businesses thrive. Wins all around. Our trips usually start in Cape Town and up the garden route. These are some of the best farm stalls to stop for lunch, coffee or stretching on your road trip.
The first long distance trip that I remember was when I was eight years old and drove down to Cape Town with my family. We listened to the Quincy Jones album “back to on the block” so much that we knew all the words by the end. We stopped for loads of junk food (and peeing) and it was a long drive. My dad was so over it by the time we arrived in Cape Town, that he flew my brother down to drive us back home.
On the drive back, my mom made my brother stop off in the then Transkei (Eastern Cape) to visit her friend and a national park. It was great. That’s because mom knew how to road trip. You need music, a good temperament, food and stops. Stops maketh the road trip!
Last month, I was out on the road exploring more of South Africa. This time on the Travel Massive Road Trip powered by Ford South Africa with 9 influencers who also love travel in South Africa as much as I do. It was actually a bit daunting for me because as some of you know, I’m not generally listed under the “people person” category but this year I promised myself I would step outside myself more and so, I just jumped into the fire.
Road trips are always loads of fun and (s it turns out) even better when you don’t need to justify random stops, explorations for interesting sights or bush pee breaks. Our route took us from Constitutional Hill to Durban up the KZN Northern Coast, through Mpumalanga and back to Jozi.
A weekend trip to the Free State is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s a day trip to enjoy the antique stores in Parys or camping along the Vaal, it’s always a fun, easy trip outside Jozi. This time we really put foot and headed down to Clarens for a weekend. A picturesque small town with a busy town square, tasty homely restaurants and a great views. (I feel like I don’t want use the word “picturesque” but it actually does look like a one of those landscape pictures your mom has in the lounge).
It’s the early hours of the morning. We are deep in the Eastern Cape Province discovering how cold it can actually get there at night. Although we’re wrapped up tight, the cold surreptitiously coaxed its way through our tightly woven blankets and mercilessly punches us. Curled up in a ball, the rustling sound of a body catches my attention. I awake to hear my cousin whisper, “Psst…Thanks for making me go back into the house to fetch a blanket.” I hear this and chuckle inwardly. Loathe to move and lose my warm spot by laughing out loud, I make a mental note to have a good laugh at him in morning. We were actually warned about how cold it was but we thought “It’s early December, how cold could it possibly be, right?
Weddings in our family always involve a road trip at some point. Our family is born and bred in South Africa’s cultural melting pot of Johannesburg. So no one seems to ever be dating a fellow home-grown Joburger. So, family weddings have taken us to Tzaneen, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Lesotho and now Mhlanga.
The season of weddings is upon me. It’s that phase of life when suddenly all your peers are getting engaged and it’s weddings galore. The good thing about my friends is that they love to travel, so they’re either living in interesting places (and fell in love there) or planning a destination wedding. This usually means one thing: “road trip!”
Earlier this year, it was a weekend wedding getaway to Dawson’s Game & Trout Lodge in Mpumalanga. About a four-hour drive from Johannesburg, it’s an idyllic, quiet space in what seems like the middle of nowhere. There’s plenty of space for hiking, a spa and of course a well stocked dam for fishing. After spending a whole day just relaxing by the pool and watching the planner spin her magic, I decided to go for a walk. It was a little muddy and I may have been attacked by some shrubs here and there (not the best idea if you were going for the scratch free leg look at the wedding).
The night was fabulous, the rooms stunning and the friendly staff were fantastic. I would caution against driving there at night though. Unless, driving extremely slowly on freakishly foggy roads are and ghost stories are your thing.
Who knew I’d look be looking forward to the next trip?
Note: The gorgeous rooms are also equipped with a large inviting fireplace. Romantic, winter getaway? Yes, please.