22 Oct Local Getaway
Roadtrips were a common occurrence when I was younger, because all family getaways were local getaways. The Kruger National Park, Drakensberg, Durban, Swaziland and even Cape Town were all reached via very entertaining (because my family are truly the most hilarious and smartest people on this earth) and scenic road trips.
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited by SA Tourism on a Sho’t Left and Knorr Flavour Tour local weekend getaway. With an itinerary that took us from Vilakazi Street and the Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto all the way to Durban’s beachfront; I got to experience some of South Africa as a tourist. I will admit when I first saw the rough itinerary I thought to myself I have been to all these places; but I hadn’t actually been to all those places. I had, for example driven past the Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto numerous times, but I had never gotten out of my car and did what I did when I was in Rome, which was to soak up the historical relevance of the memorial, where I was in Soweto and to appreciate the incredible history that our country has.
That was really an eye opening experience for me, and so early on in the trip. From then on it was pretty easy to appreciate and see the greatness in everything that followed on the weekend.
First stop after leaving Soweto was in Van Reenen, which is described by other sources on the Internet as a settlement, but after stopping in Van Reenen instead of driving through it like I have done on so many road trips to Durban; I would describe Van Reenen as a charming small town with people who are super proud of everything their town has to offer. Gosh…I sound like one of those condescending “city people” but seriously the warm welcome by the people I met in Van Reenen was exactly that…warm.
We stopped for lunch at The Green Lantern, with a pub and restaurant that has been in existence for over a hundred years. The food there was hearty I won’t forget the warm homemade apple crumble pie that was served for dessert anytime soon, or the random donkey in the bar situation.
With our final destination being Durban we took a scenic drive through Van Reenen’s Pass. Anyone who has driven through Van Reenen’s Pass will agree with me that it is quite a breathtaking sight. We stopped overnight at a place I really want to go back to – Didima Camp, near Cathedral Peak Hotel. Initially petrified of this stop on the itinerary because of the word “camp”; I was pleased to find that Didima Camp is actually made up of 62 chalets, incredible views and an insanely good smell of nature all around. I needed Didima. Round the corner from Didima by the Cathedral Peak Hotel is a Westline Aviation – where I got to experience the highlight of my entire weekend: sitting in the front of a helicopter and flying over the Drakensberg Mountains. This was the highlight of my weekend because I would never have given myself that experience.
Next stop was Durban, where I had my first curry bunny chow ever in my life. Which is weird because I been eating Kotas (white bread stuffed with atchar,chips, polony, cheese etc).The thing is, I never understood the concept of putting curry in white bread before, and I still kind of don’t get it; but it was delicious and I am glad I tried it; but I won’t be doing it again because white bread is the devil on a mission to deter me from my summer bikini body.