Posted by +Debra
After leaving Kruger National Park we began driving through the country down towards the Cape. It was about 3 days of driving, stopping the first 2 nights in various cities. My siblings and I opted to journey the scenic way to give ourselves an opportunity to experience and see the awesome diversity in South Africa’s climates. We watched the lush green trees, mango orchards, litchi farms, and banana groves turn slowly into the low feld with tall grasses and long thin trees. The further South we moved the drier and hotter it got. We crossed the Orange river and then found ourselves in the Karoo Desert. It was hot. It was dry. It was beautiful in its own way.
It was in fact so hot that our car broke down, timing belt shredded to pieces and the radiator hose went kaplooie. In the middle of nowhere. Literally, we broke down on a scorching hot day in the middle of the desert, just north of this small town called Middleburg
. The same small town where my grandparents ran a mission for 25+ years, the same small town I actually remembered from my childhood many years ago. However it was still a good 20 miles away, and that is not walking distance in 110 degree heat. No thanks.
I am not gonna lie, I was a bit worried when we broke down, and kept picturing newspaper articles on how 3 people went missing, I pictured all sorts of horrible things happening…I mean it’s not like theres a tow truck and a mcdonalds down the road…but I quickly pushed those morbid thoughts away and tried to help my brother figure out how to get us moving again It was a sparesly populated region, and it was so hot. Luckily for us, we had tons of water, a leather belt, and some brave ingenuity. We tied a makeshift hose, filled the water and rollde a few more miles down the highway in search of help. We spotted a sign for a bed and breakfast, and heaved a massive sigh of relief when a cozy white farm house appeared out of the heat waves. I could have been imagining it, but a small voice in my head started singing some sort of thankful praise, like my own mental gospel choir.
A lovely woman who ran the bed and breakfast came to our rescue, offered us cold drinks, and fresh homemade food which consisted of fresh ground mutton, which her husband raised, fresh corn which she grew, fresh bread that baked, and jam that she made from her small orchard that she lovingly waters from a well on her farm. It was AMAZING. The food was so good, so fresh, so simple and just downright wholesome. It was easily one of the best meals I have ever had, and as an ex chef, and avid foodie, that’s pretty darn good. We made arrangements for repairs and for lodging for the night and spent the afternoon exploring.
It’s been so long since I was without basic comforts and luxuries, like tv, internet, fridges with food. I had forgotten what it was like to be child like and explore and wander around, letting my imagination run free and not having other people give me ideas but just letting myself think and explore without influence. For me, my brother and sister, it was truly an afternoon to be kids again. We explored under rocks, gawked at bugs, made silly shadows, and all in all had an awesome time. It was an afternoon to remember, and a real blessing in disguise. Sometimes I remember to relax and let life unfold. Sometimes our adult selves are given a chance to be a kid again, and to refresh the good moments of being a child and appreciate the NOW so much more. It was a special afternoon and will always be thought of fondly.
– All photos from a Panasonic Lumix DSC- FZ8, and Iphone 3s.