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Friday, 10 March 2017

Long trips of restorative silence 3 - the Western Cape (Moorreesburg to Kimberley)

Sunrise over the farm at Moorreesburg

I pick up the tail of our travels where I left off in the previous blog. We find ourselves booked into a guesthouse in lovely Moorreesburg, having a delicious breakfast before setting off for more towns and sights. Our travels took us from Moorreesburg, past Philadelphia, all the way to Bloubergstrand. It was still early in the day when we arrived here and, for a change, it wasn't raining when we did. We took a leisurely drive down the beach and came across a sign that advertised a guesthouse. We decided to try our luck and was amazed to be able to find such a fortunate space open. That night I found my bed overlooking the ocean of Bloubergstrand, and I could not have planned it better, if I had wished to. We stayed in Blouberg for two nights and made good use of the time to catch up with the laundry. The lady who managed the guesthouse was friendly enough to assist with this for a fee, and we were very happy to have clean clothes again!

En route to Bloubergstrand 

 Bloubergstrand

A view of a distant shoreline 

The view from my bed!

In Blouberg, we visited a gallery, made good use of the availability of excellent restaurants, and generally lay low, to recharge our batteries. With Robben Island just across the waves, and Tafelberg to the left of us, the photo opportunities presented themselves in spades. I was very happy to seat myself on a bench and simply take one picture after another. We also had a chance to meet up with L's stepson, and it was good for the two of them to be reunited after his father's passing. What an impressive young man he is, too. I count myself very fortunate to meet many people in life, but his was an acquaintance I wanted to keep. Isn't social media wonderful to enable us to do so these days?

Bloubergstrand 

 Bloubergstrand

The sign advertising the guesthouse, that drew our attention

While staying at Blouberg, we also took a drive out to Darling and Evita's Perron, made famous by the comedian and satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys - no family relations. Evita's Perron is the pinnacle of kitch, and yet there is not a (white?) South African who can not associate with the collection of 'memorabilia' on display. I was fascinated by the multitude of famous paintings that had been transformed to show 'Evita' posing in them. The whole set-up simply had to tickle your funny bone and I would recommend that anyone stop over here to simply enjoy the visual hilarity of the place. Of course we had to have the quintessential melktert and boeretroos in the restaurant, and in true Boer fashion, the servings were ample. If you don't like tongue-in-cheek humor about heritage and history, though, you should avoid Evita's Perron.

Bloubergstrand 

Bloubergstrand 

 Bloubergstrand

Bloubergstrand

From Darling, we went to the outskirts of the town to a farm where they produce wine and olives. We tasted to our hearts' content, and then bought to our wallets' detriment, but there are no regrets when the stomach is so deliciously satisfied.

 Evita's Perron at Darling

 Evita's Perron at Darling

 Evita's Perron at Darling

 Evita's Perron at Darling

 Evita's Perron at Darling

Evita's Perron at Darling

From the farm, it was a short sprint to the Riebeekvallei/Riebeek Valley, where L insisted I took time to meet up with a cousin of mine. It did not take much persuasion. Cornè and his partner, Andrè, run a very successful nursery and landscaping business in the valley, and this in itself, makes the stop worthwhile. When you visit the valley, make sure to stop over and ask about the orchids cultivated there. The variety is enough to take your breath away. The orchids are largely Cornès babies, while Andrè has some spectacular Bonsai's to impress with. You should actually watch a video about the nursery, which is an extract from a broadcast by Kwêla, when they covered the nursery in one of their programmes. I've shared the link below:
The Orchid Men

Wine and olive tasting outside Darling 

 Wine and olive tasting outside Darling

Wine and olive tasting outside Darling

From Bloubergstrand we took the scenic route through Cape Town and over Table Mountain. We past Strand, where we had a quick cup of coffee with friends we made in Hondeklipbaai. We then drove down the coast to Gordon's Bay and Kleinmond, before slowly heading inland again. We arrived in Montagu late at night and made contact with some very hospitable guesthouse owners there, who immediately took a liking to Janneman.

Riebeekvallei 

The nursery in Riebeek

The nursery in Riebeek

The next morning, L was restless to return home again to sort out all the loose ends that had been left dangling. We made a very early start and had to stop for some very pretty pictures of the valley before waving a wonderful trip goodbye. It was only when L started searching for music on the way back home, that I felt relief. I knew then that she had had enough silence to work through her emotions and thoughts. With sound restored to the trip, I knew that she had also been soundly restored by the trip, and that she would be in a better place to face the things that needed dealing with.

En route to Montagu 

 En route to Montagu

 En route to Montagu

En route to Montagu 

En route to Montagu 

 En route to Montagu

En route to Montagu

Do not mistake my statements as meaning that everything was okay and that healing was finalized. The process continues to this day, but on that trip back to Kimberley, when she was ready to allow music back into her life, I realized that L was also ready to face life again.  This is what I refer to in the title of the blog, when I talk of restorative silence. We need to switch off distracting sounds and images so that we can get in touch with our inner selves. That is the only way to restore balance in our minds. That, and the fervent prayers of faithful friends.

Traveling home from Montagu to Kimberley 

Traveling home from Montagu to Kimberley 

 Traveling home from Montagu to Kimberley

Sunrise over Montagu 

Traveling home from Montagu to Kimberley 

Pit stops along the way 

Donkey carts are not a strange sight along these routes 

Sunset over the farm in Kimberley 

Back home in Kimberley

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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