This is one holiday my mind always goes back to and my heart always longs for. The holiday I went on a roadtrip with the love of my life who also happens to be my best friend.
It all started with wanting to go camping in Hogsback for a night or two. Then my dad jumped in and said, “Or…why don’t the 2 of you do a camping roadtrip up around Lesotho to the Drakensburg then back again. You can take mom’s kombi too. It’s perfect to travel in.” It took no convincing at all for Sean and myself to decide…That’s exactly what we want to do!
After months of anticipation, planning and excitement…we had planned out a route that would take us through Graaf-Reinet, Gariep Dam, Goldengate National Park, Drakensburg, East London and back home. My mom’s old model VW kombi was packed with all our camping gear, food and supplies…and we were en route to our first destination – Graaf Reinet.
I never actually realised how beautiful this little town is. It is clean, the people are friendly and it holds so much history and culture. We stayed for 2 nights at Profcon Resort, a little campsite in town. There was a lovely gazebo provided on our campsite and had clean ablutions, hot showers and a swimming pool (which we used VERY often). Whilst we were there we took a drive up to Camdeboo National Park to see The Valley Of Desolation – how remarkable. Just another part of South Africa where God was showing off His divine majesty. We also got to explore an old military museum in the town centre. All of these activities were always followed by a swim in the pool to try rinse off the blistering heat of Graaf Reinet. This was also where Sean and myself had to stock up on a cooler box, ice, a fire grid, pins for the tent and camping chairs – because we are idiots and forgot some of the vital items needed for camping. But hey, live and learn.
On our way to Gariep Dam we decided to make a quick stop in Nieu Bethesda to see the infamous “Owl House” which I had written an exam on for my first year in English. I had always wanted to see it so Sean agreed to stop off (even though it took us on an hour long detour). It is a lovely, quaint little town with an artsy vibe you can’t ignore. The “Owl House” though, I would not say is as bubbly as the word “artsy”, more creepy actually. Alas, creepy or not, I believe this house is something any tourist or “lover of beautiful things” should see. All I know is, Miss Martins (the deceased owner of the house) must have been cooked!
We left Nieu Bethesda and headed for Gariep Dam, we stayed here for 2 nights. Hot is not the word I would use – Blistering? Searing? Sweltering maybe? But, despite the heat, we were luckily traveling quite early in December so the campsites weren’t too busy yet. This left us with a great amount of options, including sites with massive trees which shaded us from the sun. While we were there, even though it was what felt like 45 degrees, Sean and I went on a little hike around the dam. The dam was sadly very very dry. Though this did give us more space to explore and gave us more of an idea on how desperate this part of the world is for water.
I think my favourite part of our time there had to be the one night where we just could not sleep because it was just too hot. So Sean and i got our swimsuits on and decided to go for sneaky midnight dip in the pool. I was standing outside the tent waiting for Sean to zip the door closed when something told me to look up – I should thank God every day for making me look up that evening – to behold something so indescribable. The black sky was lit up by millions, billions and trillions of stars. The sky was so clear you could see the milky way spread up above and over our heads. As though this evening could not get any better and could not be more blessed – We were walking hand in hand, both of us looking up at the sky and talking of it’s excellence, a shooting star shot straight across the sky. We both saw it. Together. How many people get to say that? It’s these little brilliant moments in my life I could cling to forever. It brought the biggest smiles across our faces and I remember just looking to my side, to this divine human being I was walking with and I leant over and gave him a big sloppy kiss on his cheek and I squeezed his hand. It is so odd how that sort of thing can make you all gooey inside. The stars I tell you, they are the most romantic thing.
I’m going to leave this post there for now. I could write about it forever and a day. So I think it’s best I break it up into parts.
Watch this space for more stories on our unforgettable adventure
Love, Light and Blessings