Gosh I do this trip so often (like every three months) and each time we hit the road I discover more beauty, more peace, bigger grace and added beautiful memories.
- One day before we leave:
My mom is back in South-Africa but not for long, just a touch and go visit. She came for a quick hi and bye on Sunday and about twenty minutes before she wanted to leave, Nika (eldest) asked (but basically telling us) that she needed a week with her ‘ouma.’ Now please understand it’s about 14 hours before we leave, everything is packed! Everything is booked. Everything is planned. My first reaction, not a chance. How can we do this without her? She is part of us!? I question myself: “Does she really need this, this brake?” “She has worked so hard all year, grade 2 was so tuff, can I say yes?” “Where does this leave me in the future?” No matter what I said…. about a plane ticket, her clothes all packed already, she had an answer for everything!! It wasn’t long after that, that we (Barry and I) jumped in the car to get an affidavit stamped and signed at the police station to give my mom permission to fly with her. Less than an hour later to the introduction of this eight year olds’ master plan, they left…. without any clothes, toothbrush, pj’s – well without anything!
- The time has come! FINALLY!!
On a long road like this I have little milestones and the first one to Cape Town for me is Bloemfontein. Before we hit Bloem my six year old told me she was going to be sick. She really gets it bad, I couldn’t stop but told her to grab a plastic packet. Luckily 2 minutes later I could stop at the Engene garage on the N1 outside Bloemfontein. She was sick in the packet and actually managed to not vomit anywhere else accept in the packet. (We’ve had some really bad insidents in the past.) Poor child, we jumped out the car, went to the bathroom and got some toasted sandwitches, I got coffee! This was not a good start! With a little under 800km to go, I knew it was going to be a long day!
If I could get a penny each time they ask me, “are we there yet?” Or “how many more hours?” I could probably retire!
Finally, the river! I tell you when I cross the Orange river it feels like I’m already driving into Cape Town. The first 250km really sux. I love the Orange river, the feeling it gives me. I feel the holiday, from there I feel relaxed. I noticed the river was low but as we started going into the Karoo I was shocked at how dry the place was. I know it’s not a lush green landscape but it was dry, the ground cracking and areas where the landscape actually changed from bush to sand. It scarred me. We still spotted the occasional horseback rider and small beards of sheep next to the road. It’s a picture perfect picture. I make my kids aware of the surroundings and beauty. Now they notice things before I do sometimes.
As we went deeper into the Karoo, the heat rised and the ground got dryer. Every single river (and I am not over exaggerating) was dry. I couldn’t help myself, I think I prayed for three hours while driving through. I noticed so many pretty things, gorgeous little flowers on the side of the road, ( this obviously a flower that needs no water) colored the landscape with yellow, orange and purple. The endless landscapes with gorgeous mountains on the horizon, train tracks all the way next to the N1, and my favorite, the Three Sisters, which my kids still don’t see or understand, beautiful old churches in the small towns, history and a bit of appreciation for what we’ve got.
We had so many giggles in the car. Each time we hit the road, I get better at it but the kids are becoming little master travelers. Yes, I have to ‘pretend’ stop the car every 200km and threaten to drop them but it’s really been a good trip.
We finally arrived in Laighnsburg where we always stay at the Laighnsburg Lordge. Beautiful old building, stunning staff, and comfortable rooms.
- Last stretch!
With only 300km to go, we are normally super excited. With only a short while of the so called ‘boring part’ we love this part of the trip. Crossing mountains, driving through all the gorgeous wine farm estates, the dark tunnel and that very last (2nd) toll gate. I don’t stop…. we just drive and drive and drive until that sweet voice finally speaks after over 1000km “You have arrived at your destination!”
- Beach Road
Driving down Beach road is the absolute best feeling!! Joy fills my heart, not only have we arrived but we arrived safely. I survived yet another road trip, alone… this time with only three kids but we survived. After coming here for over ten years, this is our second home. We love it here. I’ve had moments where I thought it’s better to not buy in one place and rather explore different places, but there’s something special about a home away from home.
Now a beautiful time awaits us, to build memories, rest and recharge our batteries for the next season of our lives. Thank you Lord!