View of road through mirror

What a “blast off” on my road trip to new adventures.

Farewell lunches and dinners, being overwhelmed with so many beautiful gifts to treasure, lots of laughs and bantering cemented with memories to last a lifetime.  I was so outrageously spoilt by so many of my friends in Durban it made it even harder to leave.

Did I really want to say farewell to the life I had made for myself in Durban?  Too late – I had sold my home, living with my friend Penny, all my worldly possessions packed in boxes and my new home in Somerset West was beckoning me.  It was time.

Now to get to Cape Town there are many options.  Most choose the very boring highways and drive through the Karoo which is pure persecution. We decided to take the back roads.

Durban to Queenstown – here we come

Map of road trip

Leaving Durban we drove through the beautiful green hills of Natal, tiny rural villages and towns. some of which I had only ever seen on a map. Have you ever been to Ugie, Elliot and Maclear? Well I’ve driven through them!

Queenstown wasn’t that exciting, and neither was our accommodation.    There’s nothing to write about here unless moaning which no doubt you’ll not want to read.

I’ll rather share a funny story with you!!

Once we had settled in and got over the shock of being relegated to what felt like a storeroom with two beds in it, we decided to find a pub and enjoy an ice-cold beer.  There didn’t seem many options, so we headed for the Casino’s Queens Hotel.

They had lovely comfy chairs to sink into, beautiful music and luxury we didn’t have at our accommodation.
Heaven and bliss for an hour or two before returning to our storeroom sharing it with cupboards full of the owner’s ‘junk’ and huge cooler boxes on the dining room table. 

We ordered our beer and asked that they be served in a long tall glass.  For some reason beer tastes better that way.  Promptly our beers were delivered by a friendly young waiter.  However, he was obviously inexperienced and needed a bit more training.

On delivering the beers he asked us if we wanted a straw.  Oh my, I couldn’t stop laughing and the waiter got a good tip for just making our day.

Now off to Prince Albert

I’ve always wanted to visit this little Karoo Town with its fine examples of Cape Dutch, Karoo and Victorian buildings.   So, this was my chance.

Once again, our chosen ‘back road’ took us through some interesting towns that begged us to stay longer.  Hopefully one day I will have the opportunity to do just that.  Driving through Cradock it took all my willpower not to detour to Mountain Zebra Park, we breakfasted in Graaff Reniet, (known as the jewel of the Karoo) popped into Willowmore for petrol and then made our way through Meiringspoort Pass.

Nap Road trip
Donkey cart in Willomore

Driving through Meiringspoort was exciting and one of the highlights of our road trip. It’s towering sandstone mountains on either side of the road as it winds through the Swartberg Mountains made me feel very small and igsignificant

We took hours driving through the pass, taking photos (lots of selfies!), felt like we owed it it to ourselves to stop at every safe place to admire the view, and record “We were here”. (Do I sound like a teenager?). The pass deserves a post all on its own and will start soon so I can share the day with you.

Until then, remember,it‘s better not being home, just write.