Beauty Is All Around Us - Overberg Daytrip
“Let’s pack up our troubles and go day trippin’,” said good lookin’. Every week has its minor challenges, and last week didn’t disappoint.
I have had wheels under my bum since I turned 18. Ten days without a car is something to get your head around. Not that I minded. We’ve managed to empty the fridge of all the little bits in pots and jars, we’ve almost gone through the store cupboard and the deep freeze, thankfully, is empty. Sure, I could’ve asked, and a vehicle would’ve been at my disposal immediately. Happy wife, happy life. I was determined to see how long we could go without rushing to the shops with a list. Today we’ll be whipping up the last of the eggs and grating all the leftover cheeses for a delicious Soufflé.
You’d think it was spring if you popped your nose out of the window. Beautiful, clear skies and sunny days. It’s July for goodness’ sake, the middle of winter. These are the Champagne days to savour. No one has any reason to be locked-up on a good day. Get out there and enjoy what comes naturally.
We did, and took ourselves off on a circuitous road trip to Napier and back navigating the dirt roads. As far as the eye can see all the rolling hills of the Overberg are blanketed in shades of green with a splatter of yellow as the Canola fields come into bloom. Before setting off, we did indulge in an excellent takeaway coffee and light as a feather, crispy Almond Croissant which we enjoyed while passing the time at the stop-and-go on the way to Stanford.
The blue haze of mist only lifted very late in the day, changing the vistas completely. Pieter van der Westhuizen, the South African artist, would’ve delved into his paints to brush up a canvas so like Tuscany in places with the leafless trees and our blue gums dotted on the horizon. One is tempted, if one could, to run one’s hands over the velvet sheen of new wheat.
Near Salmonsdam, the landscape changes as the soil becomes sandy and not much grows in the malnourished soil, except, Fynbos. Farms of Fynbos. Pincushions, Giants, and colourful leafy specimens. The chirrup of Sunbirds and Sugarbirds made us wish we’d brought our longer lenses—next time.
Dams nestled at the foot of mountains and koppies are brimming with water from the exceptional winter rains, promising bumper spring blooms. Waterblommetjies are still blooming.
We made it in time to have lunch at the Padstal in Napier, Die Bo-dorp Huisie. Nothing has changed by the looks of things, the kitchen still boasts its famous pies, and shelves are stocked with a wide range of homemade jams, preserves, cookies and a takeaway menu. Butch spotted the Tripe and Onions immediately. The last portion would be supper when we get home. I settled for a portion of Lamb Curry. The pancakes we ordered were delicious and the Cappuccinos good.
I must confess we were disappointed by the lack of interest shown by the manager on duty. She reluctantly looked up after we greeted her and enquired about the facilities. It must be this lock-down. We’ve all become cynical, introspective, quiet. We’ve lost our ability to communicate, or rather astonishingly, we’ve lost the will to chat. I have. We really have nothing to say or add to a conversation. While we were enjoying our pancakes, she quietly slipped out and drove off. We’ve lost so much, and yet, we’re not invigorated or charged up to get going again. Everyone’s lost their mojo. Not just me.
But, all is not lost. A while later a small bakkie stopped and a man jumped out. On the back, he had three or four drum sets. His mission? To encourage our government to consider the consequences of their economic restrictions during Covid19 #jobssavelives. Mr President #youwenttofar. I find it admirable that Paul Andrews is so passionate about his convictions that he’d spend a weekend offering his creative services to establishments to draw clientele with his music. Unfortunately, he had to move on. Check him out on Instagram @Paul Andrews.
As the afternoon moved on, we meandered back to Onrus via Tesslaarsdal where the dirt roads continued to ribbon through green fields of wheat and sunshine yellow canola fields.
Sunny days call for an ice cream cone. The cone truck was parked in his usual position. Evidence shows that we go the whole hog; sugar cone, two flavours and... a Flake. With our melting ice-creams we sauntered down to the beach to sit a while and enjoy happy families and children splish-splashing in the lagoon.
Families congregated in small groups, all social distancing, but having fun. I was particularly taken by the two ladies who spread a tea towel on the stone wall and proceeded to lay out a picnic for tea. While they enjoyed tea from the flask and nibbled on cakes they chatted like finches. I will be following their example next time we’re down on the beach.
On the gas hob, Butch was simmering a saucepan of fragrant citrus glühwein. The kitchen was infused with the aroma of star anise, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom creating that warm fuzzy feeling. It’s our custom to invite my parents for luncheon on Sundays. The smile on my Mom’s face was a nod of approval after a few sips of his potion.
It is with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I report that my brother Mark is gravely ill. He is currently in ICU under sedation and on life support for Covid19. Last week his health deteriorated rapidly, and drastic steps were taken to curb his rising COVID count, hallucinations, fevers, diarrhoea, lack of appetite and nausea. The list seems endless. Fortunately, we could “speak” to him via WhatsApp calls and messaging. He’s incredibly brave. Please, wear masks, wash your hands continuously and adhere to social distancing. Do it out of respect for those around you.
It's always hard to resist whipping my camera out to snap a few of my "drive-by shootings". I did it again on our drive home on Sunday.