It’s a distressing and unsettled feeling that it’s already May. Where did the month of April go and why does it seem like only a couple weeks ago that I started at the University of Pretoria? April started with a pinnacle endeavor that I had been anticipating from the start. It started with a reunion with my family- my parents and brother came to visit from the States- and continued with our travels throughout the indescribably splendor of our home country. It was a nostalgic journey down memory lane and a trip that we will surely never forget. Each moment felt like I was stuck in a pile of postcards, and stuck was exactly where I wanted to be. It was that feeling where I just want to pause time and hold on to that postcard forever.
The four of us started out trip driving from Gauteng to the Klein Karroo. Combining the eagerness of four South Africans living in America for the past 14 years made the elation of our trip thriving. The difference between driving through South Africa and driving inland through the state of Florida is this: Florida is one straight flat road of monotony, where the highlight is seeing a few cows on the side of the road (if you’re lucky). South Africa is the contrary of repetition. It’s one of those places where you prefer to drive rather than fly, because the scenery is as captivating as that out of a film. We spent our first night in a quaint guest cottage in a small town called De Rust and we spent the next morning exploring the shops and restaurants and mingling with the locals. We later ventured towards Oudtshoorn, where the Klein Karoo National Art Festival was being held. Now, this whole art festival thing was strictly to satisfy my mom’s requests. Because she was once an actress here, she wanted to come see and support the shows of her old college peers. It ended up being an extremely invigorating few days and my mom even ran into a few old friends.
Our next destination was Jongensfontein, where we stayed at my uncle’s beach house, enjoying its blissful location right on the coast. We spent about a week there, embracing the ambiance of paradise.
The easter weekend was particularly special. A highlight of the week was a hike that we took from Stillbaai back to our house on Jongensfontein: 8 miles of perfection. Overall, early morning runs on the coast, good food, great company and sunset drinks on the rocks recaps our week.
Our excursion down memory lane started when we drove through Kleinmond, the place where I spent every Christmas as a little girl. We drove past our family’s old beach house, the park where we used to watch puppet shows, and the lagoon I always swam in. What a blessing it was to recapture my childhood memories that felt like a distant reverie; to bring a collection of faint memories back to an actuality.
As we drove through the coast of the Western Cape, we came across little ports, each one more impressive and picturesque than the last.
When we finally arrived in Cape Town, we were at an all-time high. That first image of Table Mountain felt surreal (It is, in fact, now one of the seven wonders of the world.)
The weather was a bit rainy the first couple of days, but that didn’t stop us from exploring the highlights of Cape Town that we so urgently longed to see again. We drove down the coast and stopped at every place we thought was worthwhile, eating cinnamon-sugar pancakes and drinking wine and eating pasta and drinking cappuccinos and then drinking more wine.
The next day, we drove through the vineyards of the Western Cape. All I can say is that beautiful is an understatement, and a highlight was wine tasting- not only because South African wine is the greatest of all- but also because I’m actually legal to drink in this country.
We ate lunch at Stellenbosch, the university I have always dreamed of attending. A gorgeous place, but it doesn’t beat the charisma and spirited vibe of UF, I must admit. We were deeply entertainment by a little band, consisting of some Michael Jackson classics. While the locals looked deeply irritated by the three entertainers, we couldn’t seem to get enough.
Our trip was concluded with a 15-hour drive back to Pretoria. We were tired, we were hungry and our legs were sore. Yet, after this incredible escapade, we felt more refreshed and alive than ever before.