Day 3 me Time

The day broke, rainy and cold. It made me think of England. That cold wet, that creeps into your bones, freezing you from the inside.

Decided to travel in land, as flowers, don’t show themselves in rainy weather. I guess it’s like hiding?

After about 2 hours of just cruising, I found myself, in a little town, called Darling. My eye caught the sign: Ormonde Wine Cellar. I thought, mmm, tasting wine, a cup of coffee and using the bathroom, might not be such bad idea. Great the disappointment. The beauty of the old farm house and the garden, did not prepare me for the lack of directions and hospitality. I stood for 25 minutes in the cellar, listening to people talking, without seeing them, when finally one of them realised there is a potential customer, waiting. I very politely declined to taste the wine, and I guess I never will.

Exploring the up and down streets of Darling, was amazing. The old mixed with the new. Muddy roads, mountain views, nature inside the little town. I pulled over at the museum, to google places of interest, cause by now, I was bursting. Darling Brewery, came up with a star rating of 5 out of 5. Ok, that’s lunch and bathroom break settled, off I went to find the Brewery.

On my way, to the Brewery, something tells me, turn, right. There, on the left, was “Evita se Perron” and “Tannie se tuin”

I had to stop. My mom is such a big fan of, Pieter Dirk Uys aka Evita. I was still staring at the brightly coloured containers, when a tour bus full of elderly people pulled up. I knew, there will be a queue at the ladies room, so I started browsing.

It’s a tribute to the politics of old South Africa with a hint of Evita’s subtle jests. If ever you are in Darling, you’ve got to stop here! Every possible space is taken up with relics, photos, newspaper clippings of yesteryear! Even in the bathroom, Eugene Terblance is staring at you, while sitting on the loo.

The restaurant was very busy, so I decided to move on to the Brewery. Steering the Datsun into a very slippery muddy road, I found the Brewery in the right. Hard to miss actually. But where do you park? Inside? Outside? On the street? This place are not very good with directions. Decided to park in the street in between two mud puddles. I looked at all the cars parked there at nearly 2pm. Big white 4×4 bakkies, with big white male drivers. When I say big, I mean, you see the belly first, dressed in either Khaki or Dishcloth tartan, then you see the beard and the man behind the belly. I decided to get my leftover pizza and another bottle of water from the boot, and drive on. I really can not be bothered with this crowd. Pity really.

Eating pizza, trying to steer the Datsun back to a tar toad and checking out google maps at the same time, is definitely not advisable.

I just drove in a direction to nowhere really, when I spotted Darling Cellars. It’s never been on my tick list nor have I ever tasted their wines. I had to stop.

As I stopped, I see that their Shiraz just one an award and decided, I’ve got to try it!

There was another couple there, with a teenager kid, on her phone and me. Such hospitality and friendless was not expected. And boy, that Shiraz was good! I bought a bottle. The Pinot noir was a bit fizzy, but with time, I think it will be a winner too.

It was nearly 4pm, and going home via Tienie Versveld Reserve, sounded like a good idea. Leaving the cellar, I ate my last piece of leftover pizza. Google maps directed me to turn left, it didn’t sound right, but not knowing the area, I followed. More wild flowers and ostriches next to the road. A soft drizzle, lulled by the wine and the beauty around me, I didn’t realized I drive all the way into Moorreesburg. Google maps, insured I’m at the reserve and I know, I’ve driven more than the allowed 200km per day that my rental allows.

I turned back to Darling, back to Paternoster, as the sun sets, kissing the sea in beautiful pink hues.

That evening, I was sitting with my back to the people in the restaurant, staring at the dark sea, and the rain, reflecting the neon sign, before running down the window, splashing into the cobbled street, below.

A couple started talking to me, wanting to know, why I’m alone. I said, I’m on a me-time break. By this time the 20 odd bikers at the next time was irritating me, so I took my bottle of wine and the rest of the chicken gordonbleu to my room.

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Gisters: Die eerste keer

Oppad terug, van ons stoute naweek, in die Drakensberge, outhou, ek skielik, die eerste een.

Seks was taboo. Jy het nie daar oor gepraat nie, jy het nie daar oor gevra nie, jy het nie eers gewonder, hoekom die hoofslaapkamerdeur toe is, op sekere dae nie. Swart en wit strokiesboeke, is skelm, in die kaffee, agter die rak gelees, en nou en dan, as jou pa agterlosig was, kon jy, die Scope, deurblaai. Ag, hoe het ek, gewens, ek kon, so die half naak vrouens lyk. Borste, boude, groot blou oë en baie hare!

En wragtig, een oggend word jy wakker, en die bystekies, is borste! Skielik, kyk almal, jou, anders aan. Selfs die seuns, met, wie, jy al van kleinsaf, maats was. Ek is nog nie seker, hoe, ek die bynaam, Frankie, in standerd 6, gekry het nie. Brewis, het net eendag, gesê: “watch out boys, here comes Frankie”. Ek het maar altyd gedink dis die liedjie: “Frankie, do you remember, me? Frankie?”

Ek was eerste jaar, op univeriteit, besig, om die navorsing van die tyd, te bewaarheid. Afrikaanse dogters, het ‘n BA gestudeer, getrou, en 2 en ‘n halwe kinders, gehad, en dalk gewerk as ‘n ontvangsdame, toe ontmoet ek hom. Marius. As ek my oë, toe maak, sien ek hom, in sy stywe leer langbroek, sagte pink, syhemp, heeltemal oopgeknoop, en die maagspiere, wat my vingers, laat jeuk het. Sy lyf beweeg op die maat van strelende Jazz, wat pomp deur Jacquline’s se dansspeakers, op ‘n Sondagaand. Ek sit op die trap, en verlustig my, aan die sensuele spel.

Die klub, was maar leeg, op Sondagaande. Dit was net, mense soos ek, wat die polsende ritme soek, alleen, op ‘n Sondagaand, so dit is seker nie, wetenskap, dat hy my daar, sien sit het, nie. My kort skotse, rooi en blou rompie, wit katoenbloes, gekreukel, en geknoop oor my naeltjie, en swart leer stewels, tot bokant die knie.

My eerste kys, was in standerd 6. Kerkamp. Abel, met die blou oë, rugby lyf en blonde krul kuif. Die standerd sessies het voor in die bus gesit, styf ingedruk, soos sardintjies, in ‘n blik. Die standerd sewes en agts, was verspreid oor die bus. Abel en sy makkers, heel agter, met wolwefluite en seksitiese opmerkings.

Ek het ewe kuis, hande gevou, regop gesit en gewonder… Saterdag oggend, het die bus, ons by die ysskaatsbaan, Ster-Kinekor, afgelaai. Met wit ysskaatse en my groen rompie… ek he gedink ek is, Olivia Newton John, in Zanadu, maar ek kon nie, skaats nie. Abel, het tot my redding, gekom. Daai aand, het dominee, die bus, na “loverscorner” by die Voortrekker Monument, bestuur. Dit het saggies gereen. Die stadsligies, het reenboogstrale in die voorruit weerkaats. Ek? Agter in die bus, langs Abel, my hand, in syne, ‘n hartklop bang-opgewonde en die afguns, van die res. Handjies vashou,was die hoogtepunt, van die kys. Abel, het my vrygewige niggie ontmoet, en ek het leer soen, by sy beste vriend, smulende donker, Leonard.

Baie kyse, het gekom en gaan, onder andere, die einste Brewis, maar die eerste groot liefde, was, George. Sewe jaar, deur sy army jare en my eerste jaar op universiteit. Ons het gevoel en gevat, gesoen met tong, selfs ‘n bed gedeel. Hy het my borste, Nora en Dora, gedoop. As ek terug dink, hoe dom was ons?

George, was rustig. Nagklubs, was nie sy styl nie. Kuier met die “peacepyp”, skoon whisky, houtvuur en goeie vriende, was sy alles.

Ek moet, erken in die tyd, het ek ook, vir Emile, ontmoet. Emile, was ‘n kunstenaar…blonde krulhare, blou oë, wat sy “stimirol (die kougom) blou “Ford previously” laat smag het, vir aandag. (Hy het ‘n baie ou Ford “pickup” gery. Onthou, julle, die advertensie: “have you driven a Ford, lately?”) Hy, het my gesklider,en geteken, ek sal nooit weer, so lyk, soos deur sy verfkwas. Ek was asemrowend. Hy was bereid, om sy miljoenererfdeel, vir my te verruil. Ek kon hom dit nie toelaat nie, en het George gekies.

Ok, Marius. Mmm van suigstokkies, perels en publieke wangedrag…dalk vir ‘n ander dag?

Day 2 Me Time

Waking up, with the sea sounds and smells, felt so unreal! I’m here! I really did it!

I open the blinds, to a glorious pink morning! I stayed in bed just drinking it all in.

After some dozing, I decided it’s time to explore! Armed with my camera, iPad, iPhone, umbrella, extra jacket, water and sandwiches I, decided to hit the road!

Breathing in the fresh air, I’m wondering: left or right?

I reversed the rental, into the waiting street. With no idea where to go and a soft drizzle falling, I headed towards the main road.

About 10 minutes on the road, I see the dirt road, with the sign; Stompneusbaai. “Why not?” I thought. I turned off onto the dirt road. “This is not so bad, easy does it” goes through my head.

Bouncing, along at 40km an hour, I spotted wind turbines to the left and a sign reading: Kliphuis. “Now, that looks interesting!” I thought, and turned left onto a two track dirt road. After about 20 minutes, crawling ahead, I found myself in between the turbines, and a steep downhill and sharp edged rocks. It also started to rain. I decided to google where I was. Google couldn’t find me. Being a woman on my own, not knowing where I was, and that the road ahead is a no-no in the Datsun Go, I turned around. The road back to the main road was a slippery affair, the rain was pounding down.

Finally made it back to the main dirt road, which now, was also a muddy mess. The sun broke through, just as I met the tar road. I found myself in an urban area with no name, only a sign: Brittaniabay to the left and St Helena to the right. I decided to explore to the right. The scenery changed from dilapidated houses, to half built mansions. I can hear the sea but I can’t see. Every road, I take leads to more mansions, with security gates. Finally found a house in process of being built, with no fence. I parked the rental and scamper up the sand dune. Wow! What a view, these estates of mansions are hiding; private beaches and waves hitting the rocks!

In a distance, I spotted a light house, and thought to myself, there will be a spectacular view. After more bouncing on a dirt roads, I turn off to the light house. Big security fence and a guard. I asked the guard if I may have a look around. He said no, visitors, must announced, or have a confirmed reservation at the restaurant or golf club. After a few minutes of begging, I decided to call it quits. I’m not getting anywhere with the guard and his trained responses.

I followed, the road, to St Helena. The coastal view was spectacular! I needed a place to stop, to find a loo and eat my lunch. I had this idea of pulling up next to a beach and enjoy my lunch.

I couldn’t find such a place, which was not barred by housing estates, I carried on through Veldrift, to Port Owen. Man, what a shithole! I eventually found the docks, ate my sandwich, while watching, the seagulls.

I decided to head back, to Vredenburg, I knew there was a mall. Barely able to hold on, I found the mall and clean toilets, just to discover that due to water restrictions, there was no water. I flushed the loo with the bucket of water provided (I am no stranger to this primitive living, due to water and electricity problems on the coal dumps). Sanitizer was provided for hand washing. As I was about to leave, I overheard, a young lady, with a very push English accent, arguing that the Cape West Coast, must be colonized, from the Cape Town, as Cape Town steals all their water. She has heard from a reliable source, that all the dams on the West Coast are full. I couldn’t help myself, and budded into her monologue argument with two elderly ladies, saying: “Dearie, I’ve been traveling 2 days in your province and had not seen one full dam or flowing river. Your information is not correct”. I left her, gaping, like a gold fish, on dry land, bought a take away coffee, and saw it was only 3pm. “Righty o, more exploring!”

Storm clouds, were thick on the horizon, so, I decided, to visit, Saldanha Bay. Through “stop and go” roadworks, the 15km took forever. Finally, I’m in the town…. I found my way to the beach, and the industrial bay, was a bit of a disappointment. Not sure what I expected, but this was not it. I took my coffee, and sat on the rocks on the beach, staring, at human progress. It started to rain heavily. I found a dustbin, cleaned out, all the empty water bottles, sand which wrappers and take away coffee cups, into the bin. Nothing like a rubbish free car.

Decided to head back, to Paternoster, it was getting late, an$ I was wet. (Not that kind of wet, silly). Just through the roadworks, my eyes caught the sigh: Jacobs Bay.. “mmmm” I thought, “a glass of whisky, staring at the stormy sea, is just what I need.” What a beautiful view, this place had! But all the beach restaurants were closed, and every possible space, was divided into small plots, for sale. Guess this is a popular place, in summer?

I sipped some wine, while watching the stormy sea, eating Pizza, wrapped in a blanket at Blikkies Pizzeria. The best pizza, ever!

My heart…

folded in tissue paper

he brought my heart

(left in Franschoek,

a year ago)

back to me

here next to the sea

and said: “see, it is save, with me?”

I rewrapped it,

in silk,

placed in an a box

made of rainbows and hope

and gave it back to him

with the only key.

Angel

I was walking along the beach,

shells, crunching under my feet,

angry and proud of myself

I keep catching a glimpse, of somebody

I keep walking faster

crunch crunch crunch

I stomped on the shells

faster and faster

but the glimpse

of a shadow

stayed

eventually

out of breath

I stopped

and turned around

speechless

yet, words flying through my head

“You came back?!”

and the angel said: “I never left you Linette, but once you where imprisoned, by the victimisation, of yourself, I couldn’t, see you.”

Tears well up in my eyes: “I’ve missed you, it’s been 7 long years!”

and my beautiful angel said: “I knew one day you’ll come here, and find pieces of the old you. Together we will rebuild a new you”

I cried and I cried and my angel spoke again: “it’s not going to be easy”

I asked with tears heavy in my voice:”but what if I fall”

My angel said: “yes you will fall,but if, you keep, your eyes on me, I will pick you up, again, and again, and again.. as many times, you need to be picked up.”

I smiled, a teary smile, looking at his beauty, and realised, I’ve never seen his face, and in the glimmer of tear and the wave hugging the shore, he was gone, but near.

Day 1 Me time continue

The magic of 3am.

Even here, with the wind howling around the wood framed windows, and the sea, ebbs and flows, I am awake.

The flight to Cape Town, was uneventful. I picked up my car. Wait for it! A Datsun Go!once I figured out, how to open the boot and change the gears, we were off. To the R27! West coast, here I come.

Going through, the all to familiar, Table View and Milnerton, (I stayed here, while doing my MBA at the USB), I had to stop. Armed with a homemade sandwich, a cup of coffee and 3liters of water, I was, on my way, again.

Traffic and robots (that’s what we call traffic lights) all the way, to Melkbosstrand. I’ve never been this far, West. The traffic, slows. The road changes to single lane, sand dunes and glimpses of the sea, is all you see.

Here and there, the field splashes, in purple, white and yellow flowers. Wind in my hair, I cruise. Then the sign! Grotto Bay! Had to see. It’s one of those places, you’ve heard about, but never seen. The tar road turns, to a dirt road, but I’m not afraid, I put, the Datsun, in 3D gear and we cruise, over the the loose sand, to the beach! Wow! Wow! Wow! I didn’t have words to describe the beautiful canvas, on display, just tears, blinding me. Flowers everywhere, galloping, over the dunes and into the sea! And suddenly, I realized, I fucking did it. I am standing here, on a beautiful, secluded beach, nobody else in sight. Just me. I did it.

After strolling about for awhile, I realize it is getting late, and I have no idea how far it is to my destination.

Back on the R27, the cloud formations, were beautiful! Then the next, sign, from the memories, of other people’s, stories: Yzerfontein.

The car just turned, I had no control over it!

The sea, was winking, between, the colossal, new, sandy coloured houses, in different stages, of unfinished. It’s a holiday, destination, gone is the Yzerfontein, of the stories.

Finally found, a stopping place on the beach. There was another car, a Taz, parked, in the small area. The man, looked guiltily at me, started the car, and spinned off. I saw, a head popping up, from his lap…looked like a young boy. He was gone, before I realized, what I, think, I saw.

In any case, apart from the litter on the rocks, it was nonetheless , a majestic sight. The sea, the rocks, the sky, the waves splashing, high over the rocks. I found another way, between, the half built, mansions, drove next to the sea, for awhile, until, it brought me back to the main road!

Crickety! The sight: Darling Distillers, 15km North! What do I do? Wine? Road? Wine? Road? I looked at my watch. Glad I brought it, now. The Datsun is so basic, it had, no clock, on the dash. 16:30, no idea how far I’ve got to go, when the sun sets and what the road is like, so I made the grownup choice, and head west.

All too soon, I pass a massive petrol station, nearly missing the sign: Langebaan. So this is where, this little jewel, is hiding. I refrained, from turning, off, the disappointment, of the commercialized, Yzerfontein, raw, in my memory. Next turn, Vredenburg, with a small sign; Paternoster.

The 10km or so, to Vredenburg, took, forever, and suddenly, I found myself, in a bustling, town, with a sign, to the West Coast mall. I must admit, at this point, I was starting, to worry, about my choice, to stay, at Paternoster. What-if, it’s another, once, fishermen’s village, gone commercial? I pass through Vredenburg, and the road, changed, to a very used road. It even, had signs, warning you, about potholes. Man, you have no idea, what a pothole is, if you haven’t stayed, in the coal-dump city, of Witbank!

A dirt road turned right, to places with charming names like, Brittania Bay and Stompneus Bay.

I carried on straight, I caught a glimpse, of the sea, I followed the sign, to the lodge, over a few, speed humps, with the local fishermen, singsong selling, the catch of the day. Everything, charming and white washed. Names, like Mosselbank, Voorstrand, Kliprug and Bek Bay are displayed. I found the lodge.

After unpacking and 2glasses of wine, I went to the beach…. I walked and I walked, feet in the water, met about 3 other couples on the beach, all looking like they have escaped from winter. Or maybe I’m mad, bare feet, in the Atlantic Ocean, wearing a silk top and yoga pants?

I said cheers to the setting sun, and a journey began.