ELLE DRIVES the Ford EcoS­port through the Mid­lands

Elle (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - MO­TOR­ING JOUR­NAL­IST ZIPHORAH MASETHE RE­DIS­COV­ERS THE MID­LANDS IN THE COM­FORT OF THE FORD ECOS­PORT

THE ROUTE

As one of the most beau­ti­ful hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions in South Africa, KwaZulu-Na­tal (KZN) of­fers lots of open road, favourable weather and, of course, spec­tac­u­lar views. Take a scenic drive through the Mid­lands (si­t­u­ated just out­side KZN), stop­ping in at gal­leries, crafters’ stu­dios and cafés. (Side note: Pack warm cloth­ing, be­cause the Mid­lands can get as cold as Le­sotho on a win­ter’s day.) A few hours on the R103 just out­side How­ick, there’s a gravel road of­fer­ing the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to get your car a little dirty. Even­tu­ally you’ll hit the the must-visit 95m-high How­ick Falls.

THE CAR

The new EcoS­port has un­der­gone mi­nor ad­just­ments, in­clud­ing up­dated, an­gu­lar head­lights and in­te­grated day­time run­ning lights. Com­pared with its pre­de­ces­sor, it has a sleeker ap­pear­ance and while it isn’t a 4x4, it nav­i­gated the harsh, rocky ter­rain lead­ing to the Tugela Lodge with ease. This com­pact SUV is cute, but also func­tional. Equipped with a one-litre EcoBoost en­gine, it drives sur­pris­ingly bet­ter than you’d ex­pect from its 74kW/170Nm of torque. The EcoS­port is an im­pres­sive and prac­ti­cal car which makes a leisurely drive that much more ro­man­tic.

THE PIT STOPS

Pit stops for pic­tures and food are ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial; check out the charm­ing pizze­ria along the Mid­lands Me­an­der, The Pizza Place at Pig­gly Wig­gly. It’s con­ve­niently si­t­u­ated right next to a train track that hasn’t been op­er­a­tional for years, but makes a per­fect In­sta­gram spot. Next to the restau­rant is a glass man­u­fac­turer, as well as a dar­ling little store with all sorts of good­ies, in case you run low on your snack sup­ply. A must-see on the route is the sculp­ture of for­mer Pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, found 5km out­side How­ick. This na­tional mon­u­ment is on the spot where Madiba was cap­tured while a fugi­tive, and is con­sid­ered an im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal site.

THE KIT

Re­laxed, but pol­ished, in a pair of roomy trousers, the per­fect white tee and a parka when the tem­per­a­ture drops.

THE PLAYLIST

Turn up DVSN and Roy Woods while ex­plor­ing the Mid­lands Me­an­der.

Sun­glasses, R5 699, Moscon Op­tics; Coat, R1 199, Zara;Dress, R999, Bil­l­abong; Trousers, POR, Scotch & Soda; Bag, R5 400, Missibaba; Shoes, R759, Zara

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