Getaway (South Africa)

The wrinklies road trip

- Anne Lilly Hermanus

My husband, two friends and I – all circling around our 70s – recently went on a road trip, with the Baviaanskl­oof the highlight. Over the course of a few days, we travelled from Hermanus, along Route 62, to Oudtshoorn. Then on to De Rust, beautiful Meiringspo­ort and Willowmore.

The next day, we proceeded into the Baviaans with our 4×2 Ford Montana Bakkie, 2006 model. Driving along all seemed so peaceful. We stopped for delicious roosterkoe­k at Veros. And then entered through the gates of the Baviaans. We paid our fees and proceeded on our way, looking out for all the buffalo we were warned were roaming the roads. What we were not warned about, however, were the “roads”. Or as we discovered, the almost non-existent roads we had to navigate. It was, to quote Jeremy Clarkson, ʻbottom clenchingʼ.

With a good navigator, the excellent driver could guide us through the deep drifts, dongas and huge rocks. We eventually completed a 200km trip in just over six hours. That must have been the most exhilarati­ng drive weʼve ever tackled. We spent the night in a guest cottage near Patensie.

The next day we had a leisurely drive to Addo National Park, where we spent a night. We were very fortunate to see many animals as well as a lion kill. The park is still one of our favourites. Having driven back down through the park we made our way to the Storms River Village, where we spent a night at the beautiful Tsitsikhay­a Lodge.

We then carried on to Mossel Bay, probably our favourite holiday destinatio­n, for a two-night stay. While there, we took a drive to Friemershe­im, a little village about 15km from Mossel Bay. We discovered a real treasure there, where the majority of the cottages have at least one wall painted in animal scenes. The murals are phenomenal and all painted by a resident of the village. Absolutely astounding.

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