Coffee, snacks, CDs (the likes of Phil Collins and UB40), my latest read – I Can See Clearly Now by Dr Wayne Dyer, magazines (none of them were even briefly touched!), binoculars and most importantly – A happy heart!
These were all the things we packed into our car at about 7am one Saturday morning a few weeks ago. We were going on a road trip to Palmiet, Kleinmond. Noel and I love experiencing different places and we try to go on an adventure at least once a month if time and our budget allows. Friday night, we had planned to go to bed early in anticipation of the early rise the next day. Well, that didn’t happen. We went to bed at about 11.30pm, and when the alarm went off at 6am, I politely pulled the covers over my head and carried on sleeping.
I did eventually drag myself out of bed, at which stage Noel had already dressed and was preparing our breakfast before we hit the long road. I didn’t like having to be up so early especially on a Saturday, but the thought of driving all along the beautiful False Bay coast, made me so happy and very quickly, I had a skip in my step 🙂 .
As we drove away from our house, Phil Collins was the first CD to make its debut on our trip. We both love his music and it always seems to accompany us on our adventures :). The sun streaming in and the wind in our hair– it felt like heaven as we sang along to all our favourites along Clarence Drive (R44) en-route to Kleinmond.
Our first stop, was Gordon’s Bay. Just as you are leaving this wonderful suburb, there is a view point at the top of the road where you can see all the way around the peninsula. We were even graced by some dolphins who decided to give us a show as they frolicked in the bay below. The water was calm and the view was break-taking. A few photos later and we were back on the road knowing that the journey ahead would give so many more photo opportunities to capture our memories of this trip.
The next stop was Kogel Bay situated between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi Els. OMW…the view – just heavenly. I was in awe of all the natural beauty that surrounded us. Untouched white beaches that seemed to stretch as far as the eye can see. What was even better, was the clean, fresh sea air. My lungs felt as if they were given a new lease on life. Our pause here lasted much longer than the first, simply because we could not get enough of God’s magnificent creation. I stood there watching the waves crashing down below while the cool ocean breeze gently grazed my face. I was reminded of how truly blessed I am. Not only to be living in this beautiful country, but to be able to explore and enjoy it.
Back in the car, with the biggest smile ever, our journey continued. Rooi Els was up next, but sadly we didn’t get a chance to stop off. As we drove past, I promised myself that on the way home, we would stop to enjoy this little piece of heaven. Then I did something I knew I shouldn’t have, but the little girl always seeking adventure, was screaming to come out and play. I rolled down the window, knelt on the seat half way out and recorded snippets of this soul satisfying escapade. The cold air was piercing and my hands were ice cold, but capturing all that beauty, was worth every moment.
The serene Betty’s Bay was our next stop. Quiet, yet captivating, this little town has seen us many times before. Over the years, we have frequented it very often and so many memories came flooding back as we stood watching the tide come in on a small stretch of the beach. The weather was a little overcast but the soft clouds, a cool sea breeze and the sound of the sea life made for the perfect stop over. Honestly, I could have called it a day and spent the rest of our time there.
The ocean and I have a special relationship. It’s one that is hard to explain. It speaks to me and quietens my frantic mind and racing heart. As we stood there just watching mother nature at its best, I had a bitter-sweet moment. Simultaneously, I felt so much joy and sadness. I wanted to stay to satisfy the yearning of my soul but knew we had to leave as more adventure awaited😊
Finally, we arrived at our destination – Palmiet Caravan Park in Kleinmond where friends of ours were camping for the weekend. They had the perfect spot. Their campsite overlooked the ocean in the distance, so as you stand at the braai place preparing a feast, your view is that of the most amazing coastline. You can hear the power of the waves as it crashes down on the shoreline. It’s a quick two-minute walk down to the beach, but what was even more awe-inspiring, is the Palmiet River just a little further down.
Nothing could have prepared me for that view. It was as if I was looking at a painting. Standing on the banks of the river, the mountains cradles it beautifully, like a mother holding a child. The surrounding vegetation gives just enough colour to finish off this master piece. It truly offers the best of both worlds – the deafening quiet of the river on the one side and the roar of the ocean on the other. Complete opposites in nature finding the perfect comprise. I really am not doing this experience the justice that it deserves. No words could ever explain this experience. You must see it for yourself.
I could have stayed there forever. I found my happy place – I found both peace and freedom, something I think we all yearn for these days.
Our day was nothing short of awesome. We spent most of it down by the water. Beach cricket, sand castles, sunshine and laughter. The kiddies even managed to catch some fish and a crab in the river. I was reminded that the best things in life truly are free…
As the sun showed signs of retiring for the day, we headed back to the camp for a braai and some good laughs as we journeyed down memory lane. When nightfall landed, the blazing fire provided much needed heat while we enjoyed gooey marshmallow treats. We said our goodbyes just before 9pm, which was rather late considering we had a 2hr journey ahead of us but it was all so worth it. We had the unforgettable memories keeping us company all the way home to the to the suburbs.
There is just something about road trips, especially ones that end at the ocean, that I love. It gives me the freedom that my soul longs for every day. Unlike our daily routines, road trips are not about reaching your destination as quickly as possible. They are all about the long journey, stopping off at every spot that warms your heart even more than the one before. Road trips grant you the opportunity to savour life’s simple pleasures and marvel at the abundant beauty that surrounds you, noticing things that you would ordinarily overlook as you go about your busy life. Driving along winding roads with views of the ocean, sandy beaches while listening to your favourite tunes – this is what life is truly about. There is no final destination, as each pause along the way is a destination in itself.
“Lets find a beautiful place and just get lost.” – Author Unknown