To Nieuwoudtville and Back My Life 06 MAY 2010

So last, last weekend (yes, yes, I’ve taken my sweet time to write this quick post), Chantelle and I effectively cut ourselves off from the rest of the world, jumping into our little green Getz and jetting along on a 5 hour trip through to Nieuwoudtville, tucked in the Northern Cape near Calvinia, and one of the best sources for great tasting lamb and spectacular natural flower shows come every flower season.

We were there to spend the weekend with Retha and Miguel at Retha’s mom and dad’s little smallholding which comes complete with big rambling house, sheep, geese and one or two minor little crops surrounding it. Needless to say, Nieuwoudtville’s one tarred street doesn’t really feature well on the GPS and thus it was no wonder Chantelle and I managed to get just a little lost when we rode into town in pitch black darkness at around 22:00 in the evening – though for once we were both in agreement and was able to pin the blame squarely on Retha’s shoulders thanks to her rather ambiguous directions! ;)

Outside of a wonderful supper (bobotie), breakfast (pap for chantelle), lunch (braai), supper (braai), breakfast (toast with eggs) and lunch (sunday roast) there really isn’t all that much else to talk about because this was one weekend that consisted 100% out of nothing more than sitting around, chilling, enjoying good company and conversation and just letting your stresses and strain simply flow right out of you.

We took in the few sights that Nieuwoudtville has to offer, namely the completely dried up waterfall which is situated in a stunning drop gorge, the amazing quiver tree (kokerboom) forest which is basically a hill densely covered in these alien-looking trees and sheep. Lots and lots of sheep. (Plus we got to see sheep on a farm that included “Plooie”, the world’s ugliest mutated sheep and the mad one – which we attempted to cure by hitting it over the head!)

We also spent a lot of time in Loeriesfontein, about 50km down the road from Nieuwoudtville. Unfortunately Chane and Jasper were in Cape Town for the weekend so we didn’t bump into them, but we enjoyed the hours spent with the rest of Retha’s aunts and uncles, some of who drove all the way down for Kimberley for the big get together.

It was just well and truly proper “kuier” time in other words.

The trip home went a lot quicker than getting there and in truth, it was a real pity that essentially we were only there for Saturday and half of Sunday, but man was it worth it. Both Chantelle and I had slept like logs throughout the stay and had now returned refreshed and feeling like new.

So thanks to the Vorster’s for their wonderful hospitality, generosity and friendship – rest assured we’ll be making our way through to that side of the world far sooner than later! :)

Retha was tasked with feeding the geese and sheep on Sunday morning. Luckily you can get them to stop following you around simply by emptying the contents of your bucket out!

Chantelle smiles while Retha hides as we stare out over the rather non-existent waterfall. It turns out that the land is parched, very parched at the moment.

Sneaking up on Retha, Miguel and Chantelle, as they all admire one of the many unique quiver trees that make up the fascinating quiver tree forest. Like something straight out of a sci-fi movie I tell you!

Nieuwoudtville may be a small, speck on the map, but it comes packed with wonderful people, great food, and more importantly, that feeling of just getting away from it all – exactly what us city slickers sometimes need!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.