There is a reason why Route 62 features in so many blogs and photographs! Here I find myself rushing through the most beautiful cloudy landscape because I forgot to fill up in the previous town and am now freaking out about getting stranded on a Saturday with only half a pack of biltong in my car. It eventually started raining to make me feel less guilty about only stopping for a photo every 30km, but then the light became so soft that it became even harder to focus on fuel economy. Well, I eventually found fuel, but let me just advise you that not all petrol stations along Route 62 are open over weekends, so don't pass up an opportunity to fill up!
I live my city lifestyle unashamedly. I have cellphone signal 24/7, and the petrol station cafe will provide most of what I could possibly run out of at 3 a.m. (usually chocolate - I'm not complicated). The list goes on, but the point is, my childhood days in a seaside village with no Eskom, no tv, and gas geysers, are long forgotten. It was with a shock then, that on our trip through the Eastern Cape, something awoke in me a nostalgia that I was totally unaware of. I say 'something', but I've pinpointed the culprit. On my various travels, I've experienced the spectrum of accommodation, from the bare essentials to every luxury, but it has been a while since I've stayed at a farm cottage. On our Eastern Cape trip, however, these were the venues that we favoured.
Farm cottages are invariably furnished with pieces that look like they have been passed down a generation or two, and the doors and windows tend to creak gently. Wooden floors, worn carpets, dusty tiles... the mere thought would give a Hilton hotel GM a heart attack. Yet, somehow, when you kick off your dirty boots and sit down at the massive wooden dining table for a cup of coffee, it all comes together to transport you into another world, and the message is clear. Switch off the devices - they won't have signal here anyway. Stop stressing about the bright lights - not even a helicopter could get you there fast enough to make a difference. Take off the suit and tie - it will just get dusty here. Relax. If you've ever been into the main homestead on a farm, you'll know that the best furniture is often reserved for the guests, and after a while you forget about the pristinely sterile city lodgings you're used to, and start to appreciate the volumes of character that these cottages exude. When this mental transition occurs, you are ready to appreciate the forgotten luxury of the bare essentials. You are now on holiday.