June is always the most festive time of the year for me. In part because it’s my birthday month, and I practically demand that a full month’s celebration ensues; and in part because of the winter blues; I have found that most people (self included) get the ‘antsy-pantsy’ feeling quite regularly at this time of the year… feeling the urge to breakaway from the daily routine creep up ever readily.
After many a ‘hint-hint’ and ‘nudge-nudge’ to my friends, one friend finally got my subtle hints, and relented , agreeing to relinquish his farm, Opsoek, for a weekend of farm fun.
Luckily we had a long weekend to play with (all thanks to South Africa’s liberal public holiday philosophy…), giving us ample time to explore the open road.
We began our journey on Thursday morning, destination: Barrydale Karoo Hotel. I was due to perform a gig there with James Kibby; so 9pm was the deadline, giving us the whole day to explore Route 62 (and hopefully not get lost along the way).
Barrydale Karoo Hotel
Once we had finished up our breakfast at the Winelands 1 Stop, it truly felt like the journey had begun.
Route 62, Photo By Mark Michielse
Whizzing past Worcester, into Robertson, watching the N1 become Route 60 become the infamous Route 62; I had pseudo flash backs of snippets from classic Oliver Stone movies, highway ahead, nothing but nature surrounding, and the ever snaking road unfolding…
2.5 hours, 1 pit stop, 2 cups of coffee and many smiles later; we found ourselves in Barrydale (reaching the half way point of our 4 day adventure into the Klein Karoo).
Klein Karoo, Photo By Robbert
If we had blinked, we would have driven straight past the Barrydale Karoo Hotel; our destination point. Barrydale is a small, quaint and ever-welcoming town.
Immediately we felt the buzz of this enchanting town; the excitement for the night’s entertainment ever tangible. The gig went off with a bang, the live music ushering everyone off their seats onto their feet; reminding all that local South African music is indeed alive.
Poster for Lithal Li featuring James Kibby gig
2am arrived, and it was well past our time to return to ‘SYY‘ our space bubble (my little Toyota Yaris) and continue our last leg of the first half of our journey; destination: Theo’s farm, Opsoek.
Continuing along Route 62, we passed by Ladismith, the charming town of Zoar, through Amelienstein and per instructions, awaited the arrival of our farm guide, Reginald (Red).
Ladismith, Photo By Martin Heigan
Once on the farm, surprise does not quite cover what was felt. ‘Top Billing’ step aside: this farm is immaculate, to say the least. Consisting of the main house which sleeps up to 6 people, and an outside Rondavel, which sleeps up to 6 people as well, Opsoek is the ideal getaway spot. Tranquil and serene, safely tucked away within the Klein Karoo, adventure ensued.
With early morning rises, the next 3 days that followed was spent enjoying and exploring every crevice of Opsoek to our hearts content.
Li-Anne’s first horse riding experience
With horse riding, quad biking and hiking trails (led by our mystic and highly knowledgeable guide, Red) to keep us occupied during the days; our nights were spent preparing a hearty meal, and retiring at reasonable hours, ever spent from the day’s full activities.
Candice turning pro quad biker
Mystic Red, guiding our hike into the Klein Karoo surrounds
Sunday morning had us saying a very reluctant goodbye to Theo’s farm of goodness.
Theo’s farm of goodness, Opsoek.
Back on route to the city madness; but one last highlight was spurring us on: a trip to the hot springs, just outside of Barrydale.
We were instructed to hit a right turn just before we got to the infamous bar, ‘Ronnie’s Sex Shop’.
Photo By Thys Visser
R30 got us into WarmWaterberg Spa, where we were able to braai up some lunch, and soak our ‘quad-bike-driving’ tensed-up muscles in the mineral and nutrient enriched hot spring pools.
Photo By WarmWaterberg Spa
A road trip unlike any I have had in a long while, filled with little mis-adventures and lasting memories.
Li-Anne in the Klein Karoo
I will definitely be making my way back to Route 62 and Theo’s tranquil hideaway, who knows, maybe next time I will just remain off the beaten track, and keep exploring the open road unending.