Getaway – June 2023
English | 126 pages | pdf | 91.17 MB
In March 20.21, the brakes on my husband Alex’s bike failed as he waa riding dawn Chapman’s Peak towards Noordhoelc, causing it to momentarily leave the ground and then crash-land on its right aide, dragging him violently a.c:roaa the tarmac and 5DlllShing him into the wall on the opposite side of the road.
A fellow cyclist phoned me, and I rushed to the scene, where an ambulance crew had arrived. Alex was conscious, even joking – must’ve been the morphine – paramedics had wrapped a bandage around his head. ketchup-red blood wu splattered on his helmet, and the front wheel of his bilce wu a crumpled mess of misshapen spokes. Thought his injuries were severe, a smashed shoulder and a starfish-shaped tear on his forehead requiring surgery among them, the good news was that he’d fully recover.
Our family live in the UK, and due to Covid-19 travel restrictions at the time, they couldn’t physically support us. which made Alex’s slow, frustrating recovery all the more traumatic.
We’d planned an all-inclusive holiday to Zarmbar that June but decided to postpone it as Alex couldn’t move bis arm far enough to snorkel with dolphins safely. But we needed something help us heal.
Imtead of escaping winter, we decided to embrace the season in South Africa by staying in two off-grid farm wttages. Alex poured so much love into the comfort food he prepared for our breab.way: slow-coolced lamb, tzatziki and pita bread, lasagne and seafood curry.
I remember leaving the motorway, our car bumping awkwardly along farm roads before reaching Orange Grove Fann in Robe:mon. Pulling into the driveway of our cottage, Mosesberg. we switched off the engine to buzzing silence. High on a ridge, far from civilisation, we saw endless olive groves, vineyards, mountain and valley. Here, we were free from all of life’s demands to be present
For the next week, we went for long. easy runs, meditated, slept as much as we needed to and, most importantly, really talked about and proce11Sed our trauma. allowing us to heal.
The great thing about South Africa during winter is that you still get those odd days when the temperature reaches the mid-20&. On one such day, we lounged by our private plunge pool at Mosesberg, reading. And at our second accommodation, Blad Eagle Lodges in Caledon, the weather turned cold. so we bunkered down for a duvet day beside a hypnotic, crackling fireplace and, in the evening cracked open a bottle of MCC and jumped in a steaming wood-fired hot tub, witnessing the rain c:ome down in sheets beyond the terrace.
We visited the wacky Da.saiesfontein farm stall in caledon to browse im random array of stuff for sale, vases, sheepskin-lined boots, stopped the car to allow wild horses to cross a Greyton street and sipped wine while cruising down the river at family-run wine farm V”iljoensdrift in :Robertson.
W”mter escapes mean something different to everyone. In this issue, Mart-Marie dn Toitrecommendsthree local restaurants where you can try mouthwatering European dishes without having to leave the country (p 40), and photojournalist Jacques Marais hit the elements head-on to discover Mzami’s top (secret) MTB trails (p 78).
Wherever you go this winter, make sure it’s restorative, lire-affirming and one for the memory bank.
[email protected] @thenorthernrunner