So i leave calm, free and openness at Surfari yesterday and head across to Swellendam. It’s a couple of hours drive from George and I managed to hop in with some guys who were heading to Cape Town, so much more of a fun trip than the bus again!
(Map of Africa for sunset for my final night in Victoria Bay. Great company and even better views)
The land changed again from lush to incredibly dry but always with mountains lining the horizon around us. We passed Mossel bay on the way and I was disappointed, seemed a cute fishing town but not much to look at and pretty much a complete tourist stop, i really do prefer the untouched areas and less commercial.
Service stations were the only place for coffee, we had a pit stop and filled up with fuel, over here you don’t have to get out of your car (dreamy) and you even get a screen wash… I had written in the dirt and the guy who cleaned the screen decided to leave my graffiti, humour in the middle of nowhere!
Arriving is Swellendam it really felt like we had found a gem, stunning little town, bright white church with mountains behind it and cute restaurants. Before fidning my new “home” we went to a place called the Old Gaol for lunch, which happened to be one of the oldest buildings in town, it was a buzzy but calm place and pretty yummy food.
Driving to Imangele guest house i reflected that 17 years ago I fled my high school as quickly as I could after a shit time! Fleeing to Australia to really have no contact with school memories again. However a positive influence and memory being my theatre studies teacher Mrs Shackley! And as luck or now we have decided fate would have it I’m about to knock on her door.
Amanda and Dave are opening their wonderful 1920″s home to me so I can stay in Swellendam and become apart of the numerous foundations and charity’s they have either set up or played/play a huge role in. I’m apprehensive and nervous but as soon as the door is open the beaming beautiful Mrs Shackley squeezes me tight and im swept into my room, wow, i was exepcting a dorm… but no! In true theatrical style each room is themed, and I’m in the zebra room! I feel so lucky to have this huge, clean, cosy room and en suite. Rather like the little lady in the cave said to me last week…”I feel like queen if Sheba” Quickly after we head to the vine-covered veranda for a glass of wine! I don’t think we have stopped chatting since!!!
Next week is set to kick of my involvement with the Railton foundations Easter club! It’s packed full with activities from nature park visits to sports days! It’s going to be a wonderful way to get stuck in, explore where I can help most and meet contacts to take this forward beyond the Easter break. My first night though is kicked off by going to the local bar, bands play there frequently and it really is the weekend hub of the town! I was going to stop drinking again once I came to SA but it’s proving rather easy to not….. oooopsie!!!!
My first full day in Swellendam we actually left and drove to Barryale- Route 62, which is a small but buzzing village on the border of the Overberg and Klein Karoo regions of the Western Cape. The drive was stunning (apart from our fuel gauge hitting super low half way across the winding mountain roads)
We made it though and after lunch popped into an arts and education centre in a nearby township. The building a rustic shack but inside it was bustling with activity, even a computer room with about 15 kids all checking out arts ideas on pintrest. Music rooms, art rooms and more, it really was the place to be and so awesome to see everyone hanging out together rather than alone at home on their very own tablets on phones like we are so used to witnessing in the western world. So excited now ive been here to get stuck in next week, the kids are so happy and engaging, and a cheeky smile or two from them has put a serious spring in my step.