My friends announced that we would be going camping at Rivierplaas (https://www.rivierplaas.co.za)
We arrived with chairs, cool boxes, tables and a tight rope. I had come to the conclusion that true South Africans don't really know how to camp. We simply move the house outside.
Rivierplaas was ironically only about two kilometers from my house at Reeds Country Lodge, (https://reedscountrylodge.co.za) and I had always managed to drive and jog past it. It's strange how places too close to home are easy to miss.
I asked Ouma if I could use her bakkie to drive 2kms up the road with half my mother's house, a potjie and some clothes creatively stacked on the back.
I was expecting to find my friends chilling in a circle on a blanket that resembled my backyard. Yet, when I arrived I was transported to some beach holiday resort, with an imaginary ocean just out of sight.
Hundreds of campers had managed to discover this little peace of solitude and seemed surprisingly committed to respect the solitude with a sense of ease. It was like walking into a scene from another time, without my YouTube mix to fill in the quiet breeze.
It took me a while to find my friends playing thirty seconds under the trees. We explored the world as we traveled through banter and conversation and games and quickly found ourselves next to the river. It reminded me of a utopia where people walk their dogs and run for fun.
I suppose I was both intrigued and amused by a place that seemed to embody community and solitude in the comfort of camping chair that wasn't even mine. Perhaps I had simply ignored the places closest to my house for too long.
A fufi-slide triggered the frightful memory of forgotten childhood, but it was slightly too cold and most campers opted for chilling in a boat or a raft on the calm river. My friends opted for playing cards and strange creative games instead. How weird we are.
That night we sat under the stars and laughed into the darkness with artificial flash lights, banter and gentle guitar. By now I may as well have been on the other side of the Orange River.
There was a certain kind of comfort to untamed hair and morning faces around a fire the was hardly big enough to boil the kettle. I deliberately postponed my shower but eventually submitted to a hot one just a stones through from what had become our little corner of the world.
When we discovered a 2.5 kilometer circular trail run at Rivierplaas, there were no excuses and suddenly we were flying over small hills and bushes just for the fun of it. My friends are natural joggers. It's a good and terrible thing.
The weekend at Rivierplaas (https://www.rivierplaas.co.za) was a quiet surprise, a kind of forgotten world I now return to often. Just to breath or meditate or look at the sky. Just 2kms up the road from my house at Reeds Country Lodge.
Big 5 Game farms (2 Game parks nearby) * Explore the longest wine route in the world! * Gary Player designed golf course with reasonable green fees * Route 62 scenic drive * MTB single track courses or cycle the passes * Hiking trails in and around Worcester* Water sport motorized & sailing * Bird watching * Boat Trips (Wine tasting and lunch on the river nearby) * Botanical gardens (Karoo Desert ) * Canoeing trips on river (local operators) * Casino (Worcester) * Mountain Biking the 5 passes within 1 hour radius * 4X4 trails (Selection of routes in the area) * Fishing (Quaggaskloof & Brandvlei Dam) * Fly fishing (On the river nearby) * Gliding club (Worcester Club 7km) * Worcester Wine Route *
Click on the images bellow to go to the relevant website for more information on each activity.