So, I recently spent a few days in one of the most beautiful places in South Africa, the Golden Gate National Park, live tweeting an event. Sounds glamorous, right? Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredible, but I learned a few things while on this trip…
Enjoy the road life:
I drove, a lot. The perfect formula for a road trip is a full tank, mountains of snacks, and ample tunes, boet! Blast your T-Swift, eat your Salticrax and enjoy the kilometers of N3 (and lesser-known, sometimes-abandoned, pothole-riddled roads.) Also, voice notes are the saviour of long trips!
AND, you’re going to get a flat; it’s a right of passage. Luckily, there’s always a long-haired hero who will help you to change your tyre. Things could be worse.
Find out if your lodge is self-catering:
Rookie error on my part here- I packed road trip snacks, but didn’t think to pack any more food. The options for food at my lodge: Drive 60kms to the nearest town, or forage the land. I joke, but seriously, while surviving on tea (and rosé) and biscuits IS possible, it’s not the best life choice. (See next point for more information.)
Get drunk, by yourself:
Luckily I white-girled it out at Woolies before I left and bought myself a bottle of rosé. Cue- glasses of rosé on the patio with my Kindle to keep me company. I like this life.
Pack for the cold weather:
Or don’t, like me. Instead pack six pairs of shorts because it’s going to be hot, isn’t it? A hoodie? Who needs one of those? Nowhere in the mountains is warm when it’s windy, nothing is going to warm up your toes at 04:00 and you may lose a few kilos from the shivers.
Alternately, just take a really warm person with you. Then you’re sorted!
You’re not going to have signal:
And your portable Wi-Fi probably wont work either, but that’s not a bad thing. Here’s my cliché advice for being out of the city: enjoy not having signal, enjoy the smells, take it ALL in and enjoy this absolutely beautiful country that we live in. I’m kind of inspirational, ok!
There will be crap coffee:
Drink it anyway. You’re going to need it because there’s not much time for sleep amongst adventures and work. I promise I DID work. 😉
Try a few of these things on your next journey:
- Watch late-night thunderstorms from your patio while wrapped in a blanket.
- Take that midnight drive to look for creatures, you’ll find them. (Learn how to brake in record time, it’ll help.)
- ALWAYS talk to the ponies in the mountains, even though you may get bitten.
And remember these things:
- Take the scenic route. It’s always worth it, always.
- You’ll probably stop to pee on the side of the road, and that’s ok.
- Say yes! To the drives, to the towns, to the people, to the adventure.