Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekend in Clarens

In March 2011, my lovely friend, Carla, got married in Clarens (see post here). From the moment I arrived for the wedding, I fell in love. In the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, it is honestly one of the prettiest places in South Africa.

So when Josh invited me to come with him, on what was essentially a family holiday, I was super excited…

We arrived at Clarens Inn and Backpackers in the evening, on the weekend of JAMBOREE, an annual music fest. Greeted by the smiles of joyful family and friends united. A bonfire burning in front of the stage was surrounded by people drinking, laughing and enjoying the spirit of togetherness.

Various bands played long into the night – including Folk Rock band, Rooibaardt, who seemed to be the favourite, and understandably so, with their fun sound, wide array of instruments, and satirical lyrics.

I stayed in the girl’s dorm – Wall to wall bunk beds, with bright pink linen, and floral curtains. Ruffled covers on bottom bunks gave me the impression that there were only top bunks available – An exciting prospect for a 12 year old, but rather intimidating when considering the amount of gymnastics that was necessary to heave myself into bed. Throughout the night creaking springs could be heard under thin foam mattresses.

I was up early the next morning, dreading the use of the communal bathroom – public bathrooms being one of my biggest phobias.  With rubber flip flops firmly on my feet; I closed the shower curtain, turned on the water, and braced myself for a cold shower and was pleasantly surprised by the steady flow of hot water.

After a very necessary cappuccino, we piled into the mom wagon, and deployed into town for breakfast at The Post House – no doubt one of the most popular breakfast spots in the town – and after eating the breakfast tramezzini I completely understand why.

The weather was miserable, but the bonfire and a steady flow of alcohol kept everyone warm. People danced barefoot in muddy puddles to the eclectic mix of musicians.

On Sunday afternoon, we once again piled into the mom wagon, and headed to the Golden Gate National Park. The sun was shining, and we enjoyed a large part of the afternoon talking nonsense and laughing on a rock overlooking the most beautiful valley.

Sunday night was our last night in Clarens - it is always sad when such a wonderful time comes to an end - especially for those saying goodbye to family who stay far away. I was reminded that rather than focusing on the sadness, we need to remember the good times that were had, and the memories that were made.

I had the best time, listening to awesome music, sleeping in a creaky bunk bed, learning new words and phrases, singing songs with made-up lyrics and mostly just laughing loads.

Thank you my Joshua for sharing such a special weekend with me – So much of lesbians for you guy xxx

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