Waking up on the second last day of the year, usually means two things. Either we have already been away and looking forward to a New Year’s bash – or – we are are looking forward to going away after I cover the New Year’s test match.
Well, at this point, the only thing that remains a constant is the fact the I am covering the New Year’s test match – and not at Newlands, but via the television set, on my couch while South Africa and Sri Lanka fight it out at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
This is 2020 after all, a year that has wreaked havoc on the world. Every time Cyril talks, Nkosizana Dlamini-Zuma comes on – like a scolding mother – and rebuts what the president has said and throws more hardship on the South African public.
We went into a hard lock-down, people lost their jobs, companies closed down but slowly things were opened up again. Until “Oom Cyril” launched a tirade on TV slamming people for not wearing masks.
So, back to an adjusted level 3 lockdown no alcohol: no beaches, no rivers, no dams – even no potholes – to swim in.
So, what to do?
Prior to the announcement made on Monday evening, I had been stressing to the wife that we get away, take a few extra days leave and go – considering the stress we have been through this year.
So, research I did – as Yoda would say – found a few places and set down the time frame. Christmas came and went. Still no decision. Adjusted lockdown came. Decision deferred.
But last night, I said to the wife, “So we can’t buy and take any wine with us if we go away. So what? The point of getting away is to give us time away to spend as a family, destress and ready ourselves for the rigours of 2021.” She seemed to agree.
The problem we face now is that most of the places that we had earmarked are now booked. So – put your best Yoda impression on – “Research again, I did”.
Normally we would always go to the Breede River Valley area at this time of year, but now I decided to search up the West Coast – and considering we cannot go to any beaches, I moved my search inland.
I found a nice little place just outside Citrusdal, close to the Oliphants River. It has a couple of cottages, along the ridge with beautiful mountain views, rock climbing and hiking possibilities, swimming pool, aircon in the units, jacuzzi to lounge in while the fire is going and of course, a few places to explore around the area.
Within a 100km radius, is Tulbagh, horse riding facilities, a wine farm or two (bugger) and some hot springs (bugger again).
And the most important thing about this place? Very little cellphone reception. So can’t really be bothered with phone calls and messages. It is almost the perfect “Leave me alone” getaway.
I really cannot see me starting 2021 without getting away to recharge and refresh my mind. I know that many people cannot do this – and I feel for them. But sometimes one has to be a little selfish in order to be better for others.
So, now to sit the wife down, convince her of the above facts, make the booking, start preparing and then, of course, still have to ask for those extra few days off work.
**Images courtesy of Cederkloof Botanical Resort