Lucille and I thumped over dirt roads at sparrows’ first intestinal grumblings to capture the rising sun… and were cling-wrapped in a mist so dense I half-expected Prince Charles to emerge chirpily from it with smoking gun.
It was mist and mirrors. Mirrors in dams reflection-specked with waking ducks. Burly farmers bouncing their bakkies over bumps the size of Bulls’ props on their way to the fields. Guinea fowl. Mist. Not much else.
Just an eerie landscape. Almost soundless. Then shattered by the hysterical bleating of sheep that burst out of the mist when I disturbed them while climbing over a rickety fence to grab a better shot. Or perhaps it was M Ward crooning Post-War out from the belly of Lucille?
It was all a swirling-white fogscape of mountains and valleys and water and still-life.
Then Tesselaarsdal. Hidden in the folds of the Kleinriviersberge. Klein River Mountains. Klein. Small. About 30 buildings. And a bottle store, of course. And a church. And a school.
And a person groping through the gloaming to work. And two cars. And Henry, who walked up from his house to watch me eating a banana on the steps of the church. With strange bumps on his face.
Henry delivered to me the history of this tiny hamlet. Fascinating. Google it. I goggled at the sun finally burning through our all-enveloping shroud. And I giggled at Tesselaarsdal’s very own “Little Boutique Hotel”. And goggled and giggled. And roared. Rural humour. Priceless.
After four hours of this white-blanketed tranquility, I decided to drive back to Stanford by way of the Hemel en Aarde Valley and stopped at a H&A Village spot for French toast and bacon. And much-gagged-for coffee. And found elderly tourists with deep frowns on their faces descending into a Sauvignon Blanc mist at 10.30am. Crikey.