March 25, 2011
When I left off, we were struggling to find our way through some scary looking smoke, and more importantly, deciding where to stop for lunch. The fire was at a nearby farm, and they told us it was under control (didn’t look like it). The scenery changed to fields of apple, pear, and citrus trees as we made our way into Ceres. There really wasn’t much charm to this town and we ended up having lunch at Spur. I think this is a quintessential South African road-trip dining experience, but the others weren’t so impressed. Spur is a Native American themed restaurant that serves basic American food like steaks, burgers, etc. The fact that a Native American themed restaurant even exists in South Africa is so completely random, I had to make everyone try it.
We eventually realized there was no way we’d get to the real Cederberg Mountains in one day, as we’d been on the road for nearly 3 hours and only a third of the distance we thought we could cover. We got back in the car and headed towards Tulbagh, because it was the next best option for sightseeing. The star on the map with the words ‘Historic Buildings’ was all we had to go by. What a great little map, pointing out historic buildings in an area filled with… historic buildings!
Well, we pulled over at the end of Church Street and walked past the 32 houses that line it. According to my Fodor’s book, this makes up the largest concentration of national monuments in one street in South Africa. Right, maybe that is worthy of a star on a map. We saw a sign near an open gate that said “Things I Love” and wandered through. Past a weathered armoire filled with pots of wildflowers, we made our way up to the patio where a light mist of water sprinkled my skin. The sounds of big band jazz filled my ears, and I was instantly at ease. It’s little discoveries like this that make South Africa so special. Amidst the proper and pretentious white houses, you’ll find an interior that is warm and welcoming – just like many other venues I’ve encountered during my time here.