When we worked out our provisional itinerary before setting out on this adventure, we were totally ignorant of what South Africa had to offer. Funnily enough I even had to Google my own country for places that were iconic to visit here. How sad is that?! I knew more iconic landmarks that I wanted to see for our trip to Italy than I did for the country I grew up in.
Granted, living in Cape Town all our lives ticked a whole bunch of those destination places off our bucket list already – Table Mountain, check. Lions Head, check. Every trendy coffee shop, restaurant and kid friendly spot – double, triple check. The only thing we have left to do back in CT is check out Robben Island.
What I did know however, is that the East Coast of South Africa was a gem. Full of hidden beach towns with idyllic views and sunrises that I’d be too lazy to get up in time to see. Gelntana is one of those hidden gems guys. And it’s just across the bay from Mossel Bay. In fact I’m almost too scared to tell you about it because it’s just so perfectly untouched that we even had dolphins chilling out in the surf ever day that we were there!
We had the luxury of meeting up with our beloved Kooymans. We’ve known these guys since before we were married and I absolutely love it that even though we don’t see each other nearly as much as we should, it’s still like nothing’s changed when we do get together!
The Kooyman’s were on their way home from a 3 week adventure of exploring SA too. They did theirs inland first and then were coming back along the coast just as we were going up. They graciously hosted us at their parents holiday house. Man it was a good time. I don’t remember laughing, chilling and eating as much as that in a long time. Food for the soul.
Our kids were also really stoked to have company. Shame the poor sausages were quite lost in the beginning without having their school friends to chat to and only their siblings and us to play with. But they were champs about it. That said, they absolutely LOVED being able to play and run around with people other than us old farts.
You cannot stop at a beach town without spending a good amount of time at the beach. That’s full on scandalous and you’re doing it so wrong that you should just go home. But we were doing it right, so that’s exactly what we did that first day. Making gargantuan sand castles with moats and seashell decorations. The best.
The following day, as we were getting ready to visit George (the Redberry farm to be exact) Knox to break his fall with his face. I mean it started out innocently enough, the dude was riding his bike on a bit of a hill, but then as he was riding down he panicked. The caused a speed wobble and then caused him to land right on his face. I didn’t see any of it happening, I just saw Seth running to me with Knox in his arms saying, “Cindy it’s bad. It’s a bad one.”. And guys, for my usually calm and collected husband to say that while blood was dripping down his shirt… It was my turn to panic.
I did one of those manoeuvres where you run one way then another and then another but you don’t actually go anywhere. You know what I’m talking about right?!
But then the screaming started from my poor boy and it kicked my brain into gear. Got the medicine bag that our friends the Finchams had given us (and I hoped to never use) and got to work. It was bad. There were about three deep grazes across his face but the worst of it was his lip that just kept bleeding. Seth had tried to catch him and managed to gash his finger open in the process too. And the worst part was hat the more Knox cried, the more tears went onto the grazes and the more he screamed.
It was intense. Mostly because this was the first time anything like this had ever happened to any one of my kids. But the bleeding stopped and so we didn’t need to go for stitches which was great. Who even knew where to do that in a new small town? Not me that’s who.
Leaving Knox with Seth, all of us girls headed to Redberry Farm for some pre-season strawberry picking. What a cool place this is! So much to do and see. Train rides, waterball thingies to run in, waterboats, petting zoo, jungle gym, loads of restaurant options and my favourite thing about the place – the biggest maze in the Southern Hemisphere.
Knowing that the maze might take a little while, we gave that a skip and enjoyed the train and a lekker lunch while the kids played on the jungle gym.
And then after one more sleep (two in total) it was already time for us to pack up and leave. Unfortunately at this point we were still perfecting the pack up routine and so it took a little longer to leave than anticipated but we eventually got going to the next part of our adventure – Oudtshoorn.
All in all, Glentana was the best, not only because it’s a great little town (although to be fair we didn’t even get into the town itself) but because of the company. Thanks again Kooymans!
In case you missed the daily musings from those couple of days on our Instagram or Facebook – here they are for you again 🙂
Day 9 – Mossel Bay to Glentana 1. We said goodbye to the amazing spot at @debakkesantos. As usual we underestimated the pack up time and instead of leaving at 10 we left at 12. But the real surprise for me, is not that we left late (for anyone who knows us it would be expected in fact) but that everything fitted into the van with ease. We kept thinking we forgot to pack something. So our repacking and purging helped! Yay! 2. The girls got hooked up to their phones the moment we got into the car but gave up half way due to lack of battery. Which means we actually got to chat on this drive. Which was nice. And probably the thing I miss the most about traveling in separate cars. 3. We got to Glentana and wow! It is just amazing here. Such a great spot. 4. Spent the afternoon building sandcastles at the beach while watching the kids in fear of them being pulled in by the hectic waves. Such fun building our castle and decorating it with all the little shells. 5. We saw a whole school, herd, um, group of dolphins just chilling and playing right in front of the house. And dolphins are just the best thing ever so seeing them in person, even from such a distance, made me want to pull out my dolphin clad flip file and work on my plans to be a marine biologist.?? 6. These pictures do not even remotely do the sunset justice. 7. Corne has incredible skills and made our wifi router work! Yay for internet! 8. It wouldn’t be a social gathering without Seth fading in the background. Very reminiscent of some new years parties of the not so distant past. 9. Knox rocking his road tripping t-shirt like a boss.
Day 10 – Glentana 1. What a day. We put our medical bag to good use this afternoon when Knox misjudged a hill and decided to brake with his face. It was the worst injury my kids have ever had and I quite honestly didn’t know what to do with the blood running down his face and onto Seth’s shirt. Nevermind the screaming of my child in agony. But we all pulled through, most specifically Knox who despite declaring this the worst day ever in his whole life and cursing his tears (because they ran right onto the gaping hole on his face and burned like heck). He rallied like a champion and is totally chill about the whole thing even though I still feel this weird mixture of sick and helpless every time I look at him. 2. Before that we had the chance to work a bit before having a lovely breakfast together. And that view. I just can’t get over the dolphins right there! 3. Despite Knox’s fall 10 minutes before we were going to go to Redberry Farm, we decided to do it anyway, but just us girls. It was such a great day out. So much to do there – specifically the biggest maze in the southern hemisphere or something. Didn’t do it today but watch this space. 4. Kyla just broke my heart today after Knox had his tumble. She told me in the car that she’d rather it was her that was hurt so that she didn’t have to see her brother in pain. Then she kept cutting up banana for him and serving him anything he wanted. It makes my heart want to explode. 5. We tried a fruit beer that we thought was made locally but is actually imported. Either way, it was actually nice! Which superprised both of us who don’t actually like beer. 6. The Strawberries aren’t really in season to pick, but since we’ve never done it before we had to give it a go. It was fun. 7. The sunset was totally different today but still flipping magnificent! This place is great. 8. Tomorrow we say goodbye to our beloved Kooymans and head onto the next step in the adventure – Oudtshoorn!