When I was about 12, or perhaps 13, my family went on a weekend trip to Hogsback where we got lost and couldn’t find our way home for about four hours after we were ready to be done with hiking. I remember some parts of the trip quite well. I remember the carved hiking sticks sold by entrepreneurs on the streets, and the little clay warthogs painted with white decals. I remember that I wore this little black shorts and t-shirt outfit that my friend Riëtte gave me. I remember that a lot of family closeness was born out of that weekend. I remember that in the midst of trying times we kind of just had this weekend that was so perfect. I remember it as one of the few times in my childhood when I felt content.
And I remember that the word “cool” became “cabbage” in my family that weekend. Because we are seriously just so ridiculously uncool. Yes, all weekend long (and sometimes it happens to this day) anything that could be referred to as “cool” was instead referred to as “cabbage”.
Can you figure out why? (I’ll sit here and *facepalm* while you figure it out)
Anyway, I haven’t been back since. Even though the town is really close (a mere 2 and a half hour drive?) and I’ve always loved the place because of the memories of content, I’ve never really managed to get it together for long enough to make a visit a reality.
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to try out AccommoDirect.com this year and when I realised that Ty and I would be alone for Easter I did something that I almost never do: I made plans to travel during a peak travelling season.
Now honestly, I’ve been “saving” Hogsback for a special occasion. Do you ever do that? I do it a lot. It’s dumb as hell! But I was “saving” it, so when I set out to find us a place to stay over Easter I wanted to go somewhere random like Somerset East or something. Thankfully The Universe had other plans for us, and after many emails back and forth with the ineffable Toni, it turned out that the most cost effective way to do things would be to visit Hogsback. So I sort of thought, ok let’s go to Hogsback for the weekend now and then I’ll still bring my kids here some other time even though it seems silly to do it twice….
And thank goodness my original plans didn’t work out.
That feeling of childhood content came right back. As soon as we drove into town and spotted the samango monkeys on the side of the road, it began to settle. And then we drove a little further and got excited about the potential of spotting wild parrots. We never did spot any but it was exciting anyway. And then because we insisted on dropping our hitchhiker off at her door we got to drive through a huge forrest plantation thingy which we never would have done otherwise (there was a no-entry sign!) and even more content settled as we took in all the green.
We spent our weekend lazily exploring and napping and reading and canoodling and it was perfection. Our trip acted as a balm to soothe the trials of a busy year, and as a tonic to get us through the next crazy month before we’re off again. Most importantly it afforded us our most favourite indulgence: time spent with each other.
There’s something in the air there, I tell you. Perhaps all those trees clean the air so well that you just slip into zen mode as soon as you start breathing it…
Or maybe it’s something even more awesome like the true existence of fairies! Or some sort of magical blessing that was placed on the area thousands of years ago by a wizened druid.
Wouldn’t that be nice…