Can you believe that I have never been to Plettenberg Bay? Plett is a holiday hotspot along with Knysna, J-Bay and St Francis. I’ve never been a Garden Route girl – growing up during childhood and as an adult too. This past year, we were invited to Plett by our special friends to spend a weeks holiday their families holiday home. We decided that we would then extend our trip by another week and stay in a local hotel.
As the Covid numbers started to increase over Christmas, we contemplated cancelling our trip – Plett was a hotspot and we were worried but after much deliberation, we decided to go just for the first week and “isolate” in the holiday home. Our road trip to Plett was planned with driving 7 hours to Bloemfontein, spending the night and then the second leg to Plett. After arriving in Bloem, Ramaphosa announced that he was addressing the Nation that evening. With our girls fast asleep in the middle of Bloem, he declared a Level 3 lockdown. We went into a bit of a panic and after much discussion, we decided we would head back home.
At 6am the next morning we jumped into the car and at the robots driving out of Bloem, I suddenly blurted out to MC to turn left! (Left to Plett and right back to Durbs). He turned the car without any questions and our girls shrieked with excitement after some very serious sulking all morning, and in the change of a second, we were on our way to Plett. And I am so glad we did…
We made the decision to go to Plett, even with the rising numbers, for a number of reasons: we would be in a holiday home and away from crowds, we would do our own shopping and cooking and not be in public places, we would be with the family that we had seen the weeks before (without additional exposure except parents who had been in isolation over Christmas), and the main reason, getting away from home is the only way MC relaxes and actually has a break – especially after the stress of this past year. After Ramaphosa’s announcement, I panicked and got scared so I made an impulsive decision to head home but after a good nights sleep and a clear head in the morning, I was reminded of why we made our original decision and of how safe we would actually be.
And our trip was one we will never forget, so good for the mind and soul and exactly what we all needed – with being as safe as possible. Our road trip was fun and exciting (the first long distance road trip for our girls) and they were absolute angels. We drove 6 hours from Durban to Bloem without stopping (no loo or lunch breaks), we check into the hotel (we were the only guests with one other couple), we spent the afternoon outside in the fresh air, ordered Mr Delivery and then slept. MC filled the car up with petrol and we were on our way again – again with no stopping, seven straight hours from Bloem to Plett. And the girls were amazing again – they slept, they snacked, they had song and dance parties, they played card games, they watched a movie and they read books and did sticker book activities.
We arrived in Plett to friendly faces, beautiful weather and a week filled of fun and happy memories. I left the house twice – once to take a drive through the town to actually see it all and once for an early dinner on our last evening – quiet restaurant and we sat outside. The husbands left three times – to play golf, to do the grocery shopping and for our one dinner. We were so blessed with a lovely home, pool and large garden and forest. The kids spent their days swimming, riding bikes, playing badminton on the grass, hikes through the forest, fitness races around the property, slip and slide on a tarp down the hill, playing in the trees and vegetable garden and playing Uno and board games, and movies and colouring competitions when we had cooler weather. We cooked delicious meals, we enjoyed sunset G&T’s and Aperols, the adults played Uno marathons and topped up our suntans and we had the best new years eve party with just us, prawn braai, too many drinking games and dancing in the rain. So grateful to special friends for encouraging us not to cancel our trip, for keeping us safe and for their incredible hospitality and one of our best holidays.
Unfortunately, we cancelled the second half of our stay because we didn’t feel safe staying in a hotel over this time – and a very tough pill to swallow with a zero cancellation policy unless tourism was shut down, but best for our family to return home. We decided to road trip home in one day and follow the garden route this time – we jumped into the car at 6am (curfew!), filled up with petrol and hit the road. At 1.30pm, we stopped to order takeaway lunch and a loo stop (which took ages one at a time to avoid a crowd and little people touching anything!) and then second leg home. We walked into the door at 7pm after a happy drive, tired eyes and the best holiday memories.
We got home and decided to completely isolate for ten days – due to any possible exposure from our last dinner in a restaurant and our stop at the petrol station on the way home. And after that, our staff came back to work, and we have been out for shopping and the essentials. I am so glad we changed our minds and had a truly magical holiday.
We cannot wait to visit Plett again one day, to experience it, in its true potential.