Backroad from Riversdale to Albertinia

I don’t know what it is but take me off a main road and my faces softens.  My mouth forms a soft smile and my shoulders relax.  And I start humming, window open, wind through my hair.  I am in my happy place! Today was one of those happy days.  Chick and I found ourselves in Riversdale (you will find my blog about what we discovered in Riversdale here) and decided to explore the backroads a bit.  Initially just ‘to see’ what was out there, but soon it became an adventure in the spirit of ‘let’s see where this road takes us.’  I love those!  We don’t know where we were going, the general direction is east, my heart is happy.

The road beyond Riversdale

As we cross the Vet River we leave the town behind and the rural area north of Riversdale opens up.  Rolling hills of lucerne, wheat and dairy kettle form the stage with the Langeberg Mountains as its backdrop.  We meet the ‘Sleeping Beauty of Riversdale’, who we had seen from a distance from the N2.  Here we can see her more profoundly, serenely lying on her back, nose in the air, facing the sun.  The Frisian kettle is obviously used to her, they don’t blink an eye and are oblivious to her ever presence.  Unlike when Chick and I get out of our car to say hello.  The cows come wandering closer, curious, yet not convinced that it’s a good idea to come too close.  After an impromptu photoshoot we leave them in peace and continue our way. The road continues over rolling hills and around gentle corners, and it doesn’t take too long before the tar road becomes gravel.  My heart is even happier, the smile on my face becomes even bigger.  It is on roads like these when I realize once again that being a traveller doesn’t always involve visiting ‘touristy’ places.  Or attractions visited by busloads of people from all over the world.  Yes, these have their places, and yes, I enjoy those too.  But not all the time. I find that more and more people I personally meet want to know what life is about.  How people live, where they shop, what they do in their spare time, how they ‘chill’ and simply relax.  What life is about really, here in South Africa.

Balance

Balance is what comes to mind.  After Chick and I visited the more tourist oriented Old Jail and the Versfeld House in Riversdale itself, we ‘got lost’ on the backroads.  So my mind wanders, and wonders.  And ponders about how good it must be living on those backroads! We follow the signs to Albertinia, and as we get closer to the town the lucerne fields make space for fields full of aloes.  I knew we were getting closer to the N2 again, back to the ‘touristy places.’  The balance had been great today!   From Riversdale take the Main Road towards Heidelberg.  Past the Old Jail just follow the road out of town.  You will see the Sleeping Beauty in the Langeberg Mountains on your left.  Just follow the road, which soon turns into a gravel road.  The turn off to Albertinia as signposted (to the right).  Closer to Albertinia you follow the road to the left, which takes you past the back of the town onto the N2.  
Albertinia boasts two Aloe Ferox outlets, both worth visiting: Alcare Aloe – 028 735 1454; and Aloe Ferox – 028 735 2504. Albertinia is also home to the Farm Museum, with the largest knitted jersey in the world. IG:destinationgardenroute.  We were there!
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