Hidden smiles on a short left – a treasure of a town called Colesberg
Silently hidden just off the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town lies a little treasure, one of those jewels that has forever been waiting for you – and when you at last find it you cannot believe that you overlooked this little piece of magic for so long. Colesberg is such a treasure.
On the road that many others have traveled before me, I decide to take a left turn in search of some company. After spending so much time alone in a car one sometimes needs, and hopes for, that moment that could help you forget the unending stretches of tar …
The town is quiet when I enter, almost as if taking a siesta. But when I set my foot on the tar in front of an old Cape Dutch style building that now hosts a general dealer I understand why. This Karoo town is blistering underneath the afternoon sun. Quietly, almost scared of disturbing the peace, I cross the road to one of many coffee shops that are invitingly looking at me from the main road. I’m not sure why I chose this one but when I walk into the smile of Younis, I am happy that I did.
With a cup of coffee in hand, my eyes start exploring what the town has on offer. A couple of people have now woken up from their silence and are walking down the road. Their conversation is fierce as they wave their arms around. Then I hear them laugh. Laugh like only old friends can. Suddenly Younis brings my focus back to where I’m sitting. She’s been working here for six years, but her parents are still on the farm. She and I are just too happy with the break from the day’s silence.
Colesberg’s architecture is astounding; I can imagine a unique story from every building. The peeling paint almost shows the different layers of stories as the town has grown.
I walk further up the main street. Another traveler has followed my example and taken a short left off the highway. They however have found a place to rest for the night before they continue on their travels in the morning. For the first time I realise the number of Bed and Breakfasts in Colesberg. Many travelers have passed through here on different journeys and this town has become a book filled with their stories.
Along the road there is a newly painted house boasting a luscious herb garden at the front door. A woman is sitting on the veranda and carefully watching my unsure movements, I wave. Her gaze instantaneously becomes a smile. She waves back. My story lives here as well.
Here in the middle of the Upper Karoo, lives a town. Few glance twice as they speed past Colesberg towards a different destination not realising what is hidden moments away. Don’t make the same mistake. Colesberg has more to offer than a petrol stop en-route to somewhere else. Here you can become part of a story, you can sit down and enjoy the Karoo sunset, and you can meet real people.
Here you can find the energy to carry on …