We pulled up at the Tankwa Padstal in the Karoo. Officially, it’s on the R355 about 70km from Ceres, on the way to Calvinia or the Tankwa Karoo National Park. Unofficially, it’s somewhere between nothing and nowhere. Two bikers were switching off their engines and taking off their helmets. We greeted them in Afrikaans and asked how their ride had been. They looked at us as if we were from outer space.
Then the Tankwa's R355 will go back to being unhurried and lonely, the longest stretch of gravel road in South Africa without a fuel station or Wimpy.
My eyes lit up because I haven’t seen these in shops since I was a kid, but I was out of luck. They weren’t in season.
Then we were back out in the glare of the sun and on our way again.
If you hate the uniform blandness of shopping in the city, as I do, take a few minutes to stop at the Tankwa Padstal; there’s always something interesting going on. Even if you just sit on the stoep hugging a cold drink, it’s like watching Karoo TV.
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