It was the poodles, Frank and Nancy, that did it. I’m sure of it. Maybe the Boston Terrier too. Because there we were, driving to an unknown town most have never heard of – a little place called Infanta – called by something stronger than adventure. Something more like love.
Infanta, it turns out, is the word for a daughter of the ruling monarch of Spain or Portugal, especially the elder daughter who wasn’t heir to the throne. It’s also a seaside village in the Overberg of the Western Cape, at the estuary of the Breede River. A place of beach shacks and white sand. A place for family, friends and simple living.
Peculiar things happen on roadtrips to small town getaways. My boys, for instance, did not pick up one screen on the drive up. Nor did I. They didn’t even play music. I knitted, friends drove and they, well, they chatted and chatted and chatted, like budding young conversationalists.
It’s one of those special moments I remember most from this trip, but there were a few others too: like our early mornings out on the rocks, cuddled together in pajamas and beanies, watching the sun rise in a new place; catching, preparing and eating fresh oysters from the sea; foraging for mussels on the rocks for dinner in our rustic cottage on the beach; long walks in the sand and fresh air, with no one else around.
That feeling of having nowhere else to be, nothing else to do, that’s peace. That’s the small town feeling. That’s Infanta.
It starts in the car ride and truly settles in once the first dog falls asleep on your lap, once you taste food you’ve collected or cooked yourself, once you remember that simple truth: that all you need sometimes isn’t a big hotel or overseas voyage, but rather a friend’s poodles and a small home by the sea.
What are your favourite small town getaways?
(We’re rather in love with this one, but we’d love to try new destinations.)