Friday morning eventually arrived and bags, blow up mattresses and cooler boxes were promptly packed into the boot. We eagerly dropped the kids off at granny who had been gently persuaded into watching all four cousins for three days while her two daughters took a trip down to the coast with friends to cheer on the Springboks. When we got there granny was walking down the passages of the house repeating “everything is going to be okay” which was a tiny bit perplexing considering we weren’t sure if it was a statement to make us feel better or if she was hoping if she said it enough times she might actually believe it herself. I tried to make light of it, gave her a reassuring smile and dashed for the front door before she changed her mind. That’s when our roadtrip officially started!
A spacious van with scents of freshly brewed coffee, the pumping beats of Gold Fish and six enthusiastic friends ready to cheer our team, we were well on our way. The trip was an occasion in itself. In-between stealing quiet moments reading my book to playing I spy, insensibly ragging each other, buying silly sounvenirs and eating sunny lunches in mystical Nottingham road, it was a memorable day leading up to the game.
Saturday was the big day. We adorned ourselves in green and gold. We suspended South African flags from the van windows. We purchased native food and drink (biltong and Castle Draft of course). We parked the van amid other supporter cars on the field leading into Kings Park and we pulled out the skottel and braaied. We were the epitome of first-class Springbok supporters. Unfortunately our current World Champions were dealt another blow and walked away in defeat. It certainly wasn’t a day for them to remember but it was a day we will remember. It was my first taste of the Natal camaraderie. A flavor and experience of a proud team of supporters who didn’t let the drizzling rain dampen their spirits. After the game we found ourselves in a charming little Indian Restaurant where we had a meal of flavorsome Durban Curries and Prawn Korma’s. We left with nourished bellies and sore cheeks from the hysterical laughter that accompanied dinner and good friends. All I can say is that it was a safe decision for the proprietor to make when he decided to put us in the back room. We are not your quietest group of friends and can sometimes err on the side of craziness if you want my professional opinion.
Sunday we packed the car with heavy hearts, a tender head and bid the flat in Amanzimtoti farewell. Most of us dozed off in the car with the pitter patter of rain and the ominous snow clouds encircling us most of the trip home. We arrived home safely, the kids wrapped their arms around our necks and I squeezed them a little harder and a little closer just because I missed their happy little faces and it signaled the end to an awesome weekend away.