Happy Women’s Day to all my South African friends!
On this National Women’s Day, celebrated in South Africa to honour those women who participated in the 1956 Women’s March, I would like to dedicate this post to a very special woman in my life, my grandmother. My Ouma Hettie is from Ladismith, Klein Karoo which will be where I encourage you to travel with this post.
I’ve already written about the Klein Karoo, but not in particular Ladismith and the no. 1 reason why I love it so much, my grandmother.
As a young girl, I was fortunate to live a short 1-hour drive from my grandmother. I grew up in the beautiful town of Oudtshoorn and just a mountain away I could find my grandmother in her second-hand clothes store or on the farm.
About Ouma Hettie:
My Ouma Hettie has taught me what an independent woman looks like. She raised her two young girls and teenage boys mostly as a single mom after sadly losing my grandfather to cancer.
She has always taken life by the horns, while somehow being able to crack a joke and always seeing the good in people. She is incredibly brave, fiercely loyal and values her family above anything. A true example of what I admire in a woman and aspire to be. I’m happy that my own mother has a lot of those values too, but that is for another post.
It’s because of her that I got to spend a lot of my childhood running around exploring a farm in the Klein Karoo, while the shadows of Towerkop Mountain fell over me. During the weekdays I would be ‘helping’ at her second-hand clothes shop playing dress up and wandering up and down the high street, acting like a real lady. My love of animals and shopping can probably be traced back to my time spent in Ladismith with my grandmother.
Ouma Hettie cared for us and made sure we cared for others (always motivating us to look after those less fortunate). She celebrated her 90th birthday this year and still welcomes all guests, looking for a fresh cup of tea and ginger biscuits. She’s a no-nonsense kind of lady, yet possesses the kindest heart. She has a good business sense, loves writing and connecting with people. A true example of the type of women I believe we should celebrate on this special day. I’m so proud that I get to call her my grandmother and that her home in Ladismith was such an important part of my life and shaping the explorer in me.
About Ladismith, Klein Karoo:
This is a place of magic for me. With a small town centre at the foot of Towerkop Mountain and dozens of farms around it, you are intertwined with nature. Known for its warm summers and icy winters a good time to visit is October or April to avoid the extreme temperatures.
Where to stay:
In and around Ladismith you’ll find a couple of accommodation options on Booking.com. Make sure to take a few books that you’ve been meaning to read as this place is all about winding down and taking it easy.
What to do:
- There are a lot of hiking routes, or you could get in your car and drive to neighbouring towns and the beautiful Towerkop Nature Reserve.
- You have to visit the Parmalat shop in the town where you’ll get the freshest of fresh Parmalat products (their South African factory is based in Ladismith). Think cheese, milky drinks, yoghurt and ice cream for days.
- Visit the church and walk the streets of Ladismith to see the most beautiful Neo-Gothic and Victorian style houses.
- If you are in need of an extra kick then head to Calitzdorp, a short 30 min drive from Ladismith, where you’ll find world-class Port.
Have a lovely time in Ladismith and feel free to let me know if you have any questions about the Klein Karoo. I’ll be happy to help. Read more about Ladismith here.
After spending time in Ladismith you might want to head to the beach so why not drive to Vleesbaai for the perfect beach holiday.
Baie lief vir Ouma!
PS. A special thank you to my friend, Suraj, for encouraging me to write about my lovely grandmother.