I woke up at Oliviers Rust, a fabulous little self-catering spot in De Rust, but somehow decided that self-catering was not on the menu. So, I chucked all my stuff in the car in preparation for further exploration, and drove down the main road to see what De Rust had to offer in the way of breakfast. And what I found was the Village Trading Post. A super-friendly, vaguely quasi-military car guard called Adam saluted me as I parked and assured me of his best attention.
I ordered breakfast and then explored. What a stunning little place – funky décor, a lovely courtyard, a fab little gift shop out the back and of course good coffee. It was a chilly morning so there was a cheerful little fire going and, as it was still pretty early, I was the only customer – at least for a while.
And then in walked a very slim young woman who proceeded to order breakfast off the menu. She started with two savoury pancakes, and then added two lasagnes. Seriously. I glanced at her but didn’t say anything, and the woman taking her order tried really hard to keep her eyelashes from batting, but we were both wondering where on earth she was going to put all this food. And that’s when the magic of small towns kicked in. It wasn’t another five minutes before we were all three sitting down at a table drinking coffee – and the mystery woman satisfied our curiosity by admitting that she was buying breakfast for herself (and she was very hungry) and her friend who was still fast asleep outside in the car.
It turned into one of those serendipitous connections, and we felt like we’d known each other for years. We spoke about all kinds of things but mostly we discussed the magic potential of three women – Shakespeare’s three witches in Macbeth, the three fates of Greek (and other European) mythology. Witches, who are really just wise women, always come in groups of three. And it was hard to leave, but Adventure and Exploration were calling, so I had one last coffee and dragged myself away from the cosy fire, and my new coven of short-term BFFs.
And I was pleased to see, as I returned to the street that the funky mag wheels on my rental Subaru were still there, and that all my worldly possessions were still safely in the car. I felt quite important as Adam gave another smart salute as I left town.