Day 6 – Langkloof to House Beautiful, Rosendal (17km if you can figure out what the guidebook was saying, 20km if you cant find the turn off)

I wandered through to the kitchen in the darkness of early morning to get a cup of tea out of Dad. I slept well mostly but had been plagued by the shortness of the blankets which I can describe more accurately as very plush napkins. Breakfast was again a team effort as we settled down for scrambled eggs and leftovers. I made myself some boss rolls.

With a song in our hearts we strode out together for the first time. None of us could find the turn off the guidebook was talking about so we settled for walking back to the main road and following it to Rosendal. What a difference walking on tar was.

Foreground: On-road. Background: Off-road.

We had a broad shoulder on the highway which kept us safe and for most of the journey had the pleasure of sunflower fields flanking us on either side. Dad was far more relaxed. Even with his heavily taped shoes the tar road was easier for him. The plan was to arrive in Rosendal and see if the farmers co-op had a half decent pair of shoes to get him through the final day. I walked a little ahead and sauntered into the co-op all smiles and body odour. No shoes. There had very nice gumboots and irrigation faucets though.

This is not where our story ends. Dad was getting prepared to arrange for a lift to Fiksberg that he could buy shoes. However, a local dairy farmer, Johannes Schoeman, turned around at the commune’s cash register and told him not to worry, he had shoes to lend Dad. We were gobsmacked by the gesture and very happily agreed to a lift to his home. Dad was kitted out with a comfy pair and an arrangement was made to leave them in Paul Roux. Details were taken down and the young farmer will be handsomely gifted for his kindness. Clearly communities like this work on different, more generous laws.

Johannes’ wife, Shandre, dropped us off at House Beautiful where we were greeted by Tannie Fiona. Tannie Fiona had just stepped off the set of 7 de Laan. She was mostly jewellery and hairspray. We were shown to our rooms and then told to go through to the dorms at the back of the building where hot water baths had been prepared for our feet. It was a terrifically sweet touch and TF made a big show of fussing over us in a very old school way. She is a delight and clearly a woman who knows what she is doing.

However, I did feel uncomfortable when she came around and washed all our feet. I was already quite aware of my stench given how hot the day had been. She valiantly washed my feet with her bespoke nose one foot away from my natty crotch. I cannot imagine what deprived shit she got up to in her youth at the local bioscope to not flinch when greeted with a front row seat to my groin guff. I am in equal parts impressed and terrified.

We got clean. I had my recurring blister in the middle of my left foot’s ball which I asked Dad to sort out. This is done by threading cotton through the offending lump that it my wick.

Now, my father has a long history of practicing what can only be described as a medieval style of medicine. The man has still not been allowed to forget the time he nearly had a hot glass bottle swallow me whole to cure a boil or that other time he straight faced told mom and I that carrots and potatoes could be used to cure blood poisoning. His medical knowledge is on a parity with the Leech Doctor from Black Adder.

This is the one procedure which he has done to me before with success. I had no reason to believe he would put some inventive and horrifying spin on it.

I was so wrong.

I lay on the bed and Dad attended to my foot. I felt the piercing needle and the expert care with which he tied the string that the blister could wick. Then a slow burn started.

A slow, minty burn.

To save on weight Dad had carried only dental floss. No cotton. My father had just threaded mint enriched dental floss through a blister on my foot. Menthol was now burning its way through my tender foot flesh.

Having essentially had my foot flossed, I took a bit of time off in the afternoon to nap and get my ducks in order. I read and had a wonderful time chowing down on leftover burgers carried from Langkloof. Dad and I duly met at Yollas, a dive three feet away from House Beautiful where the bar staff are kept in the land of the living through chain smoking and necromancy.

Dinner was Boerekos. We ate and when we were done eating, we ate some more. I was particularly knackered for some reason. I called it an early night.

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