Lost in the 50’s

On the Garden Route is a small village called Storms River. It’s a favourite destination for nature lovers and backpackers and there are no doubt many hippies and retirees who live there, hiding in the forest from the mad world (that’s us, you know, the mad world, they’re hiding from most of us, with good reason).

The village consists of a few shops selling things you may have forgotten for the beach, like hats and sarongs; a bottle store (very handy but the selection is limited) and a few coffee shops, which is all a great improvement from the old days of travelling by road in South Africa where you had to pack your own in a flask or wait 700 km for the next Wimpy and nothing in-between.

We’re spoilt for choice on road-trips these days – kitschy country shops sell good coffee and proper muffins and decorate their establishments with dead grannies’ house contents, roadside oases make new-age food with rocket and tofu, in the middle of nowhere you can get a perfect cappuccino or latte, there are friendly moffies everywhere, not to mention free wi-fi – you couldn’t ask for more!!

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to come across this replica of an American diner in Storms River Village, Tsitsikamma. The owner has a large collection of vintage cars from the era which are sometimes rented out for matric dances and weddings so he recently decided to showcase a few and change the look of the previous restaurant. There are several cars in the ‘showroom’ – no space for the whole collection – they gleam and shine as if brand new and are in excellent condition.

The walls are covered with memorabilia, photos of Elvis, Marilyn and James Dean, and if  you’re an aficionado you’ll want to visit the shop selling the stuff! Even a giant tree stump on the pavement is painted bright pink. Needless to say the menu is typical. I had some sort of sundae that the waiter warned would take a long time to finish and he wasn’t wrong. They’ve held an Elvis festival around this time over the past couple of years but it seems to be cancelled this year, pity – rocking in the forest has a nice ring to it.

It’s all a bit cheesy, but fun. Can’t wait to take American tourists there on a Garden Route tour, they’ll feel right at home.

Two pics today -bonus.

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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