Do you suffer from rain-averse syndrome? Not sure? Well, let’s check. Do you shudder at the thought of your hair getting wet? Do you fumble with your brolly, get claustrophobic in your raincoat and think gumboots are chewy sweets? Hmmm, well, it may very well be that you are just a tad water-wary. But, with the onset of the wet season in South Africa, we think its high time to tackle your precipitation paranoia and enjoy some rainy days in the Midlands.
While it is true that the Midlands of KwaZulu Natal boasts a more temperate summer than its sweltering coastal counterparts, it also plays host to periodic afternoon thunderstorms and warm rainy days.
But who cares!?
There’s so much on the go that you’ll have a fine old time getting wet or staying dry. Here are our top suggestions for enjoying a drizzly day in the Natal Midlands.
Ok, so this one may be obvious. After all, the Midlands Meander was established for the purpose of showcasing arts and crafts, so stopping by the various shops and showrooms along the 80km route is a no-brainer. However, there are five routes to choose from. So, you may want to plan your rainy day trip around routes that will give you maximum coverage (think of visiting clusters of shops thereby reducing the need to run back and forth through the drizzle to the car), cozy eateries (to keep you warm and dry while you watch the heavens come down) and decent road surfaces (to avoid any muddy mishaps). If you look on the map supplied by the Midlands Meander Association, you’ll be able to plan routes along tarred roads that go passed artisanal restaurants and pockets of shops and showrooms.
How about whiling away a wet and wild afternoon in the creative comfort of an art studio? Various venues throughout the Midlands let you get your artsy on in the shelter of their establishments. You could head on over to Zulu Lulu’s Art Bar to try your hand at pottery decorating or painting your own canvas. If you are more captivated by glass art, you may want to visit Tweedie Junction and try a taster course at Dragon Fire Beads or if stained glass is more your style, why not pop into Aladdin’s De-Light. There is also candle making and chocolate dipping to be had at The Junction Centre in Nottingham Road. There are plenty of other crafting experiences along the Midland Meander routes, so look at the map and drop by one that is on your planned journey. And, viola, you avoid the downpour and create a masterpiece at the same time.
You may already be slightly miffed by the murky weather, so let’s not make it worse by failing to keep the hangry feelings at bay. It’s just cold, hard scientific fact that rainfall brings on the munchies. To prevent any hunger-induced peevishness from boiling over into a catastrophic family feud resulting in a deathly quiet and awkwardly tense drive, make sure you keep everyone well fuelled with yummy treats and warm mugs of happiness. You’ll definitely want to stop at the Midlands Kitchen. What you get here is choice. An amazing array of 15 mini-kitchens that produce wonderful, quality meals to suit all everyone’s taste. If you’re keen for an Austrian inspired lunch, head over to the Bierfassl to try out their signature eisbein and wash it down with one of their 35 beers from around the world. For the coffee enthusiasts, you may want to stop for a break at Terbodore’s Restaurant to sample their renowned freshly ground coffee while having a bite to eat for breakfast or lunch. Now that’s just scratching the surface. You’ll find a host of restaurants along your route. Pick one that tickles your fancy and keep the Meander happy.
Now here’s a radical solution for you. Throw caution to the wind, head outdoors and be prepared to get dirty and drenched and enjoy every moment of it. Depending, of course, on the severity of the weather, you could still enjoy kicking around in muddy puddles and cavorting outside with your pint-sized crew before heading inside for a warm bath, hot chocolate and a good snuggle.
So we couldn’t let this post pass without giving our own offering a little screen time because we think (in a totally unbiased way) that we have the ultimate wet weather solution for you right here at Brahman Hills. From the self-catering chalets overlooking the Springholm dam, you can gaze at the rain dimpled water from the comfort of the warm cosy couch, or watch the weather roll into the valley from the shelter of the self-catering cottages on the Blue Crane Nature Reserve. When the mood strikes, its a short trip to the on-site restaurants and bar at the Barn to ensure you dine in fine style. And to round it all off, book a muscle-melting treatment at the Spa. Mmmmm, now that’s the way to spend a rainy day!