Braai4Heritage tour: Day 22 – Braaibroodjies in Vereeniging

Posted on 4 April 2011

If you’re from Cape Town, it’s rare to go to Johannesburg for a holiday. For business and an brief injection of pace, sure, but it’s not the first place we think of for a restful weekend break. Our two days in the big city, however, aside from a frantic couple of hours on Saturday morning, have been chilled and relaxing. We spent both nights at the Sleepy Gecko Guesthouse in Melville, a homely, friendly place, close to the bars and restaurants of 7th Street, and with Saturday’s big shoot at Ellis Park so early in the morning, we had the rest of the day off to catch up with things, see some friends and get out of each other’s faces for a little while. Not that we’re getting on each other’s nerves, but it’s always good to take a break after 3 weeks on the road.

On our way out of Joburg on Sunday morning, we stopped by Art on Main, the trendy indoor market thriving in Johannesburg’s, er, rougher suburb of Newtown. The much vaunted regeneration of the heart of the central Johannesburg has gone far, but still, I think, has a little way to go.

Art on Main is a vibey combination of art gallery, book store, food and drinks market and printing press (William Kentridge has a studio just one block over, and much of his latest work is printed on an old-school printing press in the rear of the Art on Main building).

I met a friend there, and we wandered around while he pointed out the well known local artists and musicians cruising the crowd with their bunny-chow and craft-beers in hand.

At around 12:30 the skies opened, with hail and huge anvils of Highveld rain dumping down on central Johannesburg. Driving south to Vereeniging, the rain seemed to follow us – bolt-lightning cracking into the veld to either side of the rain-drenched highway.

With Sunday more-or-less a rest day for the Braai4Heritage tour, there was nothing specific set on the itinerary other than to get to Vereeniging sometime that afternoon for an early visit to Sharpeville the next morning.

That wasn’t going to stop us braaing of course, but it did mean we could take it easy, get to our guesthouse, find a nice spot and have a leisurely braai – perhaps something a little lighter for a change. A few veggies even.

It was time for some braaibroodjies.

We checked into the peaceful Klip River Country Estate by the welcoming manager Marike, and Jan and Frans went out to pick up some ingredients for the braai while I tried to get some long exposures of the storm now rapidly catching up with us from the north.

In the end the lightning was so severe, and starting to strike so close to the estate, that I chickened out of the shooting and was just running (well, walking briskly) back through the grounds as the first drops of rain began to fall.

Rain and lightning merely hardened our resolve to braai though, and while Jan sliced the cheese and veg (what a versatile guy), we got it lit and manoeuvred into an appropriate place for shooting. The braaibroodjies were delicious – one traditional cheese, chutney, tomato, onion, and one more experimental with olives, mozzarella and green pepper. As our first full vegetarian braai of the Braai4Heritage tour, they were a welcome change from the chops and boerie.

Tomorrow we’re off again, back towards the coast via Golden Gate, Spioenkop and Nongoma. More to follow then!

Day 21 | Day 23

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