There’s a little town in the belly of the Maluti Mountain range, in the Free State, called Clarens. Now, some of you might be familiar with it, and although it increased in popularity in recent years, owing to its burgeoning artscape, the town has always held a sense of wonderment to me.
As a little girl, I became obsessed with the works of Father Claerhout, who called this town-of-five-streets-and-a-donkey home. My mom mentioned that one of my drawings struck a liking to that of Claerhout and I just had to know more about him. It stuck in my head that he was from Clarens, but I never did any research on the town itself.
So my idea of Clarens had been brought about from a priest’s art, with a rather childlike drawing style. Upon arrival, I immediately learnt that the town was much more different that his depictions of ladies washing clothes or a donkey pulling a cart full of flowers.
I was in awe from the moment we arrived and was absolutely thrilled when we learned that the Golden Gate National Park was a mere 17 km away. Please forgive my ignorance, but Flip had kept a cloak of secrecy on our honeymoon destinations and I found out about each place as we arrived.