No thirst like Bathurst
One thing you can be sure of in the Eastern Cape is that you are never very far from a good ghost story. Now I know what you are thinking, but this is no laughing matter. A hair raising encounter with the ghost of an excommunicated parish nun with a flair for interior design is truly terrifying.
This is especially true when the nun in question disgracefully fell pregnant and was asked to leave the parish. Something she felt rather hard done by. I suppose her decision to haunt the old rectory provided some clue as to where all her troubles began? But the story didn’t end there.
Years later the rectory was sold and the new owner took it upon herself to restore the building with a view to turning it into a guest house. On hearing about the resident spirit she wasted no time in employing the services of a local clairvoyant.
What followed wasn’t just the seemingly remarkable fact of establishing contact with the supernatural. But in fact direct instructions from across the mystic ether as to how the restoration should proceed.
And this is exactly the sort of thing visitors to Bathurst should expect. And given Bathurst’s propensity for attracting a more liberal enthusiast of the arts, one can also expect a whole lot more. The people of Bathurst may well be largely retired and boast slightly higher national average when it comes to hermits. But don’t for a second think that this tiny settler town is full original tweed wearing folk who restore vintage Russian motorbikes for fun.
Incidentally, we did actually see a vintage Russian motorbike with a sidecar being driven by people that certainly looked to be retired, but that was purely coincidence.
No the people of Bathurst are a little bonkers and not afraid to laugh in the face of social norms. To that end I once found a good friend of mine passed out in my doorway over Arts Festival in Grahamstown. I only mention the incident because she is now a well known artist living in Bathurst.
I could go on talking about the nostalgic Pig and Whistle, the world’s biggest pineapple or the annual Bathurst ox braai that coined the phrase: there’s no thirst like Bathurst. But I’d rather you discover that all for yourself.
- We stayed at The Rectory, you can find it on www.booking.com
- We ate dinner at Lara’s Eatery and Deli – Highly recommended and not to be missed
- Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a drink in the oldest pub in the country – The Pig and Whistle.
- And how can you resist a walk up the world’s tallest pineapple?
PS Make sure you catch the farmers market on sunday morning