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Route 72 – Padstals, Farm Stalls & Craft Markets

If you find yourself traveling along Route 72 from Port Elizabeth to East London, whatever you do, don’t rush it … give yourself enough time to enjoy the numerous Padstals, Farm Stalls & Craft Markets en-route.

I fully recommend you leave Port Elizabeth on an empty stomach and make the lovely Nanaga Farm Stall your breakfast stop.  In the middle of the coastal farmlands sits this amazing Farm Stall, the worst kept secret on the Eastern Cape Coast.Nanaga Entrance

First, we recommend you grab a breakfast … and only once you have a full stomach should you dare to cross over the courtyard into the deli, bakery and curio shop.  Hold onto your purse because this place is designed to make you part with your hard earned cash.  There are many delights to be savoured here from a wide selection of cold meats, home made pies, handmade sweets and biscuits, to the ever popular traditional South African biltong.

If I were to give you but one world of advice, don’t, whatever you do, leave without stocking up on their famous roosterbrood … delicious is the only word to describe it. Originally made out of necessity in the more rural communities, where the only way to bake bread was on a cast iron pot in a clay oven or over the coals on a braai grid, roosterbrood has become a long standing South African tradition, almost as famous as the braai itself!

Nananga triple

Don’t eat too much at Nanaga however because you definitely need an excuse to stop at Oakly Padstal, not too much further down the beautiful Sunshine Coast on Route 72.  If you have a love for beautiful handmade wood furniture and P1080613 Resizeddecorative pieces made from wrought iron, this padstal will hit all the right spots.

Feast your eyes on their beautifully crafted solid wood barstools and tables, furniture made out of oak vats and stunning wooden candle holders.  If wrought iron is your thing, you have a wide range of items to choose from – chandeliers, candle holders, bird feeders … and my personal favourite, the penny farthing bicycles with pot plant holders.

Over and above that, you will find all the home-made treats that Padstal’s are famous for, along with an eclectic mix of vintage style clothes, bathroom ‘smellies’ and a collection of the old fashioned styled tin coffee pots & mugs, guaranteed to make you nostalgic for the ‘good old days’.  While you contemplate your purchases … and do a quick re-write of your budget, take a load off and have something nice to drink, and yes … maybe even a snack.   You are, after all, on a road trip and over indulging is a definite requirement.

Oakley tripleDon’t get too comfortable however because this is Route 72 and there are always more places to see. P1080636 ResizedYour next stop is probably one of the most unique stops along Route 72.  Tam’ JaZi Padstal is a ‘must see’ country farm stall/padstal catering for families with children … and anyone with a great sense of humour.  A little way off the main road on the left hand side, don’t miss this arty, fun, crazy stop ‘for all the tea in … eh … along route 72!’   Children will love the touch farm and unique outdoor play area located conveniently just outside the coffee shop. Adults can browse through the stunning array of local crafts and home made ‘goodies’ on sale in the Padstal.

My big tip for people visiting Tam’ Ja`Zi is to not miss out on mama’s coffee.  Brewed by the owners Italian mother, this coffee is a unique blend that cannot be replicated.  Relax, enjoy … and by the way, if you have kids, please open the door to let the friendly staffies out  … they love to play outside in the garden with the children.

Tam' JaZi tripleFurther down the track you will find Nature View Farm Stall set back from the road under the trees. Farm Stall Dec 2013 right view ResizedThis quaint little stall, while not very big, is definitely worth a stop.  Here you can purchase a wide selection of fruits and jams, but take it from one who knows, whatever you do, do not leave without buying their crushed pineapple juice … just the ticket on a hot summers day.

If you are a lover of chutney, I can also highly recommend the pineapple chutney … and for the more adventurous … the chili pineapple chutney!

Take the opportunity to buy a handwoven basket to carry all the ‘goodies’ you have purchased on your stops along Route 72 and while you are at it, don’t forget to stock up on some firewood for that braai you are sure to have when you finally hit East London.

Nature's View tripleLast, but by no means least, don’t forget to stop at Bira Craft Market just before you get to East London. P1080673 ResizedThis large craft market offers the visitor everything from handcrafted furniture and traditional curios … to carpets, clothing and jewellery.  Wander through the multitude of rooms and browse to your hearts content.  You will be spoilt for choice and your wallet will definitely take some strain when your eyes see all the lovely things you can buy.

By now you are probably coffee’d out … so I highly recommend some refreshing tea and a light snack in their wonderful tea room, where you will be encouraged to leave a message on the wall along thousands of other Route 72 travellers including well known South African personalities such as Kate Turkington and Ashley Hayden, who claims the tea room sells ‘the best blueberry cheesecake in S.A.’ !  How is that for a heartfelt endorsement?

Bira triple

Route 72, Sunshine Coast is a trip to be savored, not hurried.  The beautiful coastal scenery, the wonderful and inviting Padstals, Farm Stalls & Craft Markets make it an adventure to be experienced. Next time you are lucky enough to travel this route, take the time to discover all its little secrets … it will be a journey you’ll never forget!

More info on the town of East London More info on the Sunshine Coast

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