So this coming Friday, Patatjie (my lovely wife), Don Tour Guide (more on him later ...) and I will be going to the Kruger National Park. To make sure we beat the traffic out of Pretoria, we decided to leave before 05:00 as that will give us a good start to the day. There is something that all road-trips in South Africa have in common. This is not love we all share for the great outdoors, or the sound of the tires on the gravel road, but something we call in Afrikaans ... Pad Kos. (Travel Food)
Whenever I make "Pad Kos", I think back when I was a kid and we went down to Cape Town to visit my grandparents every year in December. Now these were the days before all the Ultra Cities and One-Stops were all along the N1. I remember when we were told by my father to start looking for a nice big shaded tree with a concrete table and seats. That is when my dad will pull-over and my mother will bring out the "Pad Kos".
The "Pad Kos" my mother used to make us was always a surprise. The reason for this was that all kids had to go to bed at 20:00 the previous night and we were only woken up to jump in the car the next morning at some obscure hour. Somewhere between 20:00 and 03:00 the "Pad Kos" would be prepared.
We had chicken drumsticks that were baked in the oven till the skin was golden-brown with salt and spices. There was boerewors chopped into smaller pieces and also meatballs. There were cheese sandwiches with a tomato on the side, freshly chopped. If all the kids behaved through the months leading up to the holiday, there might also be a little biltong as part of the "Pad Kos". Now to have a truly afrikaans "Pad Kos", you need one last item only known as the "Traveling Egg".
Now for those that does not know a "Traveling Egg", this is a boiled egg with a small difference. A Traveling Egg is usually made the previous day, or early the morning of your travel. Now the problem is the longer you travel with this egg, the more it changes in colour. The yellow of the egg start to change into a light blue. (not the pink / light blue of the Bulls though ...)
There were certain rules enforced on all kids and husbands when it came to consuming the traveling eggs. No more than two per person, and no-one are allowed to eat the last Traveling Egg after 15:00 in the afternoon. The reason for this is that as the colour starts to change in the traveling egg, the chemical structure is also changing which leads to enhanced compression... This has led to threats of kids being dropped off at the next town and many an inquisition to find the culprit. Hence certain rules were adopted.
So after years of traveling through South Africa to holiday destinations far and wide, I always make the "Pad Kos" which includes biltong, sandwiches, boerewors, coffee and last but not least ... the Traveling Egg.
Let me know what you usually pack for "Pad Kos" on your way to the Kruger...
PS. Some say he naturally faces magnetic north, and that he once saw a Serval across the Timbavati river from his chair at Tamboti Tented Camp ... all Patatjie and myself know is, he's called “Don Tour Guide”.
"A roaring lion kills no game."
"Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be heroes."
"If you kill a tree, you are killing a bird."
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”