28 May 2018
We had been driving for two weeks and stopped in Vryheid for gas on our way to Kruger. We decided to have a quick dinner and the gas station attendant told us about Debonairs Pizza down the street. We were pretty tired after a long day driving and looked on our tablet to see if there was a decent hotel in town. Lo and behold the Oxford Lodge was next door. So while we were waiting for our pizza I walked down the street and spoke to the front desk person who was just leaving for the night and the security guard. I told them I would like to book a room and they said to just come back after dinner. When we came out of the restaurant we noticed that we had a flat front tire. What a bummer! 9:00 pm and a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. The gas station across the street told us about a 24 hour tire repair service. Can you imagine that? So with air in the tire we went to the repair place and I won't bore you with the three hour saga of having my new rental car new tire vulcanized until midnight! We arrived at midnight at the hotel and the security guard let us look at several rooms. The front building is really nice and the entire establishment was clean, neat, comfortable bed and bathroom, and the room was great. We were exhausted and had a wonderful sleep. The next morning we had a great breakfast. The manager, Johan, sat with us and we talked for a couple of hours which we loved. He was from Vryheid and it was great to chat with someone from the town. The next surprise came when I went to pay for the room, after a late check out, and it was cheaper than quoted. I insisted in paying more but they said they had a weekend special. It wasn't over yet. We walked outside and I looked for our muddy rental car. I thought it had been stolen until I realized that they had washed our car!! We have stayed in hotels in over 50 countries and this was definitely a first. I asked Johan why they had washed our car and they said it was just part of the service. We were so grateful to have a safe, comfortable, pleasant place to stay with some of the nicest staff we met during our three week self drive South Africa vacation. We had not planned to stop in Vryheid but were very grateful that we did. We could have been on the road with a flat tire at midnight in the middle of nowhere!!